Science, Art and a Truth in Peril

 
 Raphael School of Athens

Raphael School of Athens

Combative as often as cooperative, the relationship between art and science fuels thought, discoveries and shapes civilizations. Perhaps the most perfect symbiosis between the two disciplines evolved during the Renaissance.  In the course of the Enlightenment, artists and writers eventually broke from the perceived narrow rule of rationality to form Romanticism.

Positivism, “part of a more general ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry, notably laid out by Plato and later reformulated as a quarrel between the sciences and the humanities" soon followed and postulated “that the only valid knowledge is scientific” (Eagan 1997).

Subsequently, Modernism in art, music and literature rejected the certainty of positivism as well as that of religious belief but reasserted the importance of intuition and the necessity of balance between an ideal objectivity and the subjective experience of the individual.

While the interrelation between scientific and artistic disciplines has often been contentious what binds them in their parallel trajectories is their common aim.  To know ourselves and our universe is the raison d’être of both art and science. Today as we confront a “post-factual world”  where disinformation is weaponized and disseminated on a global scale and truth is degraded to whatever people can be made to believe, the alliance of art, science, literature and all disciplines committed to truth must stand as bastion against a new dark age.

 

Reference cited: Egan, Kieran (1997). The Educated Mind. University of Chicago Press. pp. 115–116.