The Grand Design – Roger Sperry

There is a precious little book, which contains some hidden gems. It was written by the late great Nobel prize-winner Rita Levi Montalcini. Its title (“Abbi il coraggio di sapere”) is a bold reminder to the justly famous pamphlet by Kant containing the best definition of Enlightenment that is known to me. It has resisted critiques for more than two hundreds years, always proving more fresh as time goes by.

One of the points of Levi Montalcini is the (philosophical) importance of a stance of Nobel prize neurobiologist Roger Sperry. He argued that the study of the brain would progressively erode the traditional stance of science towards a complete aphasy w.r.t. morality. He argues that the grand design (obviously no reference whatsoever to creationism) of nature would furnish such a foundation.

“The grand design of nature perceived broadly in four dimensions, including the forces that move the universe and created man, with special focus on evolution in our own biosphere, is something intrinsically good that it is right to preserve and enhance, and wrong to destroy and degrade.”

―Roger Wolcott Sperry, Science and the Problem of Values (1972)
See also this and this by him.

Categories: Episteme

1 reply


  1. Practical reason as sorcery? | rtraba

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