Science and Myth

Ehrenzweig makes the following startling claim: “The scientific explanation of the world, particularly through the myth of a compelling causality, is a very direct projection of oral-schizoid phantasy. According to Kelson the law of causality is quite redundant for scientific explanation; it is a remnant of a more primitive explanation by guilt.” But explanation by causality finds its justification in technology, the goal of which is to reproduce observed effects. Domination, exploitation and consumption of the world is then a massive guilt reflex; its origin is in guilt and it produces more. The only comparable critique of science I know is Adorno and Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment. Ehrenzweig goes on to observe that “The lack or the defiance of all guilt feelings characterizes the heroic attitude and distinguishes it from the scientist’s meek submission to inner and outer compulsion.” Blake over Rubens.


Peter Paul Rubens, Prometheus Bound 1611-12

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