The key to the solution of the world crisis we face

Human Affairs 31 (1):21-39 (2021)
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Humanity faces two fundamental problems of learning: learning about the universe, and learning to become civilized. We have solved the first problem, but not the second one, and that puts us in a situation of great danger. Almost all of our global problems have arisen as a result. It has become a matter of extreme urgency to solve the second problem. The key to this is to learn from our solution to the first problem how to solve the second one. This was the basic idea of the 18th century Enlightenment, but in implementing this idea, the Enlightenment blundered. Their mistakes are still built into academia today. In order to le arn how to create a civilized, enlightened world, the key thing we need to do is to cure academia of the structural blunders we have inherited from the Enlightenment. We need to bring about a revolution in science, and in academia more broadly so that the basic aim becomes wisdom, and not just knowledge.

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Nicholas Maxwell
University College London


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