Leaving Us to Wonder

An Essay on the Questions Science Can't Ask

By Linda Wiener & Ramsey Eric Ramsey

Subjects: Sociobiology, Philosophy And Biology, Intellectual History, Ethics
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy and Biology
Paperback : 9780791463147, 173 pages, January 2005
Hardcover : 9780791463130, 173 pages, December 2004

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Table of contents


1. A Place to Begin


Curiosity and Wonder
A Place to Begin
Mistaking the Abstract for Concrete
Today's Popular Science
The Spirit of Socrates


2. The Persistence of a Question


Some Background Questions
Kant and the Enlightenment
The Emergence of Evolutionary Theory
The Promotion of Human Sociobiology


3. What Darwin and Nietzsche Saw


Some Background on Darwin and Nietzsche
Darwin's Descent of Man: The Evolution of Morality
Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals: The Evolution of (A Different) Morality
Nietzsche's Differences with Darwin


4. Provoking Thought


Heidegger and the Distinction between Ways of Thinking
Merleau-Ponty and the Importance of Embodied Experience


5. The Limits of Science and the Danger of Scientism: Drawing Out the Consequences for Thinking


Faces that Launched a Thousand Web Site Hits
A More Serious Concern


6. Leaving Us to Wonder


The Difficulty Begins Here
Thinking Beyond and Otherwise
Turning to the Public Sphere
Desire for Public Dialogue
Leaving Us to Wonder





Explores the larger social, political, and philosophical contexts in which the current vitriolic science vs. anti-science debates occur.


This exciting collaboration between a biologist and a philosopher explores the meaning of the scientific worldview and how it plays out in our everyday lives. The authors investigate alternatives to scientism, the view that science is the proper and exclusive foundation for thinking about and answering every question. They ask: Does the current technoscientific worldview threaten the pursuit of living well? Do the facts procured by technoscientific systems render inconsequential our lived experiences, the wisdom of ancient and contemporary philosophical insight, and the promise offered by time-honored religious beliefs? Drawing on important Western thinkers, including Kant, Nietzsche, Darwin, Heidegger, and others, Linda Wiener and Ramsey Eric Ramsey demonstrate how many of the claims and conclusions of technoscience can and should be challenged. They offer ways of thinking about science in a larger context that respect scientific practice, while taking seriously alternative philosophical modes of thought whose aims are freedom, the good life, and living well.

Linda Wiener is Faculty with Tenure at St. John's College at Santa Fe. Ramsey Eric Ramsey is a philosopher and Associate Dean of The Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University West.