Especialização excessiva e as crises
Com a crescente especialização das actividades profissionais e dos "estudos superiores", assiste-se a um fenómeno crescente - e preocupante - da falta de conhecimento de matérias básicas e importantes de outras áreas científicas, que acaba por influir, negativamente, no desempenho profissional e na integridade cultural dos cidadãos.
Trata-se, no fundo, de uma potencial castração da "Weltanschauung", com prejuízo para o desenvolvimento das civilizações, da política, da justiça, da democracia e da cidadania.
Os académicos, os legisladores, os governantes, os juízes, os cidadãos em geral, necessitam possuir uma formação cultural suficientemente abrangente e diversificada, de modo a poderem compreender melhor o mundo em que vivem e actuam - conditio sine qua non do progresso -.
Relacionado com este tema, pode ler-se um artigo de opinião interessante no New York Times, aqui, do qual se transcreve a passagem que segue:
«In his recent sermon to humanists, “Science Is Not Your Enemy,” the psychologist Steven Pinker makes an impressive plea for humanists to pay more attention to science and urges them to an interdisciplinary approach that he thinks has been sadly lacking. His general point is surely right: specialists in any area are likely to benefit from acquaintance with relevant work beyond their disciplinary boundaries. But it seems to me that Pinker mistakes his audience. On this issue, it’s humanists who are the choir and scientists who need a call to grace.
Consider my home discipline of philosophy. Pinker himself mentions the strong recent connections of philosophy of mind to cognitive science and neuroscience. What he doesn’t note is that philosophers of mind — David Chalmers is a striking example — who work in cognitive science are typically highly trained in that discipline. Few cognitive scientists and neuroscientists have comparably strong backgrounds in philosophy of mind. As I’ve argued in previous Stone columns, this is a major disadvantage when scientists try, as they often do, to interpret the bearing of their results on philosophical issues such as free will and happiness.
Similarly, epistemologists like Stephen Stich, Philip Kitcher and Hilary Kornblith have integrated empirical psychological studies of cognition and error into their work on “naturalized epistemology.” Likewise, experimental philosophers interested in areas like epistemology, philosophy of mind and ethics have employed the survey methods of the social sciences to enrich their philosophical reflections.
The disparity between philosophers’ knowledge of science and scientists’ knowledge of philosophy is even greater in the areas of philosophy of physics and philosophy of biology. (...)»