Monday, February 15, 2010
McCloskey, Deirdre. "Prudence, You No Longer Rule My World." TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION January 14, 2010.
My first scientific eureka came when I was a sophomore at university, a very wise fool. As I started to learn the macho science of economics, I suddenly saw that mere prudence, "rationality", rules. Wow: that's so much simpler than attending to human meanings. Hurrah. Therefore, the sociologists, psychologists and anthropologists are idiots. . . . I came to understand that the point of literary study is not merely to dole out stars for greatness. For another - you can see how it might be encouraged by an interest in the rhetoric of economics - I realised that literary, philosophical and narrative sciences (those sciences humaines) exhibit forms of knowledge not attainable by first-order predicate logic, or a system of axioms rich enough to contain arithmetic. For still another, I grasped that logics and axioms depend on such knowledge. And out of all this came the gobsmacking insight that language is more than the transmittal of bits of information. Language is a way of being human - the way of being human - a mobile army of metaphors (you might say). . . . Read the rest here: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=409967.