• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Before answering whether both poetry and science enjoy equal success in expanding human knowledge, one must first understand what poetry and science are and what they do.

Extracts from this document...


Before answering whether both poetry and science enjoy equal success in expanding human knowledge, one must first understand what poetry and science are and what they do. Poetry is an artist's way of abstractly conveying his or her ideas through writing so as to stimulate the emotional side of the readers. Science on the other hand, is an objective way of clearly stating facts so as to stimulate the "formal" or fact craving side of the readers. Poetry presents an object in order to convey a particular message or feeling, whilst science merely presents an object objectively and describes how it is, clearly, in every way possible. Therefore, it is clear that the purpose of these two approaches is quite different. Furthermore, the ways of knowing in poetry and science are somewhat different. Poetry's ways of knowing are mainly emotion and language, while sciences are mainly language and reason. However, although they have language in common, both of them utilize language in different ways and for different purposes. As is obvious from above, both approaches aim to expand two completely different parts of human knowledge. Poetry aims to expand the aesthetic while science the scientific. Therefore, they cannot be assessed on their ability to expand human knowledge based on the same criteria but rather, they should both be assessed based on individual criteria in their own specific areas of knowledge and then compared after being assessed. ...read more.


It expands our knowledge of human nature and the way humans behave and the power of emotions and their effect on us. In Shakespeare's Macbeth when Lady Macbeth asks the evil spirits to "unsex me [Lady Macbeth] here" one feels the evil powers of ambition and its ability to overtake ones sane and rational thought. On the other hand science's purpose is to clearly depict a situation or object. Science, in no way, should aim to "touch" the reader's emotional side, but rather touch the reader's rationality. Although some may argue that science does touch a reader's side, it is not the main purpose of the writing, and is rather an effect of extreme love towards and passion for the subject. A scientific argument should not be ambiguous or differ from reader to reader, unlike poetry. There is no way for a scientific argument to be true to some people and false to others, for in science there is an absolute truth which the scientists are trying to attain. Although many may argue that poets are also aiming to achieve this absolute truth, it must be noted that each person's emotions are different and therefore there is no way to absolutely describe the way people think, react or behave. Biology, chemistry and physics have set laws and truths which, regardless of who or where you are, will be true. ...read more.


The great difference between these two interpretations leaves the reader with the final choice to interpret the poem the way he/she wants and this is the intent of the poet. However, in science it is the intent of the scientist to clearly illustrate his/her point without any ambiguity as in science clarity is essential. In conclusion, it can be seen that poetry and science have completely different purposes and different means of attaining these purposes. Furthermore, each of these specific areas of knowledge means to expand different types of knowledge and pertain to different ways of knowing. However, one must realize that it is essential to have a balance between the "scientific" or factual knowledge, and the "poetic"/"aesthetic" knowledge or the emotional understanding of human nature. Therefore, in these terms science successfully expands its portion of human knowledge successfully expands its. Therefore, it can be concluded that each area of knowledge has equal success in expanding knowledge in its respective "area". Words: 1,379 "In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry it's the exact opposite."(P A M Dirac) Do both the approaches suggested in the quotation enjoy equal success in expanding human knowledge? Candidate Number: 0708011 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Discuss the characteristics of the scientific method which makes it superior over other methods ...

    For example: you hypothesis that 'God is awake'. There is no way to test your hypothesis scientifically; therefore, there is no way to make it fail. If the experiments bear out the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory, which then provides rational statements that explain a phenomena.

  2. Synoptic Study, Satre, Engels and Marx

    The book tells the story of Pablo Ibbieta, a resistance fighter who in captured. He faces a similar dilemma in which he has to reveal where the rebel Ramon Gris is or face the firing squad. In the story Pablo actually chooses to face the firing squad but most people

  1. "What is Logical" In order to determine whether something is logical or not, one ...

    The conclusion is therefore clearly false and the argument invalid. An argument that has a true conclusion and false premisses could either be valid or invalid. Here is an example of a valid argument with false premisses and a true conclusion. All humans are aliens. All aliens live on Earth.

  2. Theory Of Knowledge essay

    The first major conflicting argument is that despite boasting its objective and empirical nature, scientific methods are essentially based on "observation and experiment" which are inevitably personal subjective perceptions of sensory input. Both our sensory organs and instruments are limited and fallible and therefore every piece of knowledge, data, information

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work