From long-time St. Johns College tutor Laurence Berns, in the new essay collection Politics, Nature, and Piety: On the Natural Basis of Political Life (hat tip to Alex Priou for this compilation):

Science was originally pursued and regarded as a most important component of the perfection of human life. The crisis of modern science consists, in Husserl’s phrase, in “the loss of meaning for life.” From within the perspective of modern science, the modern view of nature, the things which are most important to most human things seem to make little sense, e.g., goodness and badness, beauty and ugliness; and scientific social science reports that scientific reason cannot substantiate “value judgments.” Instead of rational principles of action, guidance for life is abandoned to various forms of unreason or, at best, to principles of expediency. Within Aristotle’s view of nature and human nature those distinctions which are found to be most meaningful for prescientific practical life, distinctions like the distinction between good and bad, make sense. For the sake of a sound view of human life we seek what may still be valid in the Aristotelian understanding of nature.

Shorter: Aristotle, the first conservative, is still right about the most important things.

Leave a Reply