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The 94-year-old moral philosopher talks to Peter Aspden about scientific arrogance and impending ‘catastrophe’.

Midgley’s argument in her new book is against a form of scientific arrogance that seeks to “reduce our direct, everyday experience of reality to terms of something more distant, preferably involving statistics and (where possible) machinery”. Scientists and psychologists are turning their backs on the complexity of human interactions by attempting to explain everything in neuro-biological terms. “There is this increasing faith that physical science is the answer to all our terrible questions,” she says. “I want to fight against the whole idea that it is where you go to for enlightenment.”

In my view, Midgley’s point is a very important one, and few seem to me to understand that this reductionist model serves to de-humanise us and is a quite intentional plan. We have been encouraged to place science, not the scientific process itself but science on an unquestionable pedestal which seeks to dissuade the public from questioning what has been said or concluded, whilst science is more dependent upon the context which directs it and defines its parameters than even many scientists understand.

Peter’s article is worth reading.

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