[lit-ideas] observations on studies

  • From: "William Ball" <ballnw@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Lit Ideas" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2004 18:08:42 -0400

Delia wrote to Judy:
 

"I don't know if I'll have a chance to get back to this particular
point,

Judy, but it's unbelievable what a laugh and a draining of any content
is

done to science. I'll say only that if the study of politics is
*science*

then so is...how is it called... astrology or palm reading.

 

Best,

Delia"

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
----

 

Most studies tend, it seems to me, to aspire to the status of "science,"
i.e.,  knowing in the fullest sense, to be able to present demonstrable
proofs. Hence the "Behavioral Sciences," e.g., psychology, sociology,
and  departments of Education in the U.S. (as  though it were the only
group in the institution to offer learning), aspire to demonstrable
proofs with a plethora of statistics, damn lies Harry Truman called
them, and a language difficult to acquire..

 

It's surety we're after, I should think, something really scientific,
like mathematics, which is why music--harmonics really-- is an
arithmetic liberal art. It possibly may be why all art aspires to music:
mathematical and certainly demonstrable.

 

I should call Politics the study of the art of governing, or as
Aristotle might say a practical study, along with ethics and economics,
as different from theoretical studies such as math, or chemistry, or
archeology. His productive knowledge is another matter.

 

Astrology and palm reading would come more under the category of applied
psychology, magic, or sleight of mind.

 

A Politikos is a student of Politeia, the latter of which is
"constitution,"

a study of the character of a demos, a nation. Ipse dixit.

 

As for a Statesman, that's what Harry Truman called a politician who's
been dead fifteen years. And he is, or was, living proof.

 

 

 

William Ball

Jaffrey, N. H.

 


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