Guides to Fine Arts Like Painting, Designing, Architecture, Sculpture, Photography and More

By Lessie Christian

Phillip Romero must have been trained in scientific methods to have become qualified as a doctor of western medicine specializing in child and family psychiatry. Such training entails considerable conditioning in what is known as scientific method, or a way of arriving at conclusions through a process of logical reasoning based on empirical observation.

The discrepancy between art and science is sometimes associated with deductive and inductive thinking. Artists might proceed from a general idea to a particular creation but scientists aim to proceed from the particular to the general. Some scientists tend to appropriate all advances in knowledge to themselves, arguing that scientific method is the only viable way of advancing knowledge. Attempts to examine the barrier between art and science have been quite rare.

Romero is one scientist who has squarely faced the indisputable fact that art has been a reality in the survival and evolution life on the planet since the earliest times. The motivation behind the creative impulse seems to account for a reality in the human psyche and yet it cannot be accounted for in the same way that scientific endeavor is. Scientists work towards measurable and concrete outcomes but artists do not seem to have the same motivation. A drawing on a cave wall may have beauty as an outcome but this is ethereal and immeasurable.

'Consilience' is a word that was coined in the nineteenth century but has been little used, even in epistemological circles. It means 'unity of knowledge' or arriving at the same conclusion although different methods might have been used. For example, Charles Darwin is said to have been disturbed when another naturalist came up with similar conclusions to his own. There was concern about who world get the credit for coming up with the theory of revolution. Academics and scientists can be jealous of theories that are their reason for doing things.

In the academic world departments used to work in arrogant isolation. Various disciplines taught their students to conform to the prescribed books and principles, ignoring or dismissing counter or even similar claims to the truth from different disciplines. This approach is convenient because it relieves academics of the inconvenience of breaking out of the 'literacies' that they have mastered and from the jargon which they can use to communicate with peers.

One of the greatest benefits of the Internet is that it has diminished to the ability of academics to hide in ivory towers, shooting arrows at intruders who have not been through the accepted initiation rites. Freedom of information and the facilities to browse freely through wide fields of knowledge has pushed consilient approaches forward.

When John Bowlby first introduced his theory of attachment he was attacked by his peers who perceived that he was not following the prescribed methods of his field. However, his theories gained credence. Now it is seen how infants and even adults are shaped intellectually by close associations. Biochemical analysis of brain tissue might come to the same conclusion as other disciplines, such as art and religion.

The work of Phillip Romero exhibits a consilient approach to the question of how art is an essential aspect of human survival. The field of developmental psychology is enriched by his work on how the impulse to be creative has been an essential part of the human survival kit throughout the evolution of our species.

About the Author:

This entry was posted in Bookmark the rel='bookmark'>permalink.


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.