The Language of Literature and Science Aldous Huxley

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The Language of Literature and Science
Aldous Huxley
Huxley says that the common language is inappropriate as a medium of both – the literary expressions as well as the scientific expressions. Although both need the purity of language and sense but their requirements are different.

The scientist wants to use a language that conveys a limited, intended sense and if he finds the common language inadequate, he coins new jargons to express the clear and pure meaning and meet his purpose. He prefers a language and words that has got only one meaning and communicates the message or idea directly. The scientist aims at only one thing at a time but the literary artist prefers a language that caters the experiences of different people. He conveys a message at a private as well as at a public level.

He scientist explains a rose in the language of bio – chemistry or genetics. For him rose is the result of some chemical reactions. But for a literary artist, it is an expression of some very soft expressions of some private feelings. He generalizes its message and enjoys the beauty of the nature.
J. Bronowski starts the essay with a question, Is man a machine or an individual being? He believes that man is a part of nature and makes this belief the starting point of his investigations, although this view point seems to be quite simple as all educated persons all over the world accept this theory in the latter half of the twentieth centaury. People believed that man is a part of nature as a stone, as a cactus as a camel is. A part of the three broad categories animal, vegetables and minerals .But this view point has hurt the self esteem of the western man who believed that the man is unique of its kind. When he is started to be categorized as animal, the western man is hurt but he can not oppose this truth .Giordano Bruno was burnt at stake because he refused to give up his theory what the neither our earth nor the man is the unique and the chosen one. There is a hidden desire in man to declare, himself greater than life and nature. He wanted to be seen and regarded as unique and immortal, larger than anything else


There are some differences between the aims and methods of Science and those of Humanities. This matter has become very important now-a-days as people pay no attention to these differences.

One of the major differences is that humanities deals with emotional matters and invoke the same response but this is not the case with the Science. It is the same with the other arts also. Humanities concerns with the understanding and the evaluation of human goals. Another difference is that the scientific generalization concepts and theories are neutral to their moral and social implications i.e. the scientific findings do not suggest any human uses to which they may be put and how they can be used for human happiness and self fulfillment. But, Humanities deals with the human experiences and their meanings and observations. Both Science and Humanities share the delight of creation and beauty. They bring together different elements to form something pleasant and satisfying. But here, they differ also. Any product of science can be defined without any reference, but with Humanities, it is not possible. The creation of art cannot be adjudged without a reference or context. Science generalizes to make accurate predictions which may be useful in future course of system but humanistic works are concerned with individual experiences and are unique. They maintain and point out their uniqueness. Any particular incident may have a definite meaning in Science but in humanistic approach, they invoke Afferent meanings and are seen through individual experiences. Scientific products are impersonal but no humanistic work can be separated from the impression of its creator.
The Mother of the Sciences - A. J. Bahm


Philosophy functions as a comprehensive science in three ways. First it criticizes the sciences, secondly synthesizes the sciences and finally is the mother of the sciences. Each science makes presuppositions of other science. Each science may appear to be in clash with the conclusion of other science. The philosophy, thus, aims at comparing assumptions and conclusions. Second function, performed by philosophy, is of synthesis. Philosophy, known as a science of sciences or as a comprehensive science, aims at knowing the whole and reaching to some general conclusions. The Bermese story of a lion also tells us that in order to comprehend the total scheme, the function of synthesis is necessary. As the mother of the sciences, philosophy has had a long and interesting history. Initially no distinction was made between philosophy and science. Gradually, the particular sciences were born. Among the first were mechanics, mathematics and astronomy. Among the latest were psychology and sociology no wonder if in future more sciences will be born. In that state, the job of philosophy will be greater because then it will be more difficult to synthesize the incoherent sciences, dealing with the particular. The work of philosophy, the mother of sciences, will never be will serve three main functions - first to give birth, secondly to set quarrels and finally to harmonize the particular sciences.

Science and Survival - Barry Commoner


There is considerable scientific disagreement about the medical hazards caused by the new pollutants such as DDT. Actually we have risked these hazards before knowing about the harms they might do. In order to build atom bombs and kill mosquitoes, we have been led to the pollutants like strontium - 90 and DDT which will be harmful for the future generation. But science and technology cannot make progress unless it takes some such risks. But with the advancement of Science and Technology, one cannot risk to adopt a trial and error method to create something new. The new hazards are neither local nor brief such as the air pollution, synthetic chemicals and radioactive pollutants can cost a thousands of lives, a very heavy price to pay. Excess of carbon dioxide from fuel combustion might cause floods. A single explosion in a nuclear power plant might kill thousands of people. Science has ignored its major duty of controlling human intervention into nature.
Humanistic and Scientific Approaches to Human Activity -Moody E. Prior


The humanistic and scientific approaches differ from each other. The effect of the scientific ordering to a human activity is to produce detachment from the individual experience, the effect of the humanistic ordering, on the other hand, is to encourage involvement. The incident of March 1951 illustrates it. The prediction of the National Safety Council of America that the one millionth traffic fatality •since the first recorded automobile death in 1899 would occur on December 22, 1951. The public response to this tragedy was lost where people were busy in counting the dead bodies on the highway and paying tribute to human genius for accurate measurement. Literature, on the contrary, is always concerned with the uniqueness of human experience. Though like science it has the capacity to formulate new concepts which give us a new outlook. The creations of science are always • neutral or indifferent to their human meaning whereas good works of literature involve us and rouse the feelings such as pity, fear, sorrow, pleasure and so on. They extend our sympathies. The tragedy of Antigone which occurred in classical Athens still touches us.

It is true that arts and science contribute in shaping the attitudes of those who remain in touch with them for a long period of time. The humanities and science do well in their respective field. Science Only can adopt the methodological product to reach to some scientific generalization. Likewise only humanities can provide us human means of attaining human goals.
The Effect of the Scientific Temper on Man - Bertrand Russell


The seventeenth century men who invented the modern scientific method are credited with inventing a new mathematical technique and also known for abandoning the view that nature conformed to human tastes and hopes and fears. The belief was that pestilence and earthquakes were sent to punish sin as rains to reward virtue. The scientific temper abandoned this point of view. To find out how nature works, we must be guided only by careful investigation of facts. This scientific temper introduces men to the fact that Nature does what it does, nor what we should wish, nor what we should fear. From this scientific attitude, the modern world has developed. The embodiments of the western culture in the west who were, at first, in a tiny majority and now are the main, are ignorant of this development. Their literary counterparts hated them and call them narrow, cruel and rude. Whether for good or ill, it is scientific technique which is the main cause of the changes that the world is undergoing. The Industrial Revolution contributed to the defeat of Napolean, was hated in the country where it originated but later it spread to other western countries and to Russia and Asia which it is changing rapidly. Whether the scientific technique, which alone the East wants to learn, is boon or a disaster, it is an open question. But it is sure that it has changed the face of the world.

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