Is Science “a superior kind of dope?”

Aldous Huxley was appalled at the arrogance of many scientists, who made sweeping judgements on matters of value, aesthetics and meaning, when their natural sciences were basically quantitative. They also dodged responsibility for their research (which ultimately produced the atom bomb):

“They retire to their cloistered laboratories, and there amuse themselves by performing delightfully interesting researches. Science and art are only too often a superior kind of dope, possessing this advantage over booze and morphia: that they can be indulged in with a good conscience and with the conviction that, in the process of indulging, one id leading the ‘higher life’ ” [Ends and Means, 1937.]

 

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