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Ekkehard Friebe Ekkehard Friebe ist männlich

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The Synthesis of Art and Science

Copyright ? Walter Babin


The purpose of this paper is to establish an ontological basis for the synthesis of the arts and sciences. The archetypal forces that are active in both endeavors are identified and recognized as universal. In this respect, it is necessary to show that the laws involved in the operation of mind are same as those of matter. It may be said that such a vast subject is too great for the words used to describe it, and this is probably the case. While not exhaustive, it is hoped that this effort will provide a solid platform for future development in the field.


There is probably nothing more obvious in this world than the dual presence of the qualitative and quantitative. Yet we find even in the earliest stages of philosophy that one is invariably given precedence over the other. Precisely the same statement can be made with respect to the dichotomy between mind and matter. Whether we begin with Plato and Aristotle or the teachings of their antecedents, we will find an eternal recurrence of these themes. In the philosophy of Descartes, mind is dominant: ?I think, therefore I am?. This is followed centuries later in Sartre's statement of the opposing view: ?Existence precedes essence?. It is quite possible that this dichotomy is implicit in all philosophies. As examples, we find a substantive granularity in Atomism and repeated echoes of the immaterial, such as in Bergson?s ?lan vital?

The need to establish precedence of one or the other position is apparent in all epochs and in all philosophies. In the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the religious philosophers of the middle ages, we find the invariable statement, ?God is good? but given His omniscience, they are forced to either deny the existence of evil or recognize it as an attribute. John Stuart Mills? philosophy of Utilitarianism dispenses with God, but in his dictum, ?The greatest good for the greatest number,? he is paradoxically forced to recognize the existence of evil for the few who suffer for the greater good of the many.

We can see in these examples that the precedence of one view will inevitably lead to the exclusion of its opposite by a logical progression of thought. But when the attempt is made to encompass the whole of existence, each is forced to acknowledge the ineluctable presence of the other. One might easily dismiss the selection of a particular belief as due to the personal bias of the philosopher, but this is not the case. As a rule, it is the expression of a general world view or the harbinger of an imminent and universal change in social attitude. Also, an historical analysis would confirm that changes in attitude are usually sudden, antithetical ? and recurrent. For example, consider the materialistic and utilitarian example of the Roman empire and the subsequent domination of the church; the flowering of the arts during the Renaissance and that of the sciences in later generations. In the nineteenth century, a rigid determinism was superceded by a subjective, probabilistic, and relativistic shift in the twentieth.

Finally, all philosophies must be relegated to the category of partial truths for the following reason: In order to effect any synthesis or generalization, it is obvious that all opposites must be included. Furthermore, since it is impossible to show the exclusive verity of one over its antithesis, they must both be given equal status. With that said, we will begin with the words of Spinoza: ??the order and connection of ideas is the same as the order and connection of things?.


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