The essay is half culmination of the previous three, and half retraction of some of my sharper criticisms of scientific epistemology and spirit. Science isn’t all bad, and much that is most criticism-worthy of institutional science today is not science at all but — relative to the spirit of science that informs the creation of scientific methods — anti-science:
The “real scientist” – the man who truly embodies the spirit of science – is not driving down political main-street, correcting everyone who he believes to be wrong about something.
He is more likely to be out in the woods somewhere, documenting the flavor of a fire-ant sting, to satisfy his own curiosity (perhaps after doing some reading to see if someone else had already gone through that pain).
By virtue of his individuality and curiosity, he is also more likely to understand Plato’s Republic, which means that he is more likely to understand himself, others, and what it means to be human.
At the end of the day, the good things we receive from science – as well as the goodness of science itself – are contingent upon this scientific spirit which precedes the method and institutions with which we identify science today.
This spirit is one of “impetuous” curiosity and the desire for a personal connection with the objective and the transcendent, unmediated by a priestly caste of institutionally-ordained experts.
Read the full essay over on Chest.