Mission impossible

November 25, 2010

I'm afraid Martin A. Mills is deluded ("A grand unified theory of man", 18 November). Such a theory is neither possible nor desirable, because it could never accommodate the natural and social sciences on equal terms. It is a fantasy specific to science and ultimately scientism, so any "success" would come at the cost of the integrity of the humanities and the social sciences. That integrity depends on - and indeed, should celebrate - precisely the pluralism, perspectivism and limits that such a theory would necessarily exclude.

Furthermore, the modern quest for a grand unified theory has an unmistakably religious provenance in monotheism, whose authoritarian mode it retains. This should also give one pause.

Patrick Curry, London.

Please login or register to read this article

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments