Article

Science in the Age of Modernism

Michael H. Whitworth

in The Oxford Handbook of Modernisms

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199545445
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199545445.013.0026

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Science in the Age of Modernism

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This article examines the relation between science and modernism. It explains that modernism and science have been considered the antitheses of each other for a long time, and suggests that it is possible to see science as an open-minded inquiry into the physical world, as a discipline that maintained the ideals of Enlightenment and which resisted their assimilation into instrumentalism. The article argues that as an institution, science was an unavoidable social fact, and that it offered a way of approaching the world which appeared to render literature and the humanities redundant. It also discusses modernist writers' motivations for drawing upon scientific material.

Keywords: science; modernism; open-minded inquiry; Enlightenment; instrumentalism; social fact; literature; humanities; modernist writers

Article.  8107 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards) ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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