“science is what got us where we are.” If that were yournreaction, I should consider the point made, and rest my case.nBut let me be more specific. It was fashionable, for a time, tonask the silly question, “If we can put a man on the moon,nwhy can’t we solve our social problems?” The reason wencannot solve our social problems is precisely the reason wencan put a man on the moon. That is to say, it was ournpragmatism in general and our scientific and technologicalnmentality in particular that made our great material achievementsnpossible. The essence of this mentality is the problem-solvingnapproach. The scientific method isolates problemsnand solves them: it cannot take the broader view, fornanything beyond the immediately demonstrable, testable,nmeasurable, and provable is by definition unscientific.nAmericans are parodies of the scientific mentality: whennanything goes wrong, we fix it, and do not take into accountnthe possibility that our principles may be unsound. We have,nfor. instance, been appalled to learn in recent years that ournchildren are reaching college without having learned tonread. Some people responded to the discovery by seriouslynproposing that we should reorganize the entire educationalnsystem from kindergarten upward — and they were brandednelitists, racists, or reactionary dodos. Far fewer peoplenconsidered the possibility that the commitment to universalneducation is inherently futile, and that other means ofncivilizing children should be explored. Instead, the nationndid what it always does: it tackled the immediate problem byninstituting remedial reading classes in college and by dispensingnwith literacy tests. This psychic quirk enabled thenUnited States to become the most proficient exploiter ofntechnology the world has ever known; but the samenmentality is a barrier to perceiving or dealing with humannrelationships. In sum, the trouble with pragmatism is that itnno longer works.nBefore it is too late, we must abandon our specialized,nfragmented, problem-solving approach to knowledge andncultivate instead a holistic view, or what might be styled annecological approach to human afl^airs. Doing so will be nonsmall feat, for it is one of the unquestioned superstitions ofnour time that to think nonscientifically is to think nonrationally.nTo overcome this superstition will require nothing lessnthan escaping the boundaries of our culture; but, howeverndifficult it is, it can be done.nAt first blush, one may be skeptical of this idea — that wencan learn to see with the eyes of others—but a moment’snreflection shows that we perform this scientific impossibilitynas a matter of daily routine. We usually know, for instance,nwhat others expect of us, which is not always what we prefernto do, and yet we commonly do what is expected of us.nWhen we select a gift for loved ones we try to select whatnwould please them, not ourselves. (At least we do so if wenrespect their feelings: we recognize their full humanity bynturning the Golden Rule inside out, doing unto them asnthey would have us do unto them, not imposing ournpreferences upon them.) To put the matter more tangibly,nwhen we were in college, we encountered professors whontaught from points of view (assumptions, values, ideals) thatnwe did not necessarily share. And yet we were capable, andnmost of us were willing, in the pursuit of grades, to write thenessays and give the answers that the teacher wanted. To thatnextent, we were perceiving with perceptual apparatuses notn16/CHRONICLESnnnour own and acting in accordance with the dictates of aliennperceptual machinery.nLet me offer a notion or two as to how to do this on ansomewhat larger scale. You will scarcely be surprised tonhear me recommend the study of history, on propernprinciples, as one primary means to the desired end. Inemphasize the words “on proper principles,” for historiansnare not entirely agreed as to what they are about. A goodlynnumber of historians have agonized a great deal in trying toncome up with a justification for studying their subject, or,nmore properly, for being paid by society to do so. Theirnefforts generally come to focus upon two propositions, bothnof which are more or less scientific and neither of which isnvalid: 1) that history repeats itself, and therefore thatnknowledge of it will enable us to avoid the mistakes of thenpast and direct the course of our destiny; and 2) that thenstudy of the past will enable us to know how we arrivednwhere we are, and therefore to know where we are headed. Inshall not go into why these propositions are unsound, but,nlike Dan Rather, expect you to take my word for it. In anynevent, the true value of the study of history is that it cannmake it possible for us to escape the provincialism of thenpresent. We all know (or at least we all say) that we cannenlarge, enrich, and alter our perspective by travelingnabroad. We cannot do that by hitting 17 European capitalsnin 14 days, of course, or by seeing Spain from the vantagenpoint of the Madrid Hilton. But, if we live for a time amongnthe common folk of, say, a small fishing village on the Costandel Sol, we come to realize that southern Spaniards —nAndalusians — do not think the way we think. They do notnshare the same set of values, and they do not perceive realitynin quite the way we do. To the extent that we can learn tonthink as they think (which is not especially difficult if onenmakes the effort, and regards them as subjects rather than asnobjects), we understand them; and when we return homenand look at our own society the way they would, we can seenthings, all around us, that were previously invisible. That isnthe way it is with history, properly studied. Get to know whatnAmericans knew and felt and believed a hundred years orntwo hundred years ago, and with the prism afforded by thatnknowledge, take a squint at what is around you now; Inguarantee that the experience will be as enlightening as it isnastonishing.nAnother way is through study of cultural anthropology —nto the extent that it is still possible to find culturalnanthropologists whose vision is not warped by ideologicalnanimosity toward Western Givilization. Though advocatesnof abandoning the study of Western Civ do not realize it,none of the primary values of studying non-Western culturesnis that it teaches us how vastly superior the West is and hownlimiting and debasing are its alternatives.nStill another route, perhaps the broadest, is the avenuenopened to us by literature. Students, of course, are engagednin an adversarial relationship with books — that is, theynattack them as enemies, with a view toward plundering themnof information to be used as weapons in the war forngrades — and have little time for a leisurely exploration ofngood literature. One of the things we all promised ourselvesnwhen we were in college was that when we got out, wenwould read those wonderful books we heard about but didn