THE TURNING POINT: Science, Society and the Rising Culture by Fritjof Capra

THE TURNING POINT: Science, Society and the Rising Culture

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KIRKUS REVIEW

With depressing predictability, physicist-cum-holistic transcendentalist Fritjof Capra trots out the now-canonical indictment of Western society: Cartesian-Newtonian reductionism is the root of all evil, be it political, medical, social, or economic. But Capra, with a nod to the I Ching, sees a turning point: ""The powerful light that has been banished returns. . . not brought about by force. . . arising spontaneously. . . therefore no harm results."" For the reader, the results are fulsome declarations of the poverty of Western thinking, the failings of the ""biomedical"" model of disease, the insanity of nuclear power, the greed of multinational corporations, the anti-cosmic forces of agribusiness and the Green Revolution. Salration will come through the eclectic lights of the new feminism (embodying the good Yin versus the macho Yang), the rediscovery of herbal Medicine, bodywork (from Reich to Rolf), solar power, the Jungian collective unconscious, et al. In truth, Fritjof is not all preachment, and major chapters are devoted to longish surveys of Western ideas in economics, medicine, and psychology which read smoothly and recognize gaps and biases. (Marx and Freud turn out to be all right, just mired in the prevailing scientific paradigms.) What is left out are the subtleties--the pluralisms and countervailing forces, past and present, that have turned the course of scientific thought and led to new models that try to approximate the complexities of nature and life. In the end, Fritjof's embrace of all species of holism gets so fuzzy as to have no sticking point at all. Any credo embracing Jung, Reich, Schureacher, Laing, Bateson, Commoner, Nader, Grof--not to mention matriarchy, the Gaia hypothesis, solar power, and Taoism--is just too far-out to be persuasive.

Pub Date: March 3rd, 1982
ISBN: 0553345729
Publisher: Simon & Schuster