So far we have treated “culture” as synonymous witb “arts and letters” or at its broadest, “humanities.” This is a common enough confusion. But it is startling in this context For we discover that, while only indirectly related to art, women have been entirely excluded from an equal’ ly important half of culture: science. If at least with the arts we could find enough material about the relationship of women to culture—whether indirectly as influence, stimulus, or subject matter, or even occasionally as direct participants—to fill at least a chapter, we can hardly find a relationship of women to science worthy of discussion. Perhaps in the broadest sense our statement that women are the emotional force behind all (male) culture holds true—but we are stretching the case to include modern science, where the empirical method specifically demands the exclusion of the scientist’s personality from his re­search. Satisfaction of his emotional needs through a woman in his off hours may make him more stable, and thus steadier on the job, but this is farfetched.

But if even the indirect relationship of women to science is debatable, that there is no direct one is certain­ly not. One would have to search to find even one wom­an who had contributed in a major way to scientific culture. Moreover, the situation of women in science is not improving. Even with the work of discovery shifted from the great comprehensive minds of the past to small pragmatic university research teams, there are remarkably few women scientists.[19]

This absence of women at all levels of the scientific disciplines is so commonplace as to lead many (other­wise intelligent) people to attribute it to some deficiency (logic?) in women themselves. Or to women’s own pre­dilections for the emotional and subjective over the prac­tical and rational. But the question cannot be so easily dismissed. It is true that women in science are in foreign territory—but how has this situation evolved? Why are there disciplines or branches of inquiry that demand only a “male” mind? Why would a woman, to qualify, have to develop an alien psychology? When and why was the fe­male excluded from this type mind? How and why has science come to be defined as, and restricted to, the “ob­jective”?

I submit that not only were the arts and humanities corrupted by the sex duality, but that modern science has been determined by it. And moreover that culture reflects this polarity in its very organization. С. P. Snow was the first to note what had been becoming increasingly ob­vious: a deep fissure of culture—the liberal arts and the sciences had become incomprehensible to each other. Again, though the universal man of the Renaissance is widely lamented, specialization only increases. These are some of the modem symptoms of a long cultural disease based on the sex dualism. Let us examine the history of culture according to this hypothesis—that there is an un­derlying dialectic of sex.

Подпись: THE TWO MODES OF CULTURAL HISTORY For our analysis we shall define culture in the following way: Culture is the attempt by man to realize the conceivable in the possible. Man’s consciousness of himself within his environment distinguishes him from the lower animals, and turns him into the only animal capable of culture. This consciousness, his highest faculty, allows him to project mentally states of being that do not exist I at the moment. Able to construct a past and future, he becomes a creature of time—a historian and a prophet. More than this, he can imagine objects and states of being that have never existed and may never exist in the real world—he becomes a maker of art. Thus, for example, though the ancient Greeks did not know how to fly, still they could imagine it. The myth of Icarus was the formulation in fantasy of their conception of the state “flying.” But man was not only able to project the conceivable into fantasy. He also learned to impose it on reality: by accumulating knowledge, learning experience, about that reality and how to handle it, he could shape it to his liking. This accumulation of skills for controlling the environment, technology, is another means to reaching the same end, the realization of the conceivable in the possible. Thus, in our example, if, in the B.C. era, man could fly on the magic carpet of myth or fantasy, by the twentieth century, his technology, the accumulation of his practical skills, had made it possible for him to fly in actuality—he had invented the airplane. Another example: | In the Biblical legend, the Jews, an agricultural people stranded for forty years in the desert, were provided by God with Manna, a miraculous substance that could be transformed at will into food of any color, texture, or taste; modern food processing, especially with the “green revolution,” will probably soon create a totally artificial

food production, perhaps with this chameleon attribute. Again, in ancient legend, man could imagine mixed spe – cies, e. g., the centaur or the unicorn, or hybrid births, like the*birth of an animal from a human, or a virgin birth; the current biological revolution, with its in­creasing knowledge of the reproductive process, could now if 0nly the first crude stages—create these “monstrosi­ties” in reality. Brownies and elves, the Golem of medieval Jewish lore, Mary Shelley’s monster in Frankenstein, were the imaginative constructions that preceded by several centuries the corresponding technological acumen. Many other fantastical constructions—ghosts, mental telepathy, Methuselah’s age—remain to be realized by modern science.

These two different responses, the idealistic and the scientific, do not merely exist simultaneously: there is a dialogue between the two. The imaginative construction precedes the technological, though often it does not de­velop until the technological know-how is “in the air.” For example, the art of science fiction developed, in the mam, only a half-century in advance of, and now co­exists with, the scientific revolution that is transforming it into a reality—for example (an innocuous one), the moon flight. The phrases “way out,” “far out,” “spaced,” the observation “it’s like something out of science fiction” are common language. In the aesthetic response, because it always develops in advance, and is thus the product of another age, the same realization may take on a sensa­tional or unrealistic cast, e. g., Frankenstein’s monster, as opposed to, let us say, General Electric’s cam (Cybernetic Anthropomorphic Machines) Handyman. (An artist can never know in advance just how his vision might be articulated in reality.)

Culture then is the sum of, and the dynamic between, the two modes through which the mind attempts to tran­scend the limitations and contingencies of reality. These two types of cultural responses entail different methods to achieve the same end, the realization of the conceiv-

able in the possible. In the first,[20] the individual denies the limitations of the given reality by escaping from it altogether, to define, create, his own possible. In the prov­inces of the imagination, objectified in some way—wheth­er through the development of a visual image within some artificial boundary, say four square feet of canvas, through visual images projected through verbal symbols (poetry), with sound ordered into a sequence (music), or with verbal ideas ordered into a progression (theology, philosophy)—he creates an ideal world governed by his own artificially imposed order and harmony, a structure in which he consciously relates each part to the whole, a static (and therefore “timeless”) construction. The degree to which he abstracts his creation from reality is unim­portant, for even when he most appears to imitate, he has created an illusion governed by its own—perhaps hidden—set of artificial laws. (Degas said that the artist had to lie in order to tell the truth.) This search for the ideal, realized by means of an artificial medium, we shall call the Aesthetic Mode.

In the second type of cultural response the contingen­cies of reality are overcome, not through the creation of an alternate reality, but through the mastery of reality’s own workings: the laws of nature are exposed, then turned against it, to shape it in accordance with man’s concep­tion. If there is a poison, man assumes there is an antidote; if there is a disease, he searches for the cure: every fact of nature that is understood can be used to alter it. But to achieve the ideal through such a procedure takes much longer, and is infinitely more painful, especially in the early stages of knowledge. For the vast and intricate ma­chine of nature must be entirely understood—and there are always fresh and unexpected layers of complexity— before it can be thoroughly controlled. Thus before any solution can be found to the deepest contingencies of the human condition, e. g., death, natural processes of growth and decay must be catalogued, smaller laws related to larger ones. This scientific method (also attempted by Marx and Engels in their materialist approach to his­tory) is the attempt by man to master nature through the complete understanding of its mechanics. The coaxing of reality to conform with man’s conceptual ideal, through the application of information extrapolated from itself, we shall call the Technological Mode.

We have defined culture as the sum of, and the dialec­tic between, the two different modes through which man can resolve the tension created by the flexibility of his mental faculties within the limitations of his given environ­ment The correspondence of these two different cultural modes with the two sexes respectively is unmistakable. We have noted how those few women directly creating culture have gravitated to disciplines within the Aesthetic Mode. There is a good reason for this: the aesthetic re­sponse corresponds with “female” behavior. The same terminology can be applied to either: subjective, intuitive, introverted, wishful, dreamy or fantastic, concerned with the subconscious (the id), emotional, even temperamental (hysterical). Correspondingly, the technological response is the masculine response: objective, logical, extroverted, realistic, concerned with the conscious mind (the ego), rational, mechanical, pragmatic and down-to-earth, stable. Thus the aesthetic is the cultural recreation of that half of the psychological spectrum that has been appropriated to the female, whereas the technological response is the cul­tural magnification of the male half.

Just as we have assumed the biological division of the sexes for procreation to be the fundamental “natural” duality from which grows all further division into classes, so we now assume the sex division to be the root of this basic cultural division as well. The interplay between these two cultural responses, the “male” Technological Mode and the “female” Aesthetic Mode, recreates at yet another level the dialectic of the sexes—as well as its superstructure, the caste and the economic-class dialectic. And just as the merging of the divided sexual, racial, and

economic classes is a precondition for sexual, racial, or economic revolution respectively, so the merging of the aesthetic with the technological culture is the precondi­tion of a cultural revolution. And just as the revolutionary goal of the sexual, racial, and economic revolutions is, rather than a mere leveling of imbalances of class, an elimination of class categories altogether, so the end re­sult of a cultural revolution must be, not merely the in­tegration of the two streams of culture, but the elimination of cultural categories altogether, the elimination of culture itself as we know it. But before we discuss this ultimate cultural revolution or even the state of cultural division in our own time, let us see how this third level of the sex dialectic—the interaction between the Technological and Aesthetic Modes—operated to determine the flow of cul­tural history.

* * *

At first technological knowledge accumulated slowly. Gradually man learned to control the crudest aspects of his environment—he discovered the tool, control of fire, the wheel, the melting of ore to make weapons and plows, even, eventually, the alphabet—but these discov­eries were few and far between, because as yet he had no systematic way of initiating them. Eventually however, he had gathered enough practical knowledge to build whole

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systems, e. g., medicine or architecture, to create juridical, political, social, and economic institutions. Civilization de­veloped from the primitive hunting horde into an agricul­tural society, and finally, through progressive stages, into feudalism, capitalism, and the first attempts at socialism.

But in all this time, man’s ability to picture an ideal world was far ahead of his ability to create one. The pri­mary cultural forms of ancient civilizations—religion and its offshoots, mythology, legend, primitive art and magic, prophesy and history—were in the Aesthetic Mode: they imposed only an artificial, imaginary order on a universe still mysterious and chaotic. Even primitive scientific theo­ries were only poetic metaphors for what would later be realized empirically. The science and philosophy and mathematics of classical antiquity, forerunners of modem science, by sheer imaginative pTowess, operating in a vacuum independently of material laws, anticipated much of what was later proven: Democritus’ atoms and Lucre­tius’ “substance” foreshadowed by thousands of years the discoveries of modern science. But they were realized only within the realm of the imaginary Aesthetic Mode.

In the Middle Ages the Judaeo-Christian heritage was assimilated with pagan culture, to produce medieval re­ligious art and the metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas and the Scholastics. Though concurrently Arab science, an out­growth of the Greek Alexandrian Period (third century B. c. to seventh century a. d.), was amassing considerable

DIALECTICS OF CULTURAL HISTORY

information in such areas as geography, astronomy, phys­iology, mathematics—a tabulation essential to the later empiricism—there was little dialogue. Western science, with its alchemy, its astrology, the “humours” of medi­eval medicine, was still in a “pseudo-scientific” stage, or, in our definition, still operating according to the Aesthetic Mode. This medieval aesthetic culture, composed of the Classical and Christian legacies, culminated in the Hu­manism of the Renaissance.

Until the Renaissance, then, culture occurred in the Aesthetic Mode because, prior to that time, technology had been so primitive, the body of scientific knowledge so far from complete. In terms of the sex dialectic, this long stage of cultural history corresponds with the matriarchal stage of civilization: The Female Principle—dark, mys­terious, uncontrollable—reigned, elevated by man himself, still in awe of unfathomable Nature. Men of culture were its high priests of homage: until and through the Ren­aissance all men of culture were practitioners of the ideal aesthetic mode, thus, in a sense, artists. The Renaissance, the pinnacle of cultural humanism, was the golden age of the Aesthetic (female) Mode.

And also the beginning of its end. By the sixteenth century culture was undergoing a change as profound as the shift from matriarchy to patriarchy in terms of the sex dialectic, and corresponding to the decline of feudalism in the class dialectic. This was the first merging of the aesthetic culture with the technological, in the creation of modern (empirical) science.

In the Renaissance, Aristotelian Scholasticism had re­mained powerful though the first cracks in the dam were already apparent. But it was not until Francis Bacon, who first proposed to use science to “extend more widely the limits of the power and the greatnesses of man,” that the marriage of the Modes was consummated. Bacon and Locke transformed philosophy, the attempt to understand life, from abstract speculation detached from the real world (metaphysics, ethics, theology, aesthetics, logic) to

і an uncovering of the real laws of nature, through proof and demonstration (empirical science)/

In the empirical method propounded by Francis Bacon, insight and imagination had to be used only at the ear­liest stage of the inquiry. Tentative hypotheses would be formed by induction from the facts, and then consequences would be deduced logically and tested for consistency among themselves and for agreement with the primary facts and results of ad hoc experiments. The hypothesis would become an accepted theory only after all tests bad been passed, and would remain, at least until proven wrong, a theory capable of predicting phenomena to a high degree of probability.

The empirical view held that by recording and tabu­lating all possible observations and experiments in this manner, the Natural Order would emerge automatically. Though at first the question “why” was still asked as often as the question “how,” after information began to accumu­late, each discovery building upon the last to complete the jigsaw, the speculative, the intuitive, and the imagina­tive gradually became less valuable. When once the initial foundations had been laid by men of the stature of Kepler, Galileo, and Newton, thinkers still in the inspired “aes­thetic” science tradition, hundreds of anonymous techni­cians could move to fill in the blanks, leading to, in our own time, the dawn of a golden age of science—to the Technological Mode what the Renaissance had been to the Aesthetic Mode.’

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