3.297 culture and science? terms of gender?

Thu, 27 Jul 89 22:23:41 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 297. Thursday, 27 Jul 1989.

(1) Date: Thu, 27 Jul 89 10:55:10 CDT (62 lines)
From: Charles Ess <DRU001D@SMSVMA>
Subject: culture & science; Chaos

(2) Date: Thu, 27 Jul 89 13:01 CDT (17 lines)
Subject: gender specific man haters

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 89 10:55:10 CDT
From: Charles Ess <DRU001D@SMSVMA>
Subject: culture & science; Chaos

As part of course next spring on the relationships between available
technologies, prevailing religious attitudes, and the development of
what become fundamental assumptions in the natural sciences, I'm looking
more closely than I have before at St. Francis. There are two reasons
for this: one, it seems to be a commonplace that the "Franciscan" attitude
towards nature played an important role in turning the attention of at
least a few folk (such as the Franciscans Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon,
John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham) towards an "experimental"
attitude and interest in Creation/nature; and two, I was intrigued by
the title of Roger D. Sorrell's recent book, _St. Francis of Assisi
and Nature: Tradition and Innovation in Western Christian Attitudes
toward the Environment_ (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988) and
have begun reading it.

My first set of queries: as a non-medievalist, I would appreciate
Humanists' wisdom on:

a) additional sources for exploring the relationship between
Medieval technologies, prevailing religious attitudes, and
the early roots of experimental/natural science, and
b) any opinions on Sorrell's book as a reliable guide to St.
Francis and medieval attitudes.

(I realize that for every Ph.D. there is an equal but opposite Ph.D.,
and so the last query may open a contentious but interesting debate.)

Relatedly, a number of my colleagues are becoming excited about James
Gleick's _Chaos_ as a potential candidate for a faculty seminar.
Interestingly enough, many of our science faculty do not share this
excitement and interest. A professor of physics who has read the book
is unhappy with its lack of mathematics, and argues that since chaos
theory is first of all a mathematical theory -- those of us who aren't
conversant with differential equations really can't discuss it. Secondly,
he has compared the listings of articles and books on chaos in the past
ten years with his understanding of articles and books on quantum
mechanics in its first ten years of life; since the first list is far
shorter than the second list, his current opinion is that chaos theory
is not really a significant development.

My second set of queries: as someone who wants to introduce my students
in the class on technology/culture/science to chaos theory -- I'm curious
if other Humanists can comment on:

a) similar discrepancies between interest in chaos among humanities
faculty vs. science faculty;
b) successful efforts to teach chaos in an interdisciplinary fashion

Of course, additional comments on this reaction by my colleagues in the
sciences as a possible indication of professional resistance to paradigm
shifts, the influence of science as a _culture_ on the development of
new sciences, etc., would also be welcome.

Thanks in advance,

Charles Ess
Philosophy and Religion
Drury College
Springfield, MO 65802
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------20----
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 89 13:01 CDT
Subject: gender specific man haters

In English as far as I can determine
we have `misogynists` to refer to
persons who hate women, and
`misanthropes' for persons who hate
members of the human species. Is
there a term which is male gender
specific which refers to persons who
hate males? What is it or should it
be? Misandropists? Misandropes?
Do other languages have the same
lack of a common gender specific
word for those who hate men?
Ken Hanly Brandon UNiv.