Voegelin on Science and History

'On the one hand, the advance of the natural sciences concentrated attention intensely on the particular problems of conceptualization they posed, so intensely indeed that the concentration has become the motivating force of a socially still-expanding movement of sectarians who want to monopolize the meaning of the terms “truth” and “science” for the results and methods of the mathematizing sciences. On the other hand, the equally astounding advance of the historical sciences has concentrated attention on the problems of symbolization posed by the discoveries in the ancient civilizations and their mythologies, as well as by the exploration of the modes of thought to be found in contemporary tribal societies. Again the two concentrations are transparent for the experiences of intentionality and luminosity, of thing-reality and It-reality, behind them; again the representatives of both concentrations are right in their pursuit of truth as long as they confine themselves to areas of reality in which the structures of their preference predominate; and again both are wrong when they engage in magic dreams of a truth that can be reached by concentrating exclusively on either the intentionality of conceptualizing science or the luminosity of mythic and revelatory symbols.' -- Order and History, Vol. 5, p. 32


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