Nineteen Eighty-Four: Science Between Utopia and Dystopia

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September 1984



Just fifty years ago Julian Huxley, the biologist grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, published a book which easily could be seen to represent the prevail­ ing outlook among young scientists of the day: If I were a Dictator (1934). The outlook is optimistic, the tone playfully rational, the intent clear - allow science a free hand and through rational planning it could bring order out of the surrounding social chaos. He complained, however: At the moment, science is for most part either an intellectual luxury or the paid servant of capitalist industry or the nationalist state. When it and its results cannot be fitted into the existing framework, it and they are ignored; and furthermore the structure of scientific research is grossly lopsided, with over-emphasis on some kinds of science and partial or entire neglect of others. (pp. 83-84) All this the scientist dictator would set right. A new era of scientific human­ ism would provide alternative visions to the traditional religions with their Gods and the civic religions such as Nazism and fascism. Science in Huxley's version carries in it the twin impulses of the utopian imagination - Power and Order. Of course, it was exactly this vision of science which led that other grand­ son of Thomas Henry Huxley, the writer Aldous Huxley, to portray scientific discovery as potentially subversive and scientific practice as ultimately en­ slaving.


I Introduction.
Science and Utopia: On the Social Ordering of the Future.
II Science and Utopia in History.
Science and Utopia: The History of a Dilemma.
Elias Artista: A Precursor of the Messiah in Natural Science.
The Explosion of the Circle: Science and Negative Utopia.
III Socialism, Science and Utopia.
From Utopia to Science? The Development of Socialist Theory between Utopia and Science.
Bogdanov's Red Star: An Early Bolshevik Science Utopia.
IV Utopias in Practice.
Automata: A Masculine Utopia.
Making Dreams Come True - An Essay on the Role of Practical Utopias in Science.
Eugenic Utopias: Blueprints for the Rationalization of Human Evolution.
Artificial Intelligence and Industrial Robots: An Automatic End for Utopian Thought?.
V Utopian Modes.
Meddling with 'Politicks' - Some Conjectures about the Relationship between Science and Utopia.
Science and Power for What?.
Science and Utopia in Late 20th Century Pluralist Democracy, with a Special Reference to the U.S.A..
Name Index.
EAN: 9789027717214
ISBN: 9027717214
Untertitel: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1984. Book. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: Springer
Erscheinungsdatum: September 1984
Seitenanzahl: 320 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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