Cracked open a new book this week - Jonah Lehrer's Proust Was a Neuroscientist. Deals with one of my favorite topics, the link between art and science. I'm looking forward to spending the next several weeks (or months depending on how busy the work schedule is) diving into the worlds of Proust, George Eliot, Cezanne, Gertrude Stein and others as Lehrer attempts to connect their artistic methodologies to scientific discoveries.
I'm already intrigued by the introduction, which includes this food for thought:
Every method, even the experimental method, has limits. Take the human mind. Scientists describe our brain in terms of physical details; they say we are nothing but a loom of electrical cells and synaptic spaces. What science forgets is that this isn't how we experience the world. (We feel like the ghost, not like the machine.) It is ironic but true: the one reality science cannot reduce is the only reality we will ever know. This is why we need art. By expressing our actual experience, the artist reminds us that our science is incomplete, that no map of matter will ever explain the immateriality of our consciousness.
Though I know a few Cylons who might disagree with the statement above, I think it's an interesting statement about the different needs that art and science fill. There's nothing quite like that moment of catharsis in the theater when you recognize your own life in what is happening on stage.
More thoughts to come...