Natural science, with its standards of experimental rigor, has come to dominate the university, leaving many non-scientific scholars confused about the place of the humanities or social sciences in the academy. But, as Harvey C. Mansfield argues, science remains dependent on non-science, and philosophy remains the cornerstone of any serious education.
Leading neuroscientists believe that we need to junk our everyday understanding of the mind, and that much of philosophy needs to go too. In this essay adapted from his new book ‘The Soul of the World’, Roger Scruton pokes holes in their confidence and proposes another way of understanding who and what we are.
“But suppose that the moral explanation is genuine and sufficient. It would follow that the genetic explanation is trivial. If rational beings are motivated to act in accordance with moral laws regardless of any genetic strategy, then that is sufficient to explain the fact that they do behave in this way.”