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_Determinisms and authors 27. < !------- test block: issue=_Determinisms and authors id=702 sec1name=Introduction imagetmplt=3577 ---------->
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January 2019    Dennis R. DuBe'     702/3584


Harold Innis -- The bias of Communication
     
           #3584   Created 04/12/2014   Updated 04/28/2017

We should remind ourselves of Dean Inge's remarks that popular religion follows the enslavement of philosophy to superstition. The philosophies of Hegel, Comte, and Darwin became enslaved to the superstition of progress. In the corruption of political science confident predictions, irritating and incapable of refutation, replaced discussion of right and wrong. Economists (the Physiocrats) "believed in the future progress of society towards a state of happiness through the increase of opulence which would itself depend on the growth of justice and 'liberty'; and they insisted on the importance of the increase and diffusion of knowledge. (J.B. Bury, The Idea of Progress, an Inquiry into Its Origin and Growth (London, 1920), p. 175.) 80

The impact of science on cultural development has been evident in its contribution to technological advance, notably in communication and in the dissemination of knowledge. IN turn it has been evident in the types of knowledge disseminated; that is to say, science lives its own life not only in the mechanism which is provided to distribute knowledge but also n the sort of knowledge which will be distributed. As information has been disseminated the demand for the miraculous , which has been one of the great contributions of science, has increased. To supply this demand for the miraculous has been a highly remunerative task, as is evidence by the publications of firms concerned with scientific works. Bury described the rapidly growing demand in England for books and lectures, making the results of science accessible and interesting to the lay public, as a remarkable feature of the second half of the nineteenth century. Popular literature explained the wonders of the physical world and at the same time flushed the imaginations of men with the consciousness that they were living in an era "which, in itself vastly superior to any age of the past, need be burdened by no fear of decline or catastrophe but, intrusting in the boundless resources of science, might surely defy fate." 192 (J.B. Bury, The Idea of Progress, an Inquiry into Its Origin and Growth (London, 1920), pp. 345-6

"Progress itself suggests that its value as a doctrine is only relative corresponding to a certain not very advanced stage of civilization, just as Providence in its day was an idea of relative value corresponding to a stage somewhat less advanced. (ibid)



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