1st Edition

The Disunity of American Culture
Science, Religion, Technology and the Secular State

ISBN 9781138515727
Published September 28, 2017 by Routledge
295 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

The Disunity of American Culture describes culture now, when different forces are influencing it than in the past, altering it to near incomprehensibility. Identity issues have an effect on culture and politics; more influential is the question of what support the state is obligated to provide the individual. John C. Caiazza seeks to explain how this situation came to be.

He begins with an explanation of the origins of Protestantism in America. Caiazza describes how the American religion has declined and the recent responses the decline has provoked. Caiazza follows with an analysis of science as it presently exists in American culture. The work of three scientists prominent in their respective fields Steven Weinberg in physics, E. O. Wilson in biology, and Stanley Milgram in psychology are examined with respect to how their work has influenced culture.

The author examines the failure of America's school of philosophy, pragmatism, to explain the relationship between religion, science, and general culture, even though its founders, Charles S. Peirce and William James, made serious efforts to do so. He concludes by making the case that there is a contradiction between scientific reason and the claim of state power. Caiazza argues that cultural disharmony will guarantee that the secular state never achieves the dominance over culture and political life it desires.

Table of Contents

1.Dissonant Themes in American Culture
Part I:Origin and Decline of the American Religion
2.America, Inventor of Religions
3.How Tufts University Lost Its Religion
4.Three Representative Responses to Decline
Part II:The State of Science and Culture Now
5.The Actual Origins of Modern Science
6.Athens and Jerusalem in the Twenty-First Century
7.The Counterrevolution in the Philosophy of Science
Part III:Science as Cultural Unifier: Three American Scientists
8.Atoms in the Cultural Void: Steven Weinberg's Material Dreams
9.Edward O. Wilson's Grand Unified Theory: God and Man in the Biological Universe
10.Stanley Milgram's Famous Experiments and the Awful Authority of Social Science
Part IV:Decline and Consequences
11.The Cultural Decline of Physical Theory
12.Three Religious Fragments
13.Decline of the American Philosophy: A Tragedy in Three Acts
Part V:Unresolvable Differences
14.The Arrival of Techno-Secularism
15.Sex and the Secular State
16.Inevitable Monotheism: Why God Hasn't Altogether Left the Public Square
17.Cultural Disunity, Toleration, and the Secular State

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