The Hedgehog, The Fox, And The Magister's Pox Analysis

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If someone were to question the relationship between the fields of science and the humanities, a common answer would probably be that the two could not be farther apart. After all, while the former focuses on reason and what is observable, the latter abandons these principles for introspectiveness, and what we cannot observe. Yet, the gap that divides the two schools of thought is unnecessary. While society upholds science as the dominant method of inquiry, it could not survive without the humanities, and vice versa. In fact, their relationship is similar to that of a mutualistic symbiotic one. In his book, “The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister’s Pox”, Stephen Jay Gould presents an argument as to how the two split,
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This perceived split among intellectuals at the time, either discovering or recovering information was one of the origins of the much larger split of science and the humanities. However, this is also where we reach an even greater explanation for the divide: dichotomy. From the earliest forms of recorded history, Gould notes, philosophers have seen our instinct to place issues between two differing camps (2003, p. 81). A quote from Laertius reveals this belief as well: “There are two sides to every question, each exactly opposite to the other”. As his discussion progresses, Gould proceeds to tear apart the idea of dichotomy, seeing it as a destructive process that only inhibits new knowledge. Not only is it destructive, but also false. In his main argument, he shows the four main eras of these dangerous dichotomies, beginning with the clash of the “Ancients” and “Moderns”. This “clash” was not against science and the humanities, however, but rather a matter of literary style. Gould quotes Encyclopaedia Britannica to prove his point: “The “ancients” maintained that classical literature of Greece and Rome offered the only models for literary excellence; the “moderns” challenged the supremacy of the classical writers” (Gould,

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