Professional Writing: Process and Practice
EN 1700 – Fall/Winter 2009/2010 – Jan Rehner
Lecture 8 – Brave New World – Nov 09
Stupid Realism & Revolutionary Realism
Prometheus & The Mythos of Scientism
- Prometheus was a minor god.
- Prometheus was subject to the rule of Jupiter.
- Created life from clay, from the seeds of heaven.
- Prometheus asked Jupiter to give man the gift of fire.
- Jupiter refused.
- Prometheus rebelled – stole fire from sun and gave it to mankind.
- Fire can be seen as spark of life/knowledge.
- With fire, man had power – rise himself over animals/stop shivering/create tools.
- Punishment: Jupiter Sais Prometheus should be chained to a rock, and every
day the eagle would eat out a part of his liver, and each day the liver would grow
back and the eagle would return.
- Prometheus is the metaphor for the overreacher.
- Overreacher – a person that defies the gods – a person that dabbles in
- Prometheus suffered a lot and for a long time until Hercules rescued him.
- Frankenstein book by Merry Shelly – title was ‘The modern Prometheus’ –
- Overreacher – what you create may turn around and reach havoc on you.
- Ever since the figure of the overreacher has been associated with science, when
we think of science we think of the marbles and the monsters it can create.
- Science has the ability to redefine boundaries of knowledge. And definitions of
- Science is at the heart of ‘Brave New World’
- Science was in his blood. He was related to Tomas Huxley. The defender of
Charles Darwin (Tomas); did the speaking.
- Huxley prepared himself for a career was going to study biology.
- The Mythos of Scientism:
o Mythos means a set of shared beliefs.
o Scientism is about our attitudes towards science and our value
judgements about science.
o Science is dangerous – views that are possible.