The Romantic Attack on Modern Science in England and America

and Other Essays

Roger Sworder

There are no sacred cows for modern scientists. Ironically, modern science has itself become a sacred cow, of which we hear very little criticism. But modern science has long been denounced by some of the wisest among us: our poets. The long essay in this book considers six of the very greatest poets of the English language since the Scientific Revolution. None of them considered as science what we now call science. Nor did they regard as philosophy what we call philosophy. This essay closely examines just how deep is this chasm at the core of our culture and our values — and it does so through some of the finest poetry in our language. Evolution, automation, and philosophical Taoism are discussed elsewhere in this book.

Praise for The Romantic Attack on Modern Science in England and America

“Most people will assume that to champion Romanticism against modern Science is to exalt subjectivism over objectivity, the irrational over the rational, and vagueness over precision. Robert Sworder, however, demonstrates that subjective experience — the universal existence of which is an objective fact — is simply another approach, with its own laws and methodology, to objective truth. He shows how the true representation of qualitative experience requires as high a degree of precision as an operation in mathematics, and how the laws of logic do not mysteriously become invalid as soon as they no longer have quantitative data to work upon. If the physicists could grasp the Romanticism the author writes about (and from), they would not so easily embrace metaphysical absurdity. Data without context is an assault on the human form; Roger Sworder clearly defines one of the necessary contexts without which our humanity is in peril.”

— Charles Upton​, co-author of Shadow of the Rose: The Esoterism of the Romantic Tradition

About the Author

Roger Sworder

Roger Sworder graduated Master of Arts from the University of Oxford, taking his degree in the study of Classical Philosophy and History. He undertook doctoral studies at the Australian National University with a thesis on Plato’s theory of knowledge. His first book, Mining, Metallurgy and the Meaning of Life, examines the consecration and, more recently, the desecration of these crafts in Western history. Other publications include Science and Religion in Archaic Greece: Homer on Immortality and Parmenides at Delphi, and A Contrary History of the West, both published by Sophia Perennis. He has just released a book of poems, Stop, Don’t Read, published by Connor Court Press. Sworder recently retired as lecturer in the Department of Arts at La Trobe University, Bendigo, where he was a member of a team that provided one of the few courses in traditional studies in the West.