Scientists Are Rediscovering What Humanists Have Always Known

David Brooks makes the argument that the Enlightenment view of human nature has taken scientists and government policymakers down a number of blind alleys by focusing on human rationality and ignoring or downgrading the role of moral sentiments in animating human behavior. He is describing, in fact, what humanists and professors of great literature have always known: that by bracketing out the “unmeasurable” elements of human thought and behavior science misses, or even willfully ignores, the most interesting and fundamental dimensions of humanity. This moral “blindness” of rationalism is, in fact, the stuff of tragedy.

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