Essay on The Importance of Literature vs. Science

1196 Words Dec 17th, 1999 5 Pages
The Importance of Literature vs. Science


If we lived in a world without literature, learning only the sciences,
would we be the same people? Does the human race need literature at all, does
it have any worth whatsoever except as entertainment? Do people actually learn
from literature? These are all questions that divide the human race into two
separate sections, those who believe in the power of literature, and those who
see it as impoverished compared to the social sciences in its ability to teach
us about ourselves. However we need not be so divided on this issue.
Literature is as rich a teacher as science, but merely differs in technique.
Literature offers knowledge to those that seek it, gives experience to those who
understand
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It is the argument of science that people are similar and thus scientific
averages do have some relevance to humans. Yes people often do share similar
characteristics, and behave similarly if coming from the same society. And thus,
a detailed insight into one persons' life could give you an insight on the lives
of others. In a way Literature allows you to live thousands of lives in a short
time, and gain a little experience from each of them. Science on the other hand,
offers you charts and tables to which you must apply the situations of daily
life. It is in this fundamental way that literature and science are different.
Literature offers you insight which you apply to life, in science, you apply
life to your theories. It's just a matter of whether life is the cookie cutter
or the dough.
Imagine a world without literature. All your Literature courses in
school are replaced with social sciences: philosophy, psychology, etc. Would
people be the same? No doubt life would be a great deal less interesting, as
our minds would not be as stimulated. The world would also be a more closed
place, and news, and history would seem less related and more distant. Why?
Because sciences do not show you what something is like, the describe it. For
example, if science wanted to describe a hit and run it would say "Yesterday,
7/15/96, one 5'4 Caucasian of birth date 3/16/70, was contacted by a rapidly
moving

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