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  Science & the Myth of Progress—the quantification of nature Back to the List of Slideshows
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Seyyed Hossein Nasr shows how man has lost the ability to know himself from within and has turned outwards in search of knowledge of himself, thereby substituting real knowledge for an encyclopedia of “facts”:
Modern man, having rebelled against heaven, created a science based not on the light of the intellect but on the powers of human reason sifting the data of the senses. But the success of this science was so great in its own domain that soon all the other sciences began to ape it, leading to the crass positivism of the past century which has caused philosophy as perennially understood to become confused with logical analysis, mental acrobatics or even mere information theory, and the classical fields of the humanities to become converted into quantified social sciences which make even the intuitions of literature about the nature of man inaccessible to many students and seekers today. A number of scientists are in fact among those most critical of the pseudo-humanities being taught in many universities in an atmosphere of a psychological and mental inferiority complex vis-à-vis the sciences of nature and mathematics, a “humanities” which tries desperately to become “scientific,” only to fall into a state of superficiality, not to say triviality. The decadence of the humanities in modern times is caused by the loss of the knowledge that man has always had directly of himself and also of his Self, and by reliance upon an externalized, indirect knowledge which modern man seeks to gain of himself from the outside, a literally “superficial” knowledge that is from the rim and is devoid of an awareness of the axis of the wheel and the spokes which stand always before man and connect him like a ray of light to the supernal sun.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr
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