Skip to comments.An Ill For Every Pill
Posted on 03/05/2008 7:33:12 AM PST by ventanax5
once had a conversation with an eminent professor, of great and even intimidating erudition (though, of course, erudition is not quite the same thing as talent), about the degree of mans self-understanding. I maintained that it had not increased in any fundamental way, notwithstanding our startling technological progress, and that, in this respect, the neurosciences were greatly oversold, as in the past physiognomy, phrenology, social Darwinism and other doctrines had been oversold.
This was not to deny, of course, the very real achievements of science, but for the great majority of the time, and for the great majority of people, they were peripheral to the central issues and problems of human existence. As for Darwinian explanations of human conduct, they seemed to me of very limited use and power of illumination. Darwinians could always, often with great and admirable ingenuity, fit anything that actually happened into their explanatory schema, ex post facto; but as to giving us a guide as to how to conduct ourselves in the future, they were practically useless. At the most, theoretical Darwinism might tell us the limits of the possible in human conduct, but in fact most of these limits were already pretty well-known to people of common sense (who may, of course, be not all that common).
(Excerpt) Read more at newenglishreview.org ...
I really want to post a better reply, but my Prozac hasn’t kicked in yet so I’ll just do a brief synopsys(sp?). This is drivel. Nicely written, though.
It rings true from my own experience. Culturally, we’ve lost sight of the fact that life isn’t endlessly stimulating, rewarding, and interesting. A significant degree of boredom and what’s called depression is just a reflection of a life lived without direction or purpose.
But purpose doesn’t come in pill form, we have to find it for ourselves.