Successfully Combining the Humanities and Natural Science: The Case of Stephen Jay Gould

By David Prindle.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Until his death in 2002, Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould was an outstanding example of a person who could successfully combine natural science and the humanities. Indeed, he devoted his presidential address to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2000 to the advocacy of their combination. My paper is an analysis of the strategy he used. I discuss Gould's rhetorical style, his political ideas, his methodological assumptions, and his values. My conclusion is that his example suggests that combining natural science and the humanities is not as difficult a task as we might have believed. Principally, it requires will; that is, the person involved must believe that the combination is possible, and be willing to spend time learning about other disciplines.

Keywords: Natural Science, Humanities

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 8, pp.133-140. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 514.622KB).

Prof. David Prindle

Professor, Government Department, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA

My most recent book is THE PARADOX OF DEMOCRATIC CAPITALISM: POLITICS AND ECONOMICS IN AMERICAN THOUGHT, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2006. I am currently working on a book about Stephen Jay Gould, late Harvard paleontologist, as a person who embodies the intersection of biological and political thought.

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