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The Scientific Outlook

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The Scientific Outlook
The-scientific-outlook-small
The Scientific Outlook

Author

Bertrand Russell

Date

1931

Subject(s)

Conditioning, Education, Propaganda

ISBN-10

041524997X

The Scientific Outlook is a book written by Bertrand Russell. It was first published in 1931.

Quotes Edit

On behaviourism Edit

"To those who control publicity, credulity is an advantage, while to the individual a power of critical judgment is likely to be beneficial; consequently the State does not aim at producing a scientific habit of mind, except in a small minority of experts, who are well paid, and therefore, as a rule, supporters of the status quo. Among those who are not well paid credulity is more advantageous to the State; consequently children in school are taught what they are told and are punished if they express disbelief. In this way a conditioned reflex is established, leading to a belief in anything said authoritatively by elderly persons of importance. You and I, reader, owe out immunity from spoliation to this beneficent precaution on the part of our respective Governments." - p155 [1]

On the general public and a different kind of education Edit

"In like manner, the scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and women, and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power. Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual, thoughtless, and contended. Of these qualities probably contentment will be considered the most important. In order to produce it, all the researches of psycho-analysis, behaviourism, and biochemistry will be brought into play.

... Almost all will be normal, happy, healthy boys or girls. Their diet will not be left to the caprices of parents, but will be such as the best biochemists recommend. They will spend much time in the open air, and will be given no more book-learning than is absolutely necessary. Upon the temperament so formed, docility will be imposed by the methods of the drill-sergeant, or perhaps by the softer methods employed upon Boy Scouts. All the boys and girls will learn from an early age to be what is called "co-operative", i.e. to do exactly what everybody is doing. Initiative will be discouraged in these children, and insubordination, without being punished, will be scientifically trained out of them." - p251/p252

On the Soviet Union Edit

"The experiment is still in progress, and only a rash man would venture to predict whether it will succeed or fail; the attitude both of friends and enemies towards it has been singularly unscientific. For my part, I am not anxious to appraise the good or evil in the Soviet system, but merely to point out those elements of deliberate planning which make it so far the most complete example of a scientific society. In the first place, all the major factors of production and distribution are controlled by the State; in the second place, all education is designed to stimulate activity in support of the official experiment; in the third place, the State does what it can to substitute its religion for the various traditional beliefs which have existed within the territory of the U.S.S.R.; in the fourth place, literature and the Press are controlled by the Government, and are such as are thought likely to help it in its constructive purposes; in the fifth place, the family, in so far as it represents a loyalty which competes with loyalty to the State, is being gradually weakened; in the sixth place, the Five Year Plan is bending the whole constructive energies of the nation to the realization of a certain economic balance and productive efficiency, by means of which it is hoped that a sufficient degree of material comfort will be secured for everyone." - p170[2]

On the World State and chemical methods of warfare Edit

"The advantages to be derived from an organized world State are great and obvious. There will be, in the first place, security against war and a saving of almost the whole effort and expense now devoted to competitive armaments: there will be, one must suppose, a single highly efficient fighting machine, employing mainly aeroplanes and chemical methods of warfare, which will be quite obviously irresistible, and will therefore not be resisted." - p173[3]

References Edit

Links Edit

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