After such knowledge, what forgiveness? With care and erudition Bronowski argues that scientific endeavour is an essentially creative act, part of a great shared human interest in ourselves and the world around us; and, routinely, a process of trial and error, the end of which cannot be preordained.
Dr Bronowski’s rare grasp not only of science, but also of its historical and social context, gives him great advantages as an historian of ideas. It is a book which gives us anew perspective not just on science, but on civilisation.
Arguing that in order to understand human knowledge we must first grasp the means by which it is acquired, Bronowski traces the evolutionary stages of the cognitive and linguistic capacities peculiar to man. He treats science as a special kind of language and develops a series of striking and original theses about the scope and limitations of scientific knowledge. He demonstrates the ways in which any scientific theory mirrors reality and analyzes the role of imagination and metaphor in scientific discovery.
Bronowski’s reflections on human understanding are those of a man who spent a lifetime thinking about man and science. The ideas set forth in this volume enrich us with fresh insight into the importance of imagination in philosophy and science as well as in the literary and visual arts.