The Science Delusion by Curtis White
Asking the Big Questions in a Culture of Easy Answers

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A witty critique of scientific overreach that celebrates the totality of human achievement.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

One of our most brilliant social critics—author of the bestselling The Middle Mind—presents a scathing critique of the “delusions” of science alongside a rousing defense of the tradition of Romanticism and the “big” questions.

With the rise of religion critics such as Richard Dawkins, and of pseudo-science advocates such as Malcolm Gladwell and Jonah Lehrer, you’re likely to become a subject of ridicule if you wonder “Why is there something instead of nothing?” or “What is our purpose on earth?” Instead, at universities around the world, and in the general cultural milieu, we’re all being taught that science can resolve all questions without the help of philosophy, politics, or the humanities.

In short, the rich philosophical debates of the 19th century have been nearly totally abandoned, argues critic Curtis White. An atheist himself, White nonetheless calls this new turn “scientism”—and fears what it will do to our culture if allowed to flourish without challenge. In fact, in “scientism” White sees a new religion with many unexamined assumptions.

In this brilliant multi-part critique, he aims at a TED talk by a distinguished neuroscientist in which we are told that human thought is merely the product of our “connectome,” a map of neural connections in the brain that is yet to be fully understood. . . . He whips a widely respected physicist who argues that our new understanding of the origins of the universe obviates any philosophical inquiry . . . and ends with a learned defense of the tradition of Romanticism, which White believes our technology and science-obsessed world desperately needs to rediscover.

It’s the only way, he argues, that we can see our world clearly. . . and change it.
 

About Curtis White

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CURTIS WHITE is the author of the novels Memories of My Father Watching TV and Requiem. A widely acclaimed essayist, his work appears regularly in Context and Harper's. He is an English professor at Illinois State University and the current president of the Center for Book Culture/Dalkey Archive Press. His The Middle Mind: Why Americans Don't Think for Themselves was a national bestseller in 2003.
 
Published May 28, 2013 by Melville House. 224 pages
Genres: Science & Math, Law & Philosophy, History, Arts & Photography, Religion & Spirituality, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Science Delusion
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Apr 17 2013

A witty critique of scientific overreach that celebrates the totality of human achievement.

Read Full Review of The Science Delusion: Asking ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Eric Banks on Jun 07 2013

White attempts to make a case for a rediscovery of Romanticism and the edgy danger of art as an antidote to a faith in science, but his approach is so scattershot and his tone so grouchy — Camille Paglia meets Andy Rooney — that he never succeeds...

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jun 03 2013

...White's argument is worth consideration and his delivery passionate and humorously bitter.

Read Full Review of The Science Delusion: Asking ... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

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