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THE FATE OF MAN IN A SCIENTO-TECHNOLOGICAL ERA. (A PHILOSOPHICAL EXAMINATION OF THE IDEAS OF ALEXANDER DENIS)

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 Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1-5 ::   Pages: 90 ::   Attributes: documentation ::   3,139 people found this useful

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GENERAL INTRODUCTION

Our world is fascinated by so many scientific achievements. Today, almost everything falls under the spell of scientific and technological advancements. And philosophy, which is concerned with the ultimate basis of reality, is not also free from glorifying the activities of science. 

                             

Science and technology have become household names in almost every nook and cranny of our global world. Astronomical discoveries are possible due to what science and technology can offer to man. Transportation and communication are brought to their fastest and simplest level as a result of scientific and technological advancements. There is a boost in equipment for the improvement of human health. All these scientific and technological advancements are geared towards making life easier for man.

 

However, given this glorification of science and technology, there still remains a lacuna in human life. In the midst of all these scientific and technological advancements, one can still notice an element of fear and anxiety in human life. In spite of all the glories of science, mankind is turning away from it. What can we say is the reason for this man’s reaction that was noticed during the past twenty years? The result of current researches as well as the applications of science in modern warfare poses a threat to man’s security of life. It is becoming obvious that science is not fulfilling the role that it should be playing. It has claimed to be a god and is somehow devouring humanity. As a result of this, man is constantly losing his humanity in the very technological society.

 

More still, the very rationalism that underlies the rubrics of science is under attack. There seems to be a flight from rational to non-rational way of thinking. Often, it seems man’s reason should be denied in order to re-instate his humanity as in ways of mystical experience.

 

But can there be an answer to this problem? Can it be really taken that man’s reason has created some powers that are beyond his control? If man has realized the inherent malaise of science, what ways can be followed in resolving the problems? It is obvious that man created these problems. And so its resolution must as well come from man. In battling with these problems, Alexander Denis proposed two outstanding answers. He based his answers on ethics and metaphysics. In other words, since man is endowed with freedom and morality, the general good of man should be considered in every human endeavour. Secondly, man’s recognition of the ‘Being of beings’ and his complete submission to this being from whom other beings take their origin is quite fundamental.

 

Thus, this long essay is primarily concerned with highlighting the implications of these answers for the main purpose of bringing man back to the real “state of nature.”[1]

 

Purpose of Study

      This research work is aimed at pursuing a thought-pattern that will argue for the credibility of Science and Technology on the one hand and its malaise on the other hand. It will criticize to the core the many assumptions of Science as panacea to man’s quest for meaning. It is hoped that such analysis will be a catalyst that will raise our self-consciousness towards attaining the ultimate end.

 

Scope of Study

This work does not however pledge to give out all the claims of science in human existence. It will only articulate the rectitude and turpitude of science as well as the need for man’s absolute resort to the eternal and infinite being, in the light of the writings of Alexander Denis.

 

Method of Study

For the sake of clarity and tenacity of purpose, this work will be mainly analytical and critical.

 

Division of Work

The work is divided into five chapters. Apart from the general introduction, the first chapter portrays the glorified place of science and technology in human society. Chapters two and three examine the evident limitations of science. Chapter four dwells on man’s inevitable search for meaning. Finally, we shall evaluate the entire work in chapter five.

 

BRIEF PROFILE OF DENIS ALEXANDER

Denis Alexander is a Botswana by birth and holds a degree in Economics and Accountancy. His working career spans over the last twenty years. In his early years, he gained experience in the accountancy/finance areas. He was involved in and has been exposed to multi-national operations as he worked for the oil giant (Shell) for twelve years. During this period, he was responsible for having moved the management operations of the company from South Africa to Botswana. He was equally exposed to refinery economics when he worked in the Netherlands for Shell for just over two years.

 

In 1993, he made a career change and joined the Botswana Medical Aid Society (Bomaid) as their chief executive officer. Currently, he is the president of Bomaid, the largest medical health insurance programme in Botswana.He has contributed in other areas like general health within the country (Botswana) as well as having sometimes been a lonely voice for the physically challenged.

 

 

EXISTENTIALIST CRITIQUE OF KARL MARX MATERIALISM

Thesis statement

Down through the ages, there have been various interpretations of the nature of man. Some thinkers view man purely as a materials element without any substantive value. On the contrary, other thinkers place as the ultimate, the substantive value not the material.

In the 18th century, Karl Marx in his materialist philosophy reduced everything to matter. He saw man and his consciousness as a development of a highly organized matter. The essence of man for him was matter. Man became a determined entity. As matter of fact, the way Marx exposed his views on the economy buttresses this fact.

Against this trend arose the existentialist philosophical system who sought to fill a vacuum created in man by Marx. Consequently, it sees man not existential entity whose nature it is to possess freedom, choice and responsibility.

Hence, our main concern here is that is devoid of freedom. To see man as matter alone is a partial view. More still, there is no place for morality in Marx’s materialism. The implication of Marx’s materialism for the modern man is enormous. It endangers the modern man because he often embark on destroying the human person just for economic advantage. In addition, it presents a stereotyped man.

Therefore the major goal of this study is to look critically at Karl Marx’s materialism and its implications on the society. It will also try to establish the relevance of freedom and choice as existentialist virtues which is opposed to Marxian materialism.

 

THE DOCTRINE OF COMMON GOOD IN THOMAS AQUINAS

Thesis statement

          Great progress in the political and economic development of our age from the pre-historic era tends to retardation due to man’s egoism. The state being an edifice with its organic parts of individuals living in families associations and some intermediate groups should be a perfect society endowed with common good where man can best establish and realize his self along with others.

          However, the reverse has become the case with a cankerworm of geocentricism reflecting a radical increase in individualism whereby the society is now regarded as contractual than natural, and its ends declared to be determined by self interest rather than by divine ordination thus, relegating our society to an ordinary class oriented state ruined with injustice, marginalization, oppression, class struggle, selfishness, corruption and so on. The obvious result is a destabilization of the perfect nature of the state and its social order.

Hence with the present sad situation of the system, the prevailing conception that political office is an opportunity to enrich oneself with adverse effects of socio-political and economic decay is a reason behind this.

Therefore, our major task in the study is to analyze critically Thomas Aquinas argument that the common good is an end of any state. Our objective then is to point out some useful contributions of Aquinas on common good; not totally as he has formulated, but with suggestion on how best the common good will be realized in the state.

 

JOHN DEWEY’S SCIENTIFIC NATURALISM (A CRITICAL          ANALYSIS)

Thesis statement

That the world today should be fascinated by the recent scientific inputs and outputs is reasonable enough, at least, not many doubt the fact that ascendance of science as the most tested trajectory of perception is both historical and most deserved. The way science has been taken in recent times makes this impression more glaring. Today, the world is almost couching all her endeavours in the garb of science.

When modern philosophy progressed in scientific garbs, it developed with science, a naturalistic character. By 18th century, philosophers (through science) began to subscribe to a mode of though, which found no meaning in metaphysics. George Santayana, Bertrand Russell, and many logical positivist of the Vienna circle could be remembered in this estimation. From their denigration of the metaphysical subject matter, the impression was gathered that science has finally assuaged the yearnings of the modern man. and the man John Dewey, forms a significant part of this clique.

With every arsenal at his reach, he configured into philosophy a scientific method with which he hoped to reconcile the metaphysical dualism inherent in the philosophical system. He thereby rendered science and its methods inevitably and absolutely potent for all philosophical, moral and human problems.

However, it is unfortunate that with over four centuries down in the scientific mud, the modern man has not discovered order amidst his incessant moral, philosophical and environmental crises. Infact, it has become a central question of philosophical concern whether or not modern science can chew all that it has taken into bite.

Our concern I this study is to argue for the credibility of science on the one hand, and the vindication of metaphysics from it most recent repudiation, on the other hand. Taking Dewey’s system as a focal point, this work will criticize every argument for scientific absolutism inorder to dispose science to reality in an open manner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

  1. Science In The Seventies

If a reasonable analysis is made of the whole periods in the history of science, the fact that science brought much innovation to mankind cannot be denied. Throughout the history of science, one could see attempts by scientists to exhaust all that are practicable as far as our world of reality is concerned. But these achievements of science have not been without problems.

 

Alexander Denis sees the problem as a turning point in those advancements of science. He traced back the foundation of scientific evolution and its social impact to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For instance, in the year 1905, Einstein came up with his theory that mass could be converted into energy. Within the camp of the scientists, some doubts were raised as to the possibility of this theory. But 40 years later, his theory was confirmed when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by atomic bomb.

 


[1] T.Hobbes, Leviathan (edited by C.B. Macpherson, Great Britain: Penguin Books, 1968) , p.185.


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Format:ms word
Chapter:1-5
Pages:90
Attribute:documentation
Price:₦3,000
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