Reason in Revolt
20 years have passed since the publication of Reason in Revolt. The book has been greeted with enthusiasm not only on the Left, but by scientists and others interested in philosophy and the latest scientific advances. It explains how dialectical materialism, the philosophy of Marx, allows us to study reality, not as a series of unconnected, senseless events or “facts”, but as a dynamic process. More
The achievements of science and technology during the past century are unparalleled in history. They provide the potential for the solution to all the problems faced by the planet, and equally for its total destruction. Allegedly scientific theories are being used to "prove" that criminality is caused, not by social conditions, but by a "criminal gene". Black people are alleged to be disadvantaged, not because of discrimination, but because of their genetic make-up. Of course, such "science" is highly convenient to right-wing politicians intent on ruthlessly cutting welfare.
In the field of theoretical physics and cosmology there is a growing tendency towards mysticism. The "Big Bang" theory of the origin of the universe is being used to justify the existence of a Creator, as in the book of Genesis . For the first time in centuries, science appears to lend credence to religious obscurantism. Yet this is only one side of the story.
A growing number of scientists are becoming discontented with the old outlook. The rapid rise of the theory of Chaos and Complexity is one of the most significant developments in science at the turn of the new millennium. Many of the ideas expressed by this new trend are strikingly similar to the theories of dialectical materialism worked out by Marx and Engels over 150 years ago.
A significant part of the present work is devoted to an exploration of the relationship between Marxist philosophy and the new theories. Will this encounter provide the basis for a new and exciting breakthrough in the methodology of science?
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