Art vs. Science vs. Philosophy

I have a varied background. I started off as a musician, playing brass and woodwind instruments but during my Education degree, made a choice to follow Art instead. I graduated as an Art, Science and English teacher and taught those in high schools for a couple of years before heading back to university to study and graduate from an Environmental Science degree. For ten years, I ran my own business followed by a not for profit business. I presented workshops, produced art and developed characters for environmental entertainment purposes, combining my love of science and art and environment.

I often hear,

“Science and Art…that’s a weird combination.”

So, I would like to address that thought with my own views on the comment…

Science, Art and Philosophy are all essentially ways of doing exactly the same thing. They are ways of looking at the world and dissecting it, of seeing it in a different way and expressing those ways of seeing and knowing.

Descartes says it more beautifully than I do…“Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum”. I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am. We are creatures of doubt and thought. One of the best things I was taught during my science degree is that there IS no truth. Every law and theory we are presented with is only so until it is proved otherwise, so we live, personally and generationally in a series of paradigm shifts of “truths”. It is a quest of some magnitude to doubt and question, to understand and accept, so why choose just the one way of seeing and doing and knowing?

Through science, I learned to form succinct questions, to seek evidence and analyse both quantitative and qualitative data in order to come to a conclusion…which is not really a conclusion, but only the start of more questioning. Science is a lot of learning through DOING.

Through art, I learned to express the world through emotion, to capture that doubt and throw it out there in order to encourage more questioning and dialogue. Art is learning through FEELING.

Through philosophical enquiry I learned the practise of applying logical argument to a concept. How you think and come to conclusions is just as important as what you know. The acceptance that there may actually be no answer or that the answer is unimportant in comparison to the enquiry is fundamental. Philosophy is learning through THINKING.

So, you see, the title to this post is misleading. I don’t see there actually being a “versus” component between art, science and philosophy. They are all one and the same thing…it’s just we as people who like to compartmentalise and shove labels on them so they are easier for us to understand. And in conclusion, dear reader….in the immortal words of The Matrix…


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