Arnold tells us that the meaning of culture is to know the best that has been thought and said in the world. Science and Culture by T. Wilson — to whom much credit is due for being one of the first, as I can say from my own knowledge, to take up this question and work it into practical shape. There is no need, however, that such a catastrophe should happen. The relationship between and would be adopted and elaborated over the following years by in London, and by , the Professor of Comparative Anatomy at the in Jena, Germany.
The notions of the beginning and the end of the world entertained by our forefathers are no longer credible. All that is being rapidly altered, and I hope it will soon become a thing of the past. His three rationalist grandsons were Sir , a biologist, novelist , and , co-winner of a 1963 Nobel Prize. But I should be very sorry that anything I have said should be taken to imply a desire on my part to depreciate the value of classical education, as it might be and as it sometimes is. Suppose it were perfectly certain that the life and fortune of every one of us would, one day or other, depend upon his winning or losing a game of chess.
Additional accounts of the debate are given in the book. He did not fight alone. The new learning necessarily soon exerted a profound influence upon education. Leaving aside the existence of a great and characteristically modern literature, of modern painting, and, especially, of modern music, there is one feature of the present state of the civilised world which separates it more widely from the Renascence, than the Renascence was separated from the middle ages. In the last century, the combatants were the champions of ancient literature on the one side, and those of modern literature on the other; but, some thirty years ago, the contest became complicated by the appearance of a third army, ranged round the banner of Physical Science.
For these two years I have been gravitating towards your doctrines, and since the publication of your primula paper with accelerated velocity. I know no study which is so unutterably saddening as that of the evolution of humanity, as it is set forth in the annals of history. His appeal, summarized, is this: I wont try to reason you out of your opposition to scientific education. French and German, and especially the latter language, are absolutely indispensable to those who desire full knowledge in any department of science. This distinctive character of our own times lies in the vast and constantly increasing part which is played by natural knowledge.
Almost all the processes employed in the arts and manufactures fall within the range either of physics or of chemistry. We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, checks and wire transfer. Six years ago, as some of my present hearers may remember, I had the privilege of addressing a large assemblage of the inhabitants of this city, who had gathered together to do honour to the memory of their famous townsman, Joseph Priestley ; and, if any satis- faction attaches to posthumous glory, we may hope that the manes of the burnt-out philosopher were then finally appeased. Mathematics may be compared to a mill of exquisite workmanship, which grinds you stuff of any degree of fineness; but, nevertheless, what you get out depends upon what you put in; and as the grandest mill in the world will not extract wheat-flour from peascods, so pages of formulae will not get a definite result out of loose data. Thus by clear definition, and by reasoning based on the historic facts, Huxley drives home his conclusion with telling power. From the 1880s onward, Huxley published less about science and more about philosophy and theology. Finally, I would add instruction in either music or painting, or, if the child should be so unhappy, as sometimes happens, as to have no faculty for either of those, and no possibility of doing anything in any artistic sense with them, then I would see what could be done with literature alone; but I would provide, in the fullest sense, for the development of the aesthetic side of the mind.
While Huxley privately discussed his initial reservations about aspects of the theory, publicly Huxley championed the theory of. With that outfit, such as it might be made in the time given to education which is within the reach of nine-tenths of the population — with that outfit, an Englishman, within the limits of English life, is fitted to go anywhere, to occupy the highest positions, to fill the highest offices of the State, and to become distinguished in practical pursuits, in science, or in art. I should say that an army, without weapons of precision and with no particular base of operations, might more hopefully enter upon a campaign on the Rhine, than a man, devoid of a knowledge of what physical science has done in the last century, upon a criticism of life. If the educational time at our disposition were sufficient, there are one or two things I would add to those I have just now called the essentials; and perhaps you will be surprised to hear, though I hope you will not, that I should add, not more science, but one, or, if possible, two languages. At that time, in fact, if any one desired knowledge beyond such as could be obtained by his own observation, or by common conversation, his first necessity was to learn the Latin language, inasmuch as all the higher knowledge of the western world was contained in works written in that language.
Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land, to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions. When I accepted the invitation to be here this evening, your secretary was good enough to send me the addresses which have been given by distinguished persons who have previously occupied this chair. On the one hand, they have been pooh-poohed by the men of business who pride themselves on being the representatives of practicality; while, on the other hand, they have been excommunicated by the classical scholars, in their capacity of Levites in charge of the ark of culture and monopolists of liberal education. I will not dwell at any length upon the first point, because there is a general consensus of opinion as to the nature of the topics which should be chosen. It is even more certain that nature is the expression of a definite order with which nothing interferes, and that the chief business of mankind is to learn that order and govern themselves accordingly.
If I address an audience of persons who are occupied in the same line of work as myself, I can assume that they know a vast deal, and that they can find out the blunders I make. I often wish that this phrase, applied science, had never been invented. An exclusively scientific training will bring about a mental twist as surely as an exclusively literary training. But the Nemesis of all reformers is finality; and the reformers of education, like those of religion, fell into the profound, however common, error of mistaking the beginning for the end of the work of reformation. The science, the art, the jurisprudence, the chief political and social theories, of the modern world have grown out of Greece and Rome—not by favour of, but in the teeth of, the fundamental teachings of early Christianity, to which science, art, and any serious occupation with the things of this world were alike despicable. In 1859, published On the Origin of Species, which contained his theory of and the evidence for it.
Not only is our daily life shaped by it; not only does the prosperity of millions of men depend upon it, but our whole theory of life has long been influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by the general conceptions of the universe, which have been forced upon us by physical science. And I have never found, in any of these conditions of life, a deficiency of something which was attractive. During this time Huxley continued his self-education in mathematics, German, physics, and physiology. The sum and substance of the whole doctrine was to produce the conviction that the only thing really worth knowing in this world was how to secure that place in a better, which, under certain conditions, the Church promised. Even earlier than the thirteenth century, the development of Moorish civilization in Spain and the great movement of the Crusades had introduced the leaven which, from that day to this, has never ceased to work.
By the early 1870s, Huxley had published numerous works in paleontology. Within these walls the future employer and the future artisan may sojourn together for awhile, and carry, through all their lives, the stamp of the influences then brought to bear upon them. There are a great many people who imagine that elementary teaching might be properly carried out by teachers provided with only elementary knowledge. Because I am face to face with irreparable loss, because I have given back to the source from whence it came, the cause of a great happiness, still retaining through all my life the blessings which have sprung and will spring from that cause, I am to renounce my manhood, and, howling, grovel in bestiality? With his microscope lashed to a table in the chart room, he studied the structure and growth of , hydras, jellyfish, and sea nettles such as the , which decomposed too quickly to be studied anywhere except on the. In order to improve them, one must thoroughly understand them; and no one has a chance of really understanding them, unless he has obtained that mastery of principles and that habit of dealing with facts, which is given by long-continued and well-directed purely scientific training in the physical and the chemical laboratory. I take it that the whole object of education is, in the first place, to train the faculties of the young in such a manner as to give their possessors the best chance of being happy and useful in their generation; and, in the second place, to furnish them with the most important portions of that immense capitalised experience of the human race which we call knowledge of various kinds. Then the Humanists, as they were called, won the day; and the great reform which they effected was of incalculable service to mankind.