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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Newton's Influence on Society

"And so the three centuries since Newton became a long period of fascination with technique, with machines, and with dreams of the pure order of things. The twentieth century saw the high expression of this as this mechanistic view began to dominate. In many academic areas - psychology and economics, for example - the mechanistic interpretation subjugated insightful thought to the fascination of technique. In philosophy, it brought hopes that rational philosophy could be founded on - constructed from - the elements of logic and later of language. In politics, it brought ideals of controlled, engineered societies; and with these the managed, controlled structures of socialism, communism, and various forms of fascism. In architecture, it brought the austere geometry and clean surfaces of Le Corbusier and the Bauhaus. But in time all these domains sprawled beyond any system built to contain them, and all thought the twentieth century movements based on the mechanistic dreams of pure order broke down."