Friday, September 18, 2009
Scientism is the enemy of culture and knowledge according to Smith. In order to further advance the knowledge of our civilization we must put away our strict bias toward science as the only haven for the answers to our great questions. We must, once again, as before the scientific revolution spun off in to scientism, allow the humanities to make their own attempt at an answer. Philosophy and religion are now seen more as pagan ritual than educating practice in the modern society. Smith purports that a civilization which is able to view things from both a quantitative (science) and qualitative (art) perspective will be much better off than the one in which one discipline is so greatly outweighed by the other, as is now the case.
The existence of a leisure class and the want for change are two key societal factors necessary for technological innovation. There are surely other things that factor in, such as the availability of materials, relative usefulness, and supranational interactions among many others, but the most important for the evolution of technology are the creative minds provided by a leisured class and the lesser limits that are imposed by a society open to change.