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Customer Review

on July 20, 2003
This book is a superb exposition of the deep flaws in the scientific method which has influenced everyone's lives and the scoiety we live in so profoundly. The logic of Decartes in particular is shown to be seriously fragmented, and moreover at odds with science's latest efforts to understand whole systems, like ecology, or the weather, or even economics. As a matter of fact, man is a whole system so in Schumacher's view Cartesian logic is also flawed in it's approach to life, conciousness and self-awareness, the very properties that bring great breakthroughs in science.
The reason why this book is so revolutionary in my opinion is because, along with the author's previous book, Small is Beautiful, it states the case for drastically reworking the whole of human society.

The modern-day confusion of life, which seems to state that the only reason for existence is to be a consumer within a global capitalist state, raises many problems of self-importance, what is the individual's worth or role in such an scenario? Of course God can't exist in such a scheme because Science can't reduce religion to analysable parts. Human evolution must be an accident because Science can't derive the formula to create life artificially....
This not to say that Schumacher is claiming that the Christian God did all this and he can prove it, he merely suggests that science in itself cannot decide the truth of these things, certainly not if it is based only on objective logic.
Schumacher does address these questions in a quasi-religous sense, but also makes the important point that logic or reasoning without intuition or self-knowledge is worthless, because your reason will declare your own self worthless, or some sort of random accident.
What seems like an attempt to trash science is in fact more like a caution to be careful, and the introduction of Levels of Existence or Being are in fact an attempt to classify scientifically those phenomena that are so often ignored by traditional science.
What Schumacher takes on is a mighty task, essentially a blueprint for a new approach to science, and within that framework new paradigms for economics and religion. Despite a few flaws, he still succeeds in creating a visionary foundation.
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