Science and Value

Professor L. J. Russell

In previous articles I have been concerned with various aspects of science; and I have now to endeavour to look at scientific activity as a whole, and to view it in its relation to other activities of man. I have been trying to avoid those pleasant sweeping generalizations which strike the imagination and which are so easy to write and to read about: such as that science is our only avenue to truth; or that science is abstract and tells us nothing about the concrete nature of things; or that knowledge of particular facts is the object of science, generalizations being merely a means thereto; or that generalizations are the object of science, investigation of particular facts being merely a means thereto; all of which can be defended by a rich array of arguments, none of which can finally stand confrontation with the actual nature of scientific activity as a whole. The situation seems to be much more complicated than any such generalizations would suggest.