Libraries & Spaces
On the Future of Humanistic Education
John Courtney Murray, S.J.
The issue of the future of humanistic education arises, I suppose, because the future of man himself has become an issue in our day. Is the present moment the portent of a new epoch of history, a new age of humanity, a new sort of humanism, a new type of man? Must there consequently be a new kind of education, for which the tradition offers no model?
No one will deny that the signs of the times are portentous. It seems to be the fact that the crisis of history in which the whole world is presently engaged promises to be perpetual, at least in the sense that its duration and final resolution outdistance all possible foresight. The symbol of its perpetuity is the nuclear stockpile, here and also over there, undestroyed, perhaps indestructible, destined to permanent presence, a hidden threat to the future of civilization. The modalities of the crisis and its manifestations will undoubtedly alter, as time alters all things, but only so as to make its root more plain and its nature more explicit.
There is also the problem of politics, or, more exactly, the problem
of scientific technocracy versus liberal politics. We already observe the phenomenon vaguely known as the "new politics," which is beginning to be visible in what is called, with equal vagueness (whether in English, French, German, or Italian), the New Left. One cannot yet speak of a party; the phenomenon is still too amorphous. It chiefly appears as a fact, the ubiquitous fact of collegial expertise in collaboration with government, directing the exercise of political power. Do we therefore stand on the threshold of Saint-Simon's "new regime"? "As long as governments exercise patronage over the learned, in theory and practice, we remain in the old regime. But from the moment the learned exercise patronage over government, the new regime really begins." Such a regime will, indeed, be new: but what will it be like? In any event, "socialism" will not be the word for it. Its new axiom of control seems likely to transcend all the principles of socialism, in any of its forms. Whatever is theoretically possible from a scientific viewpoint (it may well say) can be translated into political reality. Politics is only administration. The people are to be managed, not governed.
Again, there is the psychological problem that is the still undissipated legacy of Freud. The advance of civilization requires that man should sustain an unrelenting, rigidly controlled effort to master and organize the things of the world, including himself, by the techniques of conscious reason. He must therefore renounce the forces of instinct, deny them gratification, repress them. This, it seems, is not done with impunity. Its consequence is not self-fulfillment and happiness, but psychic misery and loss of personal identity. As civilization advances, the Marxist proletariat will, indeed, vanish, only to be succeeded by the new Freudian proletariat, chained in neurotic misery amid material abundance. Auden's phrase, "the Age of Anxiety," will be filled with meaning.
Furthermore, it may be that Ortega y Gasset touched the portentous meaning of the moment when he said that today "man has no nature, he has only his history." Technology promises at least to alter in radical fashion the contours of nature, if not to erase the once-sacred distinction between nature and artifice. Technology also promises to change the whole course of events, and perhaps, if Jacques Ellul is right, to make their course "self-determining in a closed circle." If Derek Price is correct in his projection of the exponential growth-curve of scientific activity since 1662 (the founding of the Royal Society), we shall eventually reach "a state where civilization is saturated with science." Then
what? Will Kant have been proven wrong? Will civilization, which is an affair of the sciences, have overwhelmed culture, which is the moral state of man? In any case, we already confront the question that George A. Baker phrased: "Can science make history and make it orderly, provided that human beings are persuaded or coerced to act according to the precepts of order? Is proper technocratic organization, in effect, nothing less than the general will itself and a guarantee against the worst forms of coercion?"
The question might be put in another way if you admit, with Ellul, that a deterministic bent is inherent in technology. Will technology, which is man's own creation, eventually become his creator? Will it make man over into its own image, not free, but captive to the same determinisms to which the creator himself is subject? In the end, will man have lost, by undertaking to win, his perennial conflict with the energies of the material world and with the momentum of historical forces?
Perhaps Bruice Mazlish put the issue most sharply when he said, "Faustian man is everywhere on the stage of the world." His symbolsignificantly not plastic, or even a thing of earthis boundless space. It symbolizes his will to a limitless striving, supported by powers that are believed to be bottomless in their resources. The act to which he immediately aspires, as the evidence of his arrival in history and the announcement of his program, is to put a man on the moon. His motive seems not to be the wish to escape the human condition, as Hannah Arendt suggested, but, as Mazlish more correctly divines, the will to reveal the human condition and to fulfill its potentialities of power for the advancement of civilization.
Finally, there is the issue presently involved in the very notion of the advancement of civilization. It is not the old issues which Francis Bacon raised, which is the "elder" and which the "younger" age of the world? No one will now quarrel with his answer, that "our own times" are the elder, the "more advanced age." The new issue concerns the final meaning of the idea that was the morning star of modernity, the idea of progress. The idea has been newly qualified in conformity with the notion of progress in scientific knowledge and activity. Scientific progress is an unbrokenly continuous process, pursued for its own sake, toward a truth that forever recedes in consequence of the very pursuit of it. The process is not animated by any vision of fixed and final goals in the form of eternal and unchanging truths; for science
there are no such truths. As with the progress of science, so with the progress of culture. Culture is indeed the moral state of man; but its structure and substance, like the structure and substance of the state of material well-being which science provides, cannot be foreseen or determined in advance. Only in the pursuit of his goals does man discover what his goals are. He finds out what he wants to do, and must do, by finding out what he can do, and by doing it. The chase itself produces the quarry. And in the end man's only goal isprogress. The cultural concept of progress, like the technological concept, is open-ended. Progress is endless and it is its own end. This perhaps is what Ortega y Gasset meant. Man has no nature that is, no form, and therefore no finality. He is only history, progress, actionwhat the existentialists call an "ex-sistence" without an essence.
I do not know to what extent this Faustian ideology is explicit in the American mind. To some extent, however, it seems to be implicit in the general action of American civilization. It may be undergoing a pragmatic, not theoretical, evolution. To the same extent, there is evidence for the view of those who hold that an indigenous brand of Marxism is developing among us, with the consequence that American and Communist civilization are set on converging courses. (I am not speaking of forms of government, among which ours is still hardly more than an historical upstart, not yet tested in stern encounter with the newly emergent forces of history.) If this be the case, the end may be foreseen. There is no need or room in the world for two Doctor Faustuses.
These issues, and others of the sort, are brought up when there is talk of the New Age of Humanity. How one conceives them and wrestles with them in one's own mind depends, I suppose, on whether or not one is inclined to the tragic vision. More concretely, what matters is whether one is convinced that man is intelligent and free in the classical Christian sense, or not so convinced. More profoundly, what matters is whether or not one believes in God, Creator of the universe, Master of history, the End of man, who is only in the image of Pantocrator, not the Pantocrator himself.
The concern here, however, is with the bearing of the current prognosis of the New Man on the public institution of humanistic education. One's thought on this issue will be guided, I expect, by one's judgment on a prior issue. One can accept as a half-truth, because it is half true, Dr. Conant's weary definition of education as
"what goes on in schools and colleges." The question then is, to what extent should education involve itself in all the cultural problems of the present moment, and with what function in mind, and to what end. Whether we need to be rescued from the New Man or rescued by him, to what extent may we look to education for rescue?
I take it that the day is long past when a Francis W. Parker could require of the citizen, as he did in 1894, that he "should say in his heart: 'I await the regeneration of the world from the teaching of the common schools [add: the universities] of America.'" I further take it that none of us will address to American education the plea that it banish the Faustian man from the face of our fair country and halt the advance of his New Humanism. We might be content quietly to plead that education should not plunge into the business of producing the Faustian man and of fostering his dream. We might in consequence ask that the Deweyan premise of education be finally abandoned: "Since in reality there is nothing to which growth is relative save more growth, there is nothing to which education is subordinate save more education." In its own small way this is Faustianism. In reality human growth is relative to the ends of growth, which are inscribed in man's nature. Education is subordinate to the ends of education, which have been defined by the tradition of humanism.
For my part, I see nothing in the prognosis of a new age of humanity that would require us to abandon or radically to alter the four-fold structure of aims in terms of which the tradition of humanistic education has stated its ideal. The ideal has been to put the student in the way of developing a power of diction, a view of reality, a sense of values, and a sense of style.
By diction I mean, for the moment, all that traditional humanism, in dependence on Quintilian (a.d. 35–c. 100), has meant by a finished power of utterance (perfecta eloquentia). In his Institutio oratoria (The Training of an Orator), Quintilian defined the majestic verb "eloqui" simply as the power "to utter, and to convey to the listener, what you have in mind." Diction in this sense means command of words, the ability to find in language the exact equivalent of the thought in mind, and the further quality of fluency. Diction, however, also includes the capacity to order discourse with a sense of logic and thus endow it with force, and to compose discourse with the care that issues in elegance, which is a thing of restraint, propriety, polish, grace. This art of utterance stands highest in the order of the skills which
education seeks to develop. The mark of the humanist is the manner in which he uses his tongue, in the several senses of the word. Today we might speak of a power of communication, except that Quintilian would wince at the shallowness of meaning that the word has taken on. His orator was trained to fulfill Cato's definition, "a good man skilled in speaking," a man who had the public in mind, and who also had in mind something that needed utterance, because it was true, and therefore would serve the public good.
What the humanist is supposed to have in mind, needing utterance, is, in the end, a view of reality in Newman's sense of the word "view." In The Idea of a University, he contrasts the "genuine philosophical habit of mind," which is at once the possession and the quest for a view, with "that spurious philosophism which shows itself in what, for want of a word, I may call 'viewiness.'" The contrast is between a grasp of things in their ordered intelligibility and what is pejoratively called "knowledgeability," which is a thing of bits and pieces, the property of the famous gentleman who "knew everythingand nothing else." This aspect of the ideal of humanistic education serves more often as the measure of its failure than of its success. In 1953–54 a survey of twenty-one colleges and universities, made for the Fund for the Advancement of Education, discovered that the "pervasive problem" was the problem of "coherence." The discovery was not new. Long before, Woodrow Wilson had spoken of "the feudal system of learning," in which "there is no common mastery, but everywhere separate baronies of knowledge, where a few strong men rule and many ignorant men are held vassals." My concern, however, is not with the factual state of education but with its ideal. The survey itself acknowledged the ideal in multiple references to the need for synthesis, integration, coherence, a unifying purpose and idea, a design, a synoptic view.
To achieve a view requires a certain comprehensiveness and versatility of intellect, a command over the mind's full range of powers, the faculty of entering with comparative ease into any subject of thought, the active power of insight that prompts one to ask the right questions, a flexibility of intelligence that enables one to assume a variety of viewpoints, the capacity to grasp the relations between things and to throw them into a system. The effort to build a view begins with the profound sense that intelligence is, as Aristotle said it was, capax fieri omnia, a
universally responsive capacity for spiritual identification with, and therefore knowledge of, all that is real. To put it more simply, the quest for a view begins with the awakening of the spirit of wonder that is the root of the desire for understanding.
The spirit of wonder is man's native endowment. What is not an endowment but a most painful acquisition is an understanding of what Wilson called the "constitution of learning." Little success will attend any effort to order one's knowledge, unless one understands what the order of knowledge is and why it is an order. Therefore one must come to understand what understanding is, and what the ways of understanding are, and why there are several, not just one. From another point of view, one must come to understand the virtualities of man's intellectual consciousnesshow they are multiple, not single. In a metaphor, one must understand that truth is not a ranch-style structure, all on one level, with a single door of entry, but a many-storied edifice through which one ascends by those different modes of access which are the variant methodologies of inquiry. To say all this is, of course, to raise a whole spectrum of philosophical issues. They are precisely the issues that must be raised in the course of a humanistic education, because its aim is to put the student in the way of building a view of reality. The essential humanist refusal is to diminish the range of man's intelligence and thus contract the dimensions of reality.
I am implying, of course, that the subject matter of a humanistic education is the whole of reality, or, if you will, all truth, in its unity and in all the inner differentiations within its unity. Out of this implication a multitude of educational problems arise which cannot be touched here. I must, however, note that within the tradition of humanistic education the canon for the inclusion or exclusion of this or that subject matter or field of study was never considered to be relevance. The canon is too vague to serve as a heuristic principle. Relevance to whom? Why? When? Under what circumstances? How? And what precisely does relevance mean? The issue of relevance is best left to be solved ambulando. One must wait to discover by experience the uses of what one knows and the consequences of ignorance. The humanist is not greatly disposed to argue the issue of relevance. Not being a pedant, he is prepared to agree with Whitehead that all education is and ought to be useful, in the sense that all understanding is useful.
The tradition of humanistic education has never regarded the stu-
dent as a naked intelligence inhabiting a world of concepts and propositions, in which the only issues are truth and error, certitude and probability, adequacy or inadequacy of formulation, logic or fallacy in argument. The student's attention was directed to the real world as it is, a world of good and evil, beauty and ugliness, order and disorder, in which man is called upon not only to think but also to actto do things and make things. The aim, therefore, was to cultivate a power of moral judgment and the esthetic sense that is called taste. Newman has the phrase for this aim: "the instinctive just estimate of things as they pass before us." The estimate, whether moral or esthetic, is instinctive, but only because the sense of right and wrong, of the beautiful and the ugly, has been subjected to rigorous discipline and refined by the further necessary tutelage of experience. The estimate is just, because it is not merely visceral; valid reasons can be adduced for it, if need be. The right word here might be "appreciation," the capacity to set a just value on what presents itself, not only in the intellectual order of thought but in the practical orders of doing and making. The power of evaluation supposes the possession of a set of values, anchored in the order of reality and ordered in proper hierarchy. Humanistic education, therefore, has looked to the development of a set of values, moral and esthetic.
Finally, the tradition has considered that humanistic education should somehow instill what Whitehead called "the most austere of all mental qualities," the sense for style. In the well-known passage in his Presidential Address to the Mathematical Association of England in 1916, he spoke of the sense of style as "the ultimate morality of mind" and also the final utility of education. "It is," he said, "an aesthetic sense, based on admiration for the direct attainment of a foreseen end, simply and without waste." In all the affairs of men, certainly in all the affairs of intelligence, blindness or lack of focus with regard to the end in view, round-aboutness and muddle and wastage of effort in pursuit of the end assume somewhat the character of hamartia, sin. Where they are found, something essential is "missing" (the root meaning of hamartia), and the privation is a manner of evil. "Style," Whitehead concludes, "is the last acquirement of the educated mind; it is also the most useful. It pervades the whole being." Style is not, indeed, wisdom, which remains the highest of the intellectual virtues. Style is, however, a quality of wisdom as of the four other intellectual virtues knowledge and understanding, art and prudence.
The foregoing may do as a highly condensed and generalized summary of the four traditional aims of humanistic educationdiction, a view, values, and style. I maintain that this ideal, in its fourfold structure, will be as valid in the future as it has been in the past. The only objection to the ideal is that it may be impossible of attainment in the course of "what goes on in schools and colleges." The objection is irrelevant. The ideal always lay beyond reach; but one became an educated man in the process of reaching for it.
The whole issue, however, is not thus easily disposed of. There is some substance to the talk about the new epoch of history and the new man. Moreover, I happen to be a conservative who believes in innovation, as true conservatives must, lest in the end they find themselves with nothing worth conserving. Therefore, I further maintain that the educational tradition, in order to be true to itself, must undergo that organic process of change which is known as "growth." It only remains to know what the dynamism of growth is, what directions the progress in the tradition should take, and what new forms the development should show forth.
In the realm of doctrine or theory the dynamism of development is readily identified. It is the change of perspective that is brought about by the asking of either a new question, or of an old question in a new mode of statement or with a new note of urgency. The classical theological instance is Nicaea. The new question asked by Arius altered the perspective in which the writings of the New Testament had viewed the Logos-Son. The New Testament question was asked in intersubjective categories, I and Thou, and formally raised the issue of presence and function: Art thou the Christthe Lord-with-us, the Savior-of-us? The Arian question was asked in ontological categories and formally raised the issue of being and nature: Is the Son God or Creature? The Nicene answer, given in the famous homoousion, affirmed the scriptural doctrine but in the new perspective. Thus it was a development, a growth in understanding. Another theological instance confronts us today, as the polemical question (Who has the one true faithCatholic, Protestant, Orthodox?) gives place to the ecumenical question (How shall Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox move together toward unity in the true faith?). A change of perspective has occurred which affects almost every single theological issue and will surely result in an enrichment of the Christian tradition.
The same dynamism of development has operated in the field of
political theory. There has been in the West a political tradition, a tradition of growth in the understanding and practice of politics. Its growth has been occasioned by changes of perspective; these in turn occurred as new questions arose, or, more exactly, as one or other essential political question took precedence over others; and this in turn happened in consequence of the changing experiences of particular cultures in different periods of history. For classical antiquity the political question was justice; for medieval times it was the political relationship, its origins and limitsthat is, the question of authority; for modern times it was the freedom of the individual citizen. In our own times, as Hans Morgenthau tirelessly points out, the political question is power and the struggle for power. The experience of totalitarianism has raised the questionthat is, given primacy to it. And its primacy creates a new perspective within which the Western political tradition is given an opportunity for new growth in the understanding of itself.
The same complex of factorsnew experience, new question, new perspective on an old problemcould furnish the dynamism for organic developments in the tradition of humanistic education. The new experience is easily identified; it prompts all the talk about the new age and the new man. It is the scientific experience, using the term in its broadest meaning. The new educational question, however, has not yet been formulated with clarity. A confused argument is, indeed, going on, but it seems to be hardly more that a reverberating echo of the seventeenth-century quarrel between the "ancients" and the "moderns," which was satirized by Jonathan Swift in The Battle of the Books. In Swift's version, which has the truth of caricature, the quarrel concerned occupancy of the higher and larger of the two tops of the Parnassus. Traditionally, it had belonged to the ancients; the Moderns coveted it. Hence they sent the demand, "either that the ancients would remove themselves and their effects down to the lower summit, which the moderns would graciously surrender to them, and advance in their place; or else the said ancients will give leave to the moderns to come with shovels and mattocks, and level the said hill as low as they shall think it convenient."
The same issue seems to appear in today's battle of the books, when the state of the question is conceived to be science versus the humanities. This conception of the issue releases only a sectarian quarrel, not a useful argument. The state of the question is altered when the
positivist philosophers of science join the fray, as they enthusiastically do. (For the most part, scientists themselves are above the battle, or possibly beneath it; generally they want to get on with their work in the laboratory or at the desk, and not be bothered about education.) The positivist or pragmatist takes up the position that there are not two tops to Parnassusthe hill of true and certain knowledgebut only one, and now it is securely occupied by science. The humanities can make no valid cognitive claims for themselves; all such claims must be submitted to the test of scientific verification. In its extreme form, the position seems to assert that there is no Parnassus at all, but only a way of climbing itthat is, there is no definitive and universal truth, but only a method for its endless pursuit.
There are, moreover, those who attempt to reconcile the contending parties by saying that science deals with "facts," whereas the humanities deal with "values," and therefore there should be no quarrel. This position, of course, stultifies the humanist and makes the scientist quite rightly mad. His rejoinder is that science today is not value-free, that it is itself a value, and that it creates values for society as for the individual. The contention is true enough, but, so far from advancing the argument, it disguises or further confuses the real issue. And the confusion is worse confounded when the humanities are reduced to literature and the fine arts, under exclusion of philosophy, on the ground as Douglas Bush has pointed out, that "modern philosophy seems to be suspended somewhere between linguistics and mathematics," both of which, incidentally, are now considered to be scientific disciplines. Thus the old battle of the books, which was at least serious and even sprightly in its day, runs drearily down to the level of the trivial and nugatory, the partisan and the passionate.
The result is lamentable, because an issue of the highest importance lies somewhere buried beneath all the misstatements, confusions, and sectarianisms. If the issue could be unearthed and defined, we might come close to understanding the schism in the soul of our civilization which began to open sometime in the quattrocento and has been widening ever sincein more recent times, in consequence of the scientific experience. The issue, I suspect, is multifaceted; and it is by no means easy to define it in any of its facets. In so far as it is philosophical, it clearly involves a theory of knowledge and knowing. What is at stake is a metaphysics of cognitionthe question of the dynamic structure of intelligence itself and of the processes whereby intellectual conscious-
ness moves from the moment of wonder to the moment of attainment of truth. Consequently at stake is an ontologythe question of the structure of the real and its isomorphism with the structure of intelligence. Finally at stake is an epistemologythe question of the criterion whereby to test the validity of insight and the certainty of affirmation.
If one could arrive at a view on these related questions, one would understand the meaning of the verb "to know" and of the correlative verb "to be," when there is a question of Aquinas, Aristotle, Lock, Spinoza, Newton, Einstein, Bohr, Gödel, Spengler, Shakespeare, Picasso, Mother Hubbard, and the man in the street, to cite random symbols of the modes of knowing: theological, philosophical, scientific, mathematical, historical, artistic, common-sensical. Here, I suggest, is the broad area in which the true lines of the philosophical battle of the books are to be drawn.
I do not think that this battle, which is only an engagement in a larger war, can be fought to conclusion in the course of "what goes on in our schools and colleges." (I really should not use the military image. The issue is a schism in the soul of civilization. And in a case of spiritual schism an image from the world of medicine, "healing," or from the higher world of religion, "conversion," would be more apt.) What, then, can education undertake to do, in response to today's dominant experience? What might be the directions and the forms of progress? Some few suggestions can be offered with regard to ways in which the four traditional aims of education may be enlarged and also brought to new focus.
A new issue of diction has arisen. If the Faustian man has arrived on the scene, it is important that the humanist should be able to talk to him. This means that his language must be learned. I do not mean his jargon, but his nonverbal language, which is mathematics, and his logic, which is the special logic of the scientific method of inquiry. As Ernest Nagel said, "To accept the conclusions of science without a thorough familiarity with its method of warranting them is to remain ignorant of the critical spirit that is the life of science." No educated man today can afford this ignorance. There is, moreover, the need to obviate the danger to which Margaret Mead has called attention, the danger of developing, as other civilizations before us have developed, "special esoteric groups," whose members can communicate only with one another. This development she says, is "schismogenic," self-perpetu-
ating and self-aggravating. Again, if it be true that these esoteric groups, in combination, are fashioning a new age of man, the humanist cannot afford to be left out of their conversation. Its subject matter is his ownman and the world of men. Moreover, the scientific conversation is political in some Greek sense, as the scientific enterprise is a public enterprise. Scientists frequently flaunt the latter fact (though some of them made the disastrous mistake of supposing that humanism, like religion, is a purely private matter). The conversation ought, therefore, to be somehow open to the public. Furthermore, since the scientists are talking, not just about themselves and about what they are doing, but about the future of man, their conversation is of universal import. We the People should know what they are saying and what they are up to. There is, therefore, the problem of translation downward, so to speak, from the world of expertise to the world in which the rest of us live. The humanist, the man of diction, who is in command of all the forms of literary art, from the learned essay to the light theater-piece, and who is also the "good man speaking skillfully," should somehow let us know what is in store for usin some more responsible ways than by scary stories of unsafe fail-safe systems.
Finally, there is the problem of diction as it touches the scientist himself. Privately, he may, indeed, be dealing with the ineffable, with what can be communicated only in nonverbal symbols. The ineffable is, however, useless to the political man, who lives in a world whose motive power is chiefly the power of speech. If, therefore, science is relevant to political man, as science says it is, the scientist must somehow learn intelligibly to use his tongue. Above all, he is not permitted to ascend to the arrogance of saying, as he sometimes does, "You would not understand." The rest of us would be tempted to the quick retort: "The trouble is that you do not understand what understanding is." We know today the scientific fact, verified in experiment, that a child of ten can be brought to understand almost anything if the teacher understands not only his subject but also the nature and process of understanding in any subject. Incidentally, the arrogant statement and the just retort embody an implicit statement of an aspect of our current cultural schism. Part of the trouble does seem to be that Science understands science, but it does not understand understanding.
In what concerns the second aim of educationthe quest of a view of realitythe new perspective derivative from the scientific experiences makes possible a development. The central reality of which tradi-
tional humanism sought to fashion a view was man, taking "man" to mean "I-with-the-others-in-the-world," that is, the person, society, and the human environment in both its cosmic and in its humanly created aspects. In an older humanism man was simply the subject who undertook the inquiry. He was Ulysses, setting out "to gain experience of the world and of the vices and worth of men," pressing onward even into the "unpeopled world to be discovered by following the sun," and still further daring to pursue his quest into the transcendent world where God dwells in inaccessible light. Moreover, he had at his disposal, as his tool of research, only his intelligence, tutored in the logic of philosophical inquiry, stored with knowledge of what men had thought and said, made and done. Finally, what aroused his wonder was simply the world of common human experience; this was the world of which he had to render an account, in all the aspects of it that progressively aroused his curiosity. In our day, however, man is no longer simply the inquiring subject; he is also the object of inquiry. The inquiry is objective, skeptical, professionally neutral. And man has at his disposal, as tools of research, whole batteries of scientific instruments, new kinds of mathematics, new techniques of statistical estimate and so on. Finally, these new artificial hands, so to speak, have made accessible to man a whole new world of experience, the special experience, unknown to the old humanist, which is called "scientific."
The instant question is: What has science found out about man? The detailed and unfolding answer to this question needs to be made the common property of all educated men and women today. Therefore, as part of its aim to put the student in the way of acquiring a view of reality, humanistic education needs to develop what Robert J. Henle, S.J., calls a "program of cultural assimilation of science." It is not simply that the student must be exposed to the scientific experience by serious study of the scientific disciplines, to some depth at least in one or the other of them. It is a matter of conveying to the studentsto adapt Henle's termsthe scientific "story" of the cosmos and the scientific "picture" of man in the cosmos, in so far as the story and the picture can presently be constructed out of the certified findings of all the sciences, from genetics to geopolitics. We know today how important the body-image is to the individual, how panic ensues when it is lostin the course, for instance, of controlled experiments in the limited environment, so called. This body-image is largely an affair of the un-
conscious. For his own spiritual security man also needs a conscious image of himself and his worldthe kind of image that every age has needed to construct for itself, if only by recourse to myth and fantasy. Science can now construct this image with a relative measure of factual accuracy. And the rest of us ought to know what it is; it belongs, as it were, to us, as a man's body-image is part of himself.
If the scientific view of man and his world were to become the common intellectual possession of scientist and humanist, expert and non-expert, some small step would have been taken toward the integration of science and humanism in our culture. There is, however, a more compelling reason why this effort at the cultural assimilation of science is imperative in education. Unless the student comes to know the scientific story of the world and the scientific picture of man (together, as I said, with a firm grasp of the method whereby the story was put together and the picture drawn, and thus of the level of explanation on which the picture and the story have their validity), he cannot intelligently get on toward his higher aim, which is the building of a view of all reality. That is to say, he cannot grapple with the question of whether the scientific perspective is the only perspective within which the truth about man comes into view; whether the scientific view is therefore the total view; or whether it is open to completion by inclusion within a wider framework of systematic understanding whose architecture is designed by philosophy and theology.
This question pertains to the pervasive issue with which humanistic education must continually concern itselfthe spiritual and intellectual schism in our culture. I state the issue in the first instance as that of openness, in a reciprocal sense. Is the scientific story and picture of man open to, or closed against, the story and the picture which, in different ways, philosophy and theology have to tell or draw, and does this openness also reveal itself from the standpoint of philosophy and theology? Christian theology begins in biblical "recital-theology," so called, a telling of the story of the world and manthe story of creation and redemptionand a foretelling of the way in which the story will come out. Christian theology goes on to systematize the content and meaning of the story in the form of doctrine, which, in synthesis with such propositions about man and the world as philosophy may certify, presents a picture of man-in-his-world. There are, therefore, two stories and two pictures. How are they related? Does one cancel the other or complete the other? Is man to acquiesce in an irre-
ducibly dualistic view of himself? Or is he to reduce the dualism to some sort of monism? Or can he account for the difference of views, render intelligible the diversity of perspectives, and compose the views into one, under respect for the respective character of the explanatory value of each? Here, I suggest, is a stimulating new focus for the second traditional aim of education. (I am supposing, of course, that theology will gradually find place in the higher education of the future.)
The third aim is the cultivation of the capacity to make valid judgments both of worth and of utility. Here the new focus would concern such judgments as they bear on science and technology, in themselves, and in their relation to other areas of intellectual achievement and moral aspiration. The sciences today present themselves for judgment in a variety of ways. They are systems of true statements, in the scientific sense of truth, which are conclusions of controlled investigation; these systems are part of the public knowledge. The sciences are disciplines that employ a distinctive logic of inquiry, by whose canons and criteria they evaluate claims to knowledge. They are disciplines whose pursuit forms the mind and imparts to it a special quality and a characteristic bent. They are sets of techniques whose import is pragmatic, in that they make it possible to manipulate, regulate, impart chosen directions to the energies of the cosmos and of man himself, and also to manage the course of events. They are collectively a massive enterprise within the liberal society, which profoundly affects its ethos and the whole moral as well as material conditions of man. In their ensemble they constitute a revelation of the spirit of man, a manifestation of his power over his own history and nature. In all these aspects science presents itself for value-judgment with regard to both its worth and its utility. Therefore, it becomes an aim of humanistic education to see that the student is equipped to pass this multiple judgment with discriminating nicety, in the light of both fact and rational standards.
The educated man is not permitted to be contemptuous of science, as if it were all an affair of "atoms and the void." Conversely, he will not permit himself to be seduced by science, as if it were the contemporary golden bull, symbol of divinity. In particular, he will stand against the temptation inherent in the contemporary climate, which is to be intimidated by science, as if it were Doctor Faustus.
Nothing need be added, I think, about the sense of style. White-
head may or may not have been wholly right when he said, "Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them." In any case, style is what you don't think about when in action, on penalty of awkwardness. Similarly, style is what you don't talk about when discoursing on education, on penalty of superfluity. In a true sense, style is not really an aim of education but a result. Aims need to be defined; but one must simply wait for results.