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Criticism between scientificity and ideology : theoretical impasses in F.R. Leavis and P. Macherey 1990

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CRITICISM BETWEEN SCIENTIFICITY AND IDEOLOGY: THEORETICAL IMPASSES IN F.R. LEAVIS AND P. MACHEREY By MOHAMMED EZROURA Licence-es-Lettres, Mohamed V U n i v e r s i t y , Morocco, 1978 M.A., U n i v e r s i t y of Essex, England, 1980 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Programme i n Comparative Li t e r a t u r e ) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1990 (§) Mohammed EZROURA, 1990 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. (Signature) M . EZROURA Department of COMPARATIVE LITERATURE; The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada D a t e September 1990 DE-6 (2/88) Ab<|stract While focussing on the metaphor of s c i e n t i f i c i t y i n Leavis's and Macherey's writings, t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n addresses other questions central to c r i t i c i s m , c u l t u r a l theory, and the philosophy of science. Whereas Leavis opposes s c i e n t i f i c i t y , Macherey proposes " s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m " as imperative to t h e o r e t i c a l practice. Between the two c r i t i c s , s c i e n t i f i c i t y reveals i t s major metamorphoses. This study i s divided into four major parts. Part One situates the concept of s c i e n t i f i c i t y i n the modern debate between c r i t i c s and philosophers of science. I compare t h e i r problematization of s c i e n t i f i c i t y to the way t h i s notion has been represented i n l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . The debate blurs the boundary between s c i e n t i f i c and l i t e r a r y knowledge, and brings the question of ideology i n s c i e n t i f i c discourse to the fore. S c i e n t i f i c i t y i s thus bound with ideology as an epistemological p r a c t i c e . Part two focusses on Leavis's r e j e c t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c i t y . In three chapters here I investigate the s i g n i f i c a n c e of Leavis's d e f i n i t i o n of "organic culture," " c i v i l i z a t i o n , " "science," and " c r i t i c i s m . " These are a l l i i rooted i n Arnold's c u l t u r a l paradigm, which p r i v i l e g e s a t r a d i t i o n a l order. Leavis's opposition to "theory," "science," and "philosophy" problematizes his p r i n c i p l e s of "precision," "analysis," and "standards." His controversies with C P . Snow's scientism and with Marxism reveal h i s concern with theory and s c i e n t i f i c epistemology. His defence of "ambiguity," and "i m p o s s i b i l i t y of d e f i n i t i o n " also makes his framework confront a t h e o r e t i c a l impasse that i s revealed by a desire to theorize c r i t i c i s m — L e a v i s ' s duty towards s o c i e t y — and a fear of theory and science, perceived as destructive. Part Three, comprising three chapter, considers Macherey's s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m . His notions of the "structure of absence" and "symptomatic reading" are central to his theorization of c r i t i c i s m , science, and ideology. These are formulated through Freud's categories of dream analysis, Saussure's notion of difference, and Althusser's conception of ideology. For Macherey, s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m negates ideology. But h i s emphasis on "absence" as c o n s t i t u t i v e of s c i e n t i f i c i t y brings h i s epistemology to a t h e o r e t i c a l impasse that resembles Leavis's. Macherey's anchoring of meaning i n economic structures, i n ideology, and i n Marxism as "science," problematizes h i s s c i e n t i f i c project because i t abandons "absence." i i i Part Four concludes the d i s s e r t a t i o n by investigating ways i n which Leavis and Macherey i l l u s t r a t e the importance of an epistemological phenomenon i n l i t e r a r y studies: c r i t i c i s m ' s struggle with s c i e n t i f i c i t y . Whether opposed or defended, s c i e n t i f i c i t y has helped c r i t i c i s m to emulate the hegemonic discourse of science and to combat r i v a l c r i t i c a l s trategies. However, to dis p e l " s c i e n t i f i c " delusions, c r i t i c i s m must s c r u t i n i z e i t s a f f i l i a t i o n with ideology both i n s c i e n t i f i c method and i n theory. i v Table of Contents Part One: A Theoretical Introduction: C r i t i c i s m " a f t e r " S c i e n t i f i c i t y Part Two: Leavis and the Question of Science: C r i t i c a l Knowledge, Standards, and Valuation I. Revising the Arnoldian T r a d i t i o n : Leavis's C r i t i c i s m , S c i e n t i f i c Knowledge, and "Organic Culture" 3 8 II . Towards "Living" C r i t i c a l Standards: The Necessity of "Precision" and Ambiguous Meaning 94 I I I . Beyond "Scientism" and Cultural Determinism: Leavis against C P . Snow and Marxism 152 Part Three: Towards a " S c i e n t i f i c C r i t i c i s m " : Macherey, Li t e r a r y Production, Absence, and Ideology IV. Beyond " C r i t i c a l F a l l a c i e s " : Elements of Macherey's Theory of " s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m " 206 V. Towards a Theory of Structures: Theorizing the Text and Knowing i t s "Absence" 253 VI. Ideology and Literature: C r i t i c i s m and the S c i e n t i f i c i t y of t h e o r e t i c a l Knowledge 326 Part Four: Macherey a f t e r Leavis, or the Ideology of S c i e n t i f i c i t y i n C r i t i c i s m 384 Bibliography 408 (i) Primary Texts ( i i ) Secondary,Sources v ACKNOWLE DGEMENT I w o u l d l i k e t o e x p r e s s my t h a n k s a n d i n d e b t e d n e s s t o t h e members o f my s u p e r v i s o r y c o m m i t t e e , D r . L o r r a i n e W e i r , D r . R a l p h S a r k o n a k , a n d D r . Roy T u r n e r . T h e i r v a l u a b l e g u i d a n c e a n d e x c e p t i o n a l p a t i e n c e h a v e h e l p e d me t h r o u g h some d i f f i c u l t moments d u r i n g t h e w r i t i n g o f t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n . O t h e r p r o f e s s o r s o f m i n e i n M o r o c c o , E n g l a n d a n d C a n a d a a l s o d r e s e r v e many t h a n k s f o r h a v i n g c o n t r i b u t e d t o my e d u c a t i o n . Many t h a n k s t o P r o f e s s o r s G e o f f r e y O'Kane i n I r e l a n d , S u s a n K a p p e l e r i n West Germany, V a l e r i e R a o u l , Graham Good, a n d R o g e r Seamon i n C a n a d a f o r h a v i n g b e e n a s o u r c e o f e n c o u r a g e m e n t a n d s u p p o r t o f a l l s o r t s . My s i n c e r e g r a t i t u d e a n d s p e c i a l t h a n k s go t o t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a f o r t h e G r a d u a t e F e l l o w s h i p s t h e y h a v e o f f e r e d me. W i t h o u t t h e i r b e n e v o l e n t a i d , my g r a d u a t e s t u d i e s w o u l d n o t h a v e b e e n c o m p l e t e d . Many t h a n k s a l s o t o t h e M o r o c c o - A m e r i c a n B i - N a t i o n a l C o m m i s s i o n , whose summer r e s e a r c h g r a n t a t S a n t a B a r b a r a i n 1990 h a s made t h e f i n a l i z a t i o n o f t h i s p r o j e c t a n d my r e t u r n t o V a n c o u v e r p o s s i b l e . v i In the "human" sciences one often finds an "i d e o l o g i c a l f a l l a c y " common to many s c i e n t i f i c approaches, which consists i n be l i e v i n g that one's own approach i s not id e o l o g i c a l because i t succeeds i n being "objective" and "natural" . . . Theoretical research i s a form of s o c i a l p r a c t i c e . Everybody who wants to know something wants to know i t i n order to do something. . . . . . .1 think that i t i s more " s c i e n t i f i c " not to conceal my own motivations, so as to spare my readers any " s c i e n t i f i c " delusions. (U. Eco, A Theory of Semiotics 29) La grammatologie doit deconstruire tout ce qui l i e l e concept et les normes de l a s c i e n t i f i c i t e a 1'ontotheologie, au logocentrisme, au phohologisme. C'est un t r a v a i l immense et interminable. (J. Derrida, Positions 48) 1 Part One: A Theoretical Introduction: C r i t i c i s m 'after' S c i e n t i f i c i t y 1 In i t s search for new directions and ways of l e g i t i m i z i n g i t s own existence and practice, modern l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m has taken d i f f e r e n t roads that have brought i t sometimes into d i r e c t confrontation with s c i e n t i f i c discourse, but other times into an uneasy a l l i a n c e with i t . This search has been marked by two major dire c t i o n s : one i s a n t i - s c i e n t i f i c , a n t i - t h e o r e t i c a l , whereas the other i s committed to the project of elaborating a systematized methodology of l i t e r a r y analysis. Such a state of a f f a i r s seems to have endowed modern c r i t i c i s m with a dual i d e n t i t y whose two sides i t has been t r y i n g to reconcile ever since the question of s c i e n t i f i c i t y came to i t s attention. It i s , therefore, imperative to study the metamorphoses of t h i s 1 The notion of s c i e n t i f i c i t y (in French " s c i e n t i f i c i t e " ) as used throughout t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n i s a metaphor r e f e r r i n g to the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of being s c i e n t i f i c or the claim to s c i e n t i f i c knowledge, precision i n method, rigor i n analysis, and the u n i v e r s a l i t y of truth-finding. Although the term i t s e l f i s not c i t e d i n the OED, i t i s commonly used nowadays i n the discourses of l i t e r a r y theory and the philosophy of science. The closest term to i t that the OED c i t e s i s " s c i e n t i f i c a l n e s s " , meaning "the quality of being s c i e n t i f i c , " (2668). See p a r t i c u l a r l y Richard Olson, ed. Science as Metaphor (Belmond, Cal.: Wadsworth, 1971), chaps. 1 and 10. 2 therefore, imperative to study the metamorphoses of t h i s metaphor of s c i e n t i f i c i t y i n c r i t i c i s m i f we are to grasp the p a r t i c u l a r s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s metaphor i t s e l f as well as the development of the d i s c i p l i n e of c r i t i c i s m . These metamorphoses manifest themselves i n the various ways " s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m " or "a science of l i t e r a r y production" has been represented—either celebrated or decried by c o n f l i c t i n g c r i t i c a l s t r a t e g i e s — b o t h as a methodology of textual exegesis and as an epistemological enterprise, y i e l d i n g valuable knowledge. I t i s i n t h i s context that I intend to discuss the c r i t i c a l contributions of F.R. Leavis and P. Macherey to the debate of t h i s l i t e r a r y and epistemological problematic, for each has taken a p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n v i s - a - v i s the question of theory and s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m . Ultimately, the study of the metamorphoses of s c i e n t i f i c i t y w i l l reveal the i d e o l o g i c a l drives motivating the c r i t i c a l methodologies both Leavis and Macherey have expounded, as well as the epistemological status of theory, understood as an academic practice. Rene Wellek describes such a s i t u a t i o n i n c r i t i c a l theory as follows: . . . l i t e r a r y theory has s p l i t into two factions: science and would-be science versus i n t u i t i o n ; those who want to construe a universal and u n i v e r s a l l y v a l i d scheme or matrix of l i t e r a t u r e and those who plunge into the mind or consciousness of a poet by procedures that are 3 c o n f e s s e d l y p u r e l y p e r s o n a l , u n r e p e a t a b l e , n o t s u b j e c t t o a n y c o n t r o l b y l a w s o f e v i d e n c e . ( " S c i e n c e , P s e u d o - s c i e n c e , a n d I n t u i t i o n i n R e c e n t C r i t i c i s m " 78-9) I n d e e d , t h e c o n c e r n f o r t h e u n i v e r s a l i t y o f c r i t i c a l c r i t e r i a , t h e s e a r c h f o r s y s t e m i c m o d e l s o f l i t e r a r y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , and t h e d e s i r e t o f o r m u l a t e s c i e n t i f i c l a w s t o a c c o u n t f o r t h e p e c u l i a r i t y o f t h e l i t e r a r y t e x t h a v e b e e n s t r i k i n g phenomena i n t h e h i s t o r y o f t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y l i t e r a r y s t u d i e s ( s e e K a r l K r o e b e r , "The E v o l u t i o n o f L i t e r a r y S t u d y , 1 8 8 3 - 1 9 8 3 " 3 2 6 - 3 9 ) . S i n c e t h e l a t e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , w h i c h w i t n e s s e d t h e r i s i n g hegemony o f modern s c i e n t i f i c d i s c o u r s e ( s e e Hans E i c h n e r , "The R i s e o f M o d e r n S c i e n c e " 8; a n d Raymond W i l l i a m s , K e y w o r d s 2 7 8 - 7 9 ) , w i t h i t s v a r i e d l a n g u a g e s a n d m e t h o d o l o g i e s , a n d t h e a d v e n t o f t h e s o c i a l s c i e n c e s ( s e e H e r b e r t J . M u l l e r , S c i e n c e a n d C r i t i c i s m ; a n d E d w a r d W. S a i d , The W o r l d , t h e T e x t , and t h e C r i t i c 1 4 5 ) , l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , e s p e c i a l l y t h r o u g h i t s l a t e r d e v e l o p m e n t i n t o c r i t i c a l t h e o r y , h a s m u l t i p l i e d i t s e f f o r t s t o e m u l a t e t h e p o w e r f u l d i s c o u r s e o f s c i e n c e i n o r d e r t o v a l i d a t e i t s own e n t e r p r i s e . A s a r e s u l t o f t h e r a d i c a l s p l i t t h a t o c c u r r e d b e t w e e n t h e n a t u r a l s c i e n c e s a n d t h e h u m a n i t i e s a r o u n d t h e t u r n o f t h i s c e n t u r y , C r i t i c i s m ' s a i m h a s a l s o b e e n , s i n c e t h e n , t o g u a r a n t e e f o r i t s e l f a n a c k n o w l e d g e d p l a c e w i t h i n t h e r e p u t e d i n s t i t u t i o n s o f k n o w l e d g e i n t h e modern w o r l d , a n d t o a v o i d b e c o m i n g a n o b s o l e t e e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l p r a c t i c e . A s J o h n Crowe Ransom p u t i t 4 c l e a r l y i n 1938: " C r i t i c i s m m ust become more s c i e n t i f i c , o r p r e c i s e a n d s y s t e m a t i c , and t h i s means t h a t i t m u s t be d e v e l o p e d b y t h e c o l l e c t i v e a n d s u s t a i n e d e f f o r t o f l e a r n e d p e r s o n s — w h i c h means t h a t i t s p r o p e r s e a t i s i n t h e u n i v e r s i t i e s " (The W o r l d ' s Body 3 2 9 ) . E x a m p l i f y i n g t h i s c a s e i s t h e w h o l e L e a v i s i t e a n d " S c r u t i n y " p r o j e c t a n d i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e u n i v e r s i t y a t C a m b r i d g e . The c a l l t h e n was f o r t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f c r i t i c i s m a s a s e p a r a t e d i s c i p l i n e o f t h o u g h t . A s L e a v i s s a y s , " t h e c o n c e r n f o r t h e i d e a o f c r i t i c i s m a n d t h e i d e a o f t h e u n i v e r s i t y was i n s e p a r a b l e " ( T o w a r d s S t a n d a r d s x x i i . See a l s o F r a n c i s M u l h e r n i n The Moment o f " S c r u t i n y " 1 0 8 - 1 4 ) . A n o t h e r e x a m p l e t h a t p a r a l l e l s t h i s i n s t a n c e on t h e o t h e r s i d e o f t h e C h a n n e l i s t h e F a c u l t e d e s L e t t r e s e t S c i e n c e s H u m a i n e s o f N a n t e r r e i n F r a n c e i n 1968 f r o m w h i c h t h e " t h e o r e t i c a l r e v o l u t i o n " ( H e n r i L e f e b v r e , The E x p l o s i o n 139) s t a r t e d r o l l i n g b e f o r e i t t o o k o v e r t h e S o r b o n n e . N o t u n l i k e t h e E n g l i s h c r i t i c a l movement a t C a m b r i d g e , a l t h o u g h t h e l a t t e r was l e s s p o l i t i c i z e d , t h e F r e n c h " e x p l o s i o n " c a l l e d f o r a " c r i t i c a l u n i v e r s i t y " ( 1 1 1 ) . I n d e e d , b e c a u s e c r i t i c i s m h a d t o s t r e n g t h e n t h e v i a b i l i t y o f i t s h e u r i s t i c e n d e a v o u r s , i t h a d t o c a l l f o r more s p e c u l a t i v e i n q u i r y ; i n i t s s e a r c h f o r m e t h o d , i t h a d t o b o r r o w v a r i o u s m e t h o d o l o g i c a l c o n c e p t s a n d t e r m i n o l o g i e s f r o m n e i g h b o r i n g d i s c i p l i n e s , s o m e t i m e s f r o m t h e n a t u r a l s c i e n c e s . 5 Certainly, the emergence of c r i t i c i s m as a d i s t i n c t academic d i s c i p l i n e accompanying the establishment of the English Tripos at Cambridge immediately a f t e r the F i r s t World War should be assessed within t h i s perspective: as a response to the hegemony of science and a strong desire to emulate the methods of s c i e n t i f i c discourse. 2 The l i t e r a r y c r i t i c who exemplifies t h i s phenomenon par excellence i s I.A. Richards, whose early works, namely The Meaning of Meaning (1923), written i n collaboration with C.K. Ogden, P r i n c i p l e s of L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m (192 4), and Science and Poetry (1926), primarily address the questions of the nature of communication and s c i e n t i f i c methodology i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n to c r i t i c i s m . With sp e c i a l emphasis on the analysis of language situations, Richards tackles the r e l a t i o n s h i p between "thoughts, words and things" i n order to elaborate a "new science" which he c a l l s "the Science of Symbolism" (The Meaning of Meaning 242). He argues that " i f an account of sign-situations i s to be s c i e n t i f i c i t must take i t s observations from the most suitable instances, and must not derive i t s general p r i n c i p l e s from an exceptional case" (19). In Richards' early formulations of the idea of c r i t i c i s m , s c i e n t i f i c i t y acquired On the r i s e of c r i t i c i s m as a d i s c i p l e see D. J . Palmer, The Rise of English Studies (London: Oxford UP, 1965); E. M. W. T i l l y a r d , The Muse Unchained (London: Bowers, 1958); and Francis Mulhern, op. c i t . ; Terry Eagleton, L i t e r a r y Theory: an Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell, 1983), chap. 1. 6 the meaning of a generalizing and u n i v e r s a l i z i n g p r i n c i p l e . Enhanced by an empirical evidence, as developed i n h i s P r a c t i c a l C r i t i c i s m (1929), the p r i n c i p l e of s c i e n t i f i c i t y aimed at impersonal, "disinterested," and objective analysis. The protocol-poems analyzed i n t h i s book indicate the extent to which the empirical method Richards sought to r e f i n e t r i e d to simulate the s c i e n t i s t ' s work i n a laboratory: observing, dissecting, analyzing "the words on the page," and f i n a l l y deducing " p r i n c i p l e s of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . " However, such a drive towards universal p r i n c i p l e s and non-subjective methodology i n l i t e r a r y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s not t o t a l l y devoid of any e t h i c a l dimensions. Richards* notion of s c i e n t i f i c i t y i n c r i t i c i s m s t i l l c a r r i e s within i t a moral dimension. His Poetry and Science points out, i n the end, the l i m i t a t i o n s of the s c i e n t i f i c apprehension of the world and argues for the necessity of restoring a moral worldview to c r i t i c i s m through the reinstatement of poetry and i t s moral function within the world of s c i e n t i f i c method: I f a c o n f l i c t which should never have arisen extends much further, a moral chaos such as man has never experienced may be expected. Our protection. . . i s i n poetry. I t i s capable of saving us. . . , of preserving us or rescuing us from confusion and f r u s t r a t i o n . The poetic function i s the source, and the t r a d i t i o n of poetry i s the guardian, of the s u p r a - s c i e n t i f i c myths. (Poetries and Sciences 78) 7 This view, which perceives poetry as the saviour of a Western world on the brink of chaos c l e a r l y rephrases Mathew Arnold's view of poetry i n i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to science: "Poetry i s indeed something divine," says Arnold. " I t i s at once the centre and circumference of knowledge; i t i s that which comprehends a l l science, and that to which a l l science must be referred" ("Literature and Science," 405). In fact, Arnold's ghost has inhabited nearly a l l t r a d i t i o n a l i s t c r i t i c s of the Anglo-American c r i t i c a l t r a d i t i o n . 3 Richards*s l a t e r statements about the rel a t i o n s h i p between poetry, c r i t i c i s m , and science veered to a further p r i v i l e g i n g of the world of art and of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . In 1954, he spoke i n favour of the c r i t i c : The degree of complexity, the number and v a r i e t y of the components and the m u l t i p l i c i t y and s p e c i a l t y of interdependences operative i n the poets the L i t e r a r y C r i t i c studies, i s so much higher than i n the Experimentalist's pigeons, clever birds though they be, that "lawful" changes meaning i n the vast ascent. I t reassumes many of the e t h i c a l and l e g a l implications the Experimentalist s t r i p t from i t . ("Notes Towards an Agreement between L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m and Some of the Sciences" 52) In Richards's c r i t i c a l universe, the domain of the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c has turned out to rank above that of the s c i e n t i s t See Chris Baldick, The Social Mission of English C r i t i c i s m : 1848-1932 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1983), pp. 40-1 and passim; and Murray Krieger, "The C r i t i c a l Legacy of Mathew Arnold or, the Strange Brotherhood of T.S. E l i o t , I.A. Richards, and Northrop Frye," The Southern Review 5.2 (1969), pp. 457-74. 8 because the former encloses more " m u l t i p l i c i t y and interrelatedness of independent variables" (52), whereas the world of science remains li m i t e d by i t s laws of pre c i s i o n , observation, and experiment. Richards's f i n a l message i s that science tends to exhaust the dimension of the unknowable and the mysterious i n the universe. His p o s i t i o n thus r e f l e c t s a Kantian inheritance that maintains the incommensurability of the phenomenal world: As students of the humanities, we know t h i s to be a deeper matter than any science, as yet, has explored; a matter of what man i s and should be, of what his world i s and should be, of what the God he should worship and obey i s and should be. A l l t h i s , the s c i e n t i s t — l i n g u i s t i c or o t h e r — w i l l admit to be beyond h i s purview as a S c i e n t i s t . What i s done and what can be done he can inquire into, but what should be done i s not within h i s province. (47) However, i t was around the l a t e 1960s i n p a r t i c u l a r that l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , both i n Europe and North America, focused on the notion of s c i e n t i f i c i t y as part of a wider concern for theory (see Fredric Jameson, "Periodizing the 60s" 193). Various c r i t i c s f e l t that t h e i r practice which was mostly university-bound had reached a stage of self-confidence that would warrant t h e i r unabashed claim to s c i e n t i f i c i t y . Poetics, Structuralism, Marxism, Semiology, Deconstruction, and Narratology — just l i k e Formalism and New C r i t i c i s m before them — claimed at one time or another the s c i e n t i f i c character of t h e i r methodologies. For instance, two c r i t i c s as opposite to each other as Northrop Frye and Etienne B a l i b a r — t h e former i s i n the t r a d i t i o n of New C r i t i c i s m whereas the l a t t e r i s i n the t r a d i t i o n of Marxism—agree on the same p r i n c i p l e , that of the p o s s i b i l i t y of a s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m . For Frye, . . . c r i t i c i s m cannot be a systematic study unless there i s a qu a l i t y of l i t e r a t u r e which enables i t to be so. We have to adopt the hypothesis then, that, just as there i s an order of nature behind the natural sciences, so l i t e r a t u r e i s not an aggregate of "works" but an order of words. (Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m 17) Whereas for Balibar, . . . l i t e r a r y production i s r i g h t f u l l y an object of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge, just as any other objective phenomenon. Which does not mean that i t does not have i t s own s p e c i f i c i t y . On the contrary, i t means that the text w i l l become t r u l y s c i e n t i f i c , or that we w i l l have a better s c i e n t i f i c knowledge of i t to the extent that i t s s p e c i f i c i t y becomes clea r e r . (P. Macherey and E.Balibar, "Interview" 50) Both Frye and Balibar defend s c i e n t i f i c i t y as the mode of thought that leads c r i t i c a l method and l i t e r a r y meaning into the realm of " o b j e c t i v i t y , " "precision," and " s c i e n t i f i c knowledge." This p o s i t i v e attitude towards c r i t i c a l abstraction and systems marks, according to Howard Felperin, the t h i r d and l a t e s t stage of the development of c r i t i c a l theory: a f t e r the "philosophical" and the "hermeneutic or i n t e r p r e t i v e " stage came the " t h e o r e t i c a l " or "pseudo-scientific" stage (Beyond Deconstruction 25-26). Commenting on the p e c u l i a r i t y of t h i s l a s t stage, Felperin argues: A new demand for s c i e n t i f i c or philosophical rigour, whether to be sought i n s t r u c t u r a l l i n g u i s t i c s , marxist h i s t o r i c i s m , or phenomenological c r i t i q u e , as a control upon the su b j e c t i v i t y and ideology that had unwittingly v i t i a t e d our too f a m i l i a r habits of interpretation, entered the discourse [of c r i t i c i s m ] . L i t e r a r y studies entered upon i t s t h e o r e t i c a l phase. (2 6) However, the agreement between Frye and Balibar, as well as among the various c r i t i c a l schools mentioned e a r l i e r , on the p r i n c i p l e of s c i e n t i f i c i t y does not imply t h e i r adoption of the same tools of analysis and t h e i r coming to the same findings about l i t e r a t u r e . Yet, both Frye and Balibar t y p i f y a common consensus within the " p r o - s c i e n t i f i c " mode of thought i n c r i t i c i s m . Within t h i s trend, " s u b j e c t i v i t y , " " i n t u i t i o n , " and "ind i v i d u a l genius" as Wellek has termed them are pushed to the margins i n favor of a more "rigorous," "precise," "systematic, 1 1 and "objective" approach to the l i t e r a r y text. These c r i t e r i a i n p a r t i c u l a r have been captured with s t r i k i n g c l a r i t y by Benjamin Hrushovsky, an exponent of Poetics as science. He refines Wellek and Warren's old d i s t i n c t i o n between " c r i t i c i s m , " " l i t e r a r y theory," and "history" i n t h e i r c l a s s i c A Theory of Literature (1946; rept. 1963); but unlike them, Hrushovsky believes i n the p o s s i b i l i t y of e s t a b l i s h i n g a science of c r i t i c i s m : I t i s . . . only poetics which can provide a systematic description of l i t e r a t u r e as a whole, can embody within one system the s c i e n t i f i c assessment of i t s parts and heterogeneous phenomena, and can provide the r a t i o n a l t o o l s and methods for the study of s p e c i f i c issues and texts. Whereas interpretations are valuable to readers interested i n p a r t i c u l a r works of l i t e r a t u r e ; c r i t i c i s m and history t e l l us about p a r t i c u l a r writers, periods, national l i t e r a t u r e s ; i t i s primarily poetics which illuminates l i t e r a t u r e as a peculiar phenomenon of human culture. I t i s only through poetics that we can explain to our colleagues i n other sciences what l i t e r a t u r e r e a l l y i s and how i t i s , and what i t i s the nature of l i t e r a r y movements, the functioning of language and values i n l i t e r a t u r e . ("Poetics, C r i t i c i s m , Science," x x i i i ) This p a r t i c u l a r d e f i n i t i o n of poetics as a science of l i t e r a t u r e has a p l u r a l i s t i c and i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y face, an idea which has been part of the argument put forward by the p r o - s c i e n t i f i c i t y c r i t i c s . This d e f i n i t i o n also aims to t o t a l i z e methodology which, "through the questions of a s c i e n t i f i c order w i l l c l a r i f y . . . the issues involved i n understanding l i t e r t u r e , the connections between l i t e r a t u r e and other f i e l d s of human knowledge" ( x x x i i i ) . Here, we witness a double move i n the d e f i n i t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c i t y . On the one hand, i t r e s u l t s from the a p p l i c a t i o n of a set of c r i t e r i a to the text qua text i n i t s s p e c i f i c i t y as a construction of words. Therefore, 12 s c i e n t i f i c i t y marks an i n t r i n s i c consideration of the text's l i t e r a r i n e s s , thus revealing some formalist concerns. On the other hand, i t marks a move outwards, towards a m u l t i p l i c i t y of d i s c i p l i n e s i n order to provide for the e x t r i n s i c dimensions of l i t e r a t u r e . I t s concern here i s s o c i o l o g i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l . Through both moves, the notion of s c i e n t i f i c i t y c a l l s for a t o t a l i z i n g apprehension of the l i t e r a r y text. One notes Hrushovsky's f a i t h f u l n e s s to Wellek and Warren's t r a d i t i o n a l d i s t i n c t i o n between " i n t r i n s i c " and " e x t r i n s i c " modes of l i t e r a r y analysis and which have been reformulated by Tzvetan Todorov as "endogenesis" and "exogenesis" ("On L i t e r a r y Genesis" 218). Moreover, the notion of s c i e n t i f i c i t y here comes closest to the idea of pluralism, thus expressing a l i b e r a l view of the function of c r i t i c i s m . In t h i s context of s c i e n t i f i c inquiry, the c r i t i c becomes distinguished from the w r i t e r - a r t i s t i n the sense that the former deals with a special material which he supposedly can handle i n a " s c i e n t i f i c " manner. For the c r i t i c deals i n explanation, analysis, as well as abstract theories and rules: The c r i t i c , as distinguished from the creative a r t i s t , the performer, and the audience, i s c r u c i a l l y concerned with explanation. In t h i s respect he i s akin to the s c i e n t i s t — a n d to the humanist-theorist as well. . . . The c r i t i c , then, occupies a middle state—between the s c i e n t i s t and the creative a r t i s t . Like the s c i e n t i s t , he s t r i v e s not only t a c i t l y to understand, but e x p l i c i t l y to explain. Like the a r t i s t , what he does depends upon acute 13 comprehension and discriminating taste which are the products of extended and varied, yet trenchant, experience. (Meyer, "Concerning the Sciences, the Arts—AND the Humanities" 197; 2 02) In acquiring a s c i e n t i f i c objective, the c r i t i c i s thus drawn to the side of the s c i e n t i s t and his need to explain r a t i o n a l l y rather than to that of the a r t i s t and his reliance on imagination. Whatever aesthetic t o o l s the c r i t i c possesses, they are there only to complement the s c i e n t i f i c "know-how" through which the text i s approached. The other side of t h i s i d e n t i t y that c r i t i c i s m has acquired, the a n t i - s c i e n t i f i c or " i n t u i t i v e , " as Wellek perceives i t , signals a much older t r a d i t i o n , whose roots are p a r t l y steeped i n Romanticism (see Eichener, "The Rise of Modern Science" 15). This c r i t i c a l dimension remains a kind of resistance to such a t h e o r e t i c a l and p r o - s c i e n t i f i c project within the domain of l i t e r a r y studies. As Karl Kroeber points out, "increasing imitativeness of the ' s c i e n t i f i c ' has accompanied, i n t e r e s t i n g l y , ever more st r i d e n t proclamations of the ' c r e a t i v i t y ' of c r i t i c i s m " ("The Evolution of L i t e r a r y Study, 1883-1983" 329). T r a d i t i o n a l i s t c r i t i c s have objected vehemently to the attempts to theorize about l i t e r a t u r e i n an abstract manner and to look at l i t e r a r y texts as i f they were in e r t "lumps," handy for "objective" s c i e n t i f i c observation and experiment (see Richard Rorty, "Texts and Lumps" 1-16; and Ruth Anna Putnam, "Poets, S c i e n t i s t s , and C r i t i c s " 17-22). 14 E d w a r d S a i d , t h o u g h he c a n n o t be r a n k e d among t h e t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s , a r g u e s a l o n g s i m i l a r l i n e s a n d r e j e c t s t h e " s c i e n t i f i c . . . f u n c t i o n a l i s m " o f c o n t e m p o r a r y — e s p e c i a l l y S t r u c t u r a l i s t — c r i t i c i s m (The W o r l d , t h e T e x t , a n d t h e C r i t i c 1 4 5 ) . T h e s e c r i t i c s h a v e d e m o n s t r a t e d t h e i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f t u r n i n g c r i t i c i s m i n t o a s c i e n c e a n d l i t e r a t u r e i n t o a n o b j e c t o f s c i e n t i f i c a n a l y s i s . T h e y h a v e c a l l e d f o r a n e e d t o k e e p a c l e a r d e m a r c a t i o n b e t w e e n a r t a n d s c i e n c e : We n e e d t o r e m i n d o u r s e l v e s t h a t a r t a n d s c i e n c e a r e v e r y d i f f e r e n t e n t e r p r i s e s , a i m i n g a t d i f f e r e n t k i n d s o f r e s u l t s . I f b o t h a r t a n d s c i e n c e a r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , w h i c h i s t r u e , we must a t some s t a g e t r y t o a c c o u n t f o r t h e d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n them, f o r f e a r t h a t we c o l l a p s e t h e d i s t i n c t i o n a l t o g e t h e r , a n d a r r i v e a t a b s u r d c o n c l u s i o n s . . . [W]e m i g h t s t i l l w i s h t o a f f i r m t h e o b i e c t i v e n a t u r e o f s c i e n t i f i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s a g a i n s t t h e s u b j e c t i v e , e v e n i n d i v i d u a l , i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s i n v o l v e d i n a e s t h e t i c j u d g e m e n t s . ( W i n t e r b o u r n e , " O b j e c t i v i t y i n S c i e n c e a n d A e s t h e t i c s " 258) W h i l e t h e r e i s a s t r o n g t e m p t a t i o n on t h e s i d e o f t r a d i t i o n a l c r i t i c s t o r e p r e s e n t s c i e n t i f i c m e a n i n g a s p o s s e s s i n g e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l v a l u e t h a t e q u a l s t h a t o f l i t e r a r y k n o w l e d g e , " b o t h a r t a n d s c i e n c e a r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , w h i c h i s t r u e , " t h e d r i v e t o k e e p a c l e a r d e m a r c a t i o n l i n e b e t w e e n t h e t w o , b u t s t i l l f a v o u r i n g a r t , i s much s t r o n g e r . W i n t e r b o u r n e h e r e v o i c e s a common o p i n i o n w h i c h r e m a i n s o b l i v i o u s t o t h e n e c e s s a r y d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n a r t a n d i t s c r i t i c i s m a s p r o c l a i m e d b y M e y e r e a r l i e r ( " C o n c e r n i n g t h e S c i e n c e s " 2 0 2 ) . W i n t e r b o u r n e 1 s c o n c e r n i s w i t h t h e o p p o s i t i o n b e t w e e n a r t and 15 s c i e n c e r a t h e r t h a n w i t h a n y common g r o u n d s h a r e d b y c r i t i c i s m a n d s c i e n c e . I n d e e d , a w i d e number o f a n t i - s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c s h a v e e v e n gone t o t h e e x t e n t o f p o i n t i n g o u t some o f t h e d a n g e r s t h a t r e s i d e i n t h e p u r s u i t o f c r i t i c a l s c i e n t i f i c i t y a n d a b s t r a c t t h e o r y . I t i s a r g u e d t h a t t h i s c o n c e r n w o u l d l e a d t o t h e d e a t h o f c r i t i c i s m p e r s e . t o p u r e f o r m a l i s m , o r t o a n a b s t r a c t f o r m o f k n o w l e d g e t h a t i s a l i e n a t e d f r o m human e x p e r i e n c e . W e l l e k h i m s e l f c o n c l u d e s t h a t s u c h a p u r s u i t w o u l d l e a d u l t i m a t e l y t o "a f i n a l e x t i n c t i o n o f c r i t i c i s m " : " c r i t i c i s m becomes p h i l o s o p h i z i n g on o n e ' s own, h a p p i l y exempt f r o m a n y c h e c k s f r o m h i s t o r y , n a t u r a l s c i e n c e o r l o g i c " ( W e l l e k , " S c i e n c e , P s e u d o - S c i e n c e " 8 3 ; 85. See a l s o G e r a l d G r a f f , "Who K i l l e d C r i t i c i s m ? " 3 5 0 - 5 1 5 ) . E d w a r d S a i d , f o r h i s p a r t , c o r r o b o r a t e s t h e same p o i n t , s a y i n g t h a t p u r e l y t h e o r e t i c a l a n d s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m h a s become a l i e n a t e d f r o m i t s own " w o r l d l i n e s s , " h a v i n g s e v e r e d i t s l i n k s w i t h "human p r e s e n c e " ( S a i d , The W o r l d , t h e T e x t and t h e C r i t i c 1 4 7 ) . A d d r e s s i n g t h e c l a i m s o f S t r u c t u r a l i s m a n d P o s t - S t r u c t u r a l i s m i n p a r t i c u l a r , S a i d i n s i s t s f u r t h e r t h a t [ T ] h e t e m p t a t i o n s o f a r i g o r o u s t e c h n i c a l c r i t i c a l v o c a b u l a r y i n d u c e o c c a s i o n a l l a p s e s i n t o a s o r t o f s c i e n t i s m . R e a d i n g a n d w r i t i n g become a t s u c h moments i n s t a n c e s o f r e g u l a t e d , s y s t e m a t i z e d p r o d u c t i o n , a s i f t h e human a g e n c i e s i n v o l v e d w e r e i r r e l e v a n t . The c l o s e r t h e l i n g u i s t i c f o c u s ( s a y i n t h e c r i t i c i s m o f G r e i m a s a n d L o t m a n ) , t h e more f o r m a l t h e a p p r o a c h , a n d t h e more s c i e n t i f i c t h e f u n c t i o n a l i s m . (145) 16 For Said, c r i t i c i s m must be "worldly" i n order for i t s s c i e n t i f i c i t y to equal o b j e c t i v i t y i n perception. I t must not soar i n abstract or s e l f - r e f e r e n t i a l cogitations. As he puts i t so cogently, " c r i t i c i s m must think of i t s e l f as l i f e - enhancing and constantly opposed to every form of tyranny, domination, and abuse; i t s s o c i a l goals are noncoercive knowledge produced i n the interests of human freedom" (29). S c i e n t i f i c i t y must have a human soul, be "secular," engaqee and committed to the l i b e r a t i o n of humanity. In many ways, the emergence of a b e l i e f i n a science of c r i t i c i s m has been made inevitable, or rather overdetermined by the r i s e of theory and the coexistence of diverse d i s c i p l i n e s i n the modern academic context: the natural sciences and the humanities have had to ex i s t side by side at the u n i v e r s i t y , an arena where competing for attention or recognition as well as better funding have been c r u c i a l to every d i s c i p l i n e ' s s u r v i v a l (see Lyotard, La Condition postmoderne 62 and passim). The pursuit of s c i e n t i f i c i t y i n the domain of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m has therefore been part of the pursuit of theory. Not unlike theory, s c i e n t i f i c i t y has been perceived as threatening and as subversive. Indeed, the resistance of Leavisism--as w i l l be de t a i l e d i n the next c h a p t e r — t o the idea of a s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m i s important testimony to t h i s fear of both s c i e n t i f i c i t y and theory. For the resistance to s c i e n t i f i c i t y goes hand i n hand with the resistance to theory. The accusations l e v e l l e d against the two of having brought formalism and s e l f - r e f e r e n t i a l t h e o r e t i c a l abstraction to the domain of l i t e r a r y study have t h e i r own i d e o l o g i c a l motives. These l i e i n the i d e o l o g i c a l orientations of t r a d i t i o n a l i s t approaches which have openly declared t h e i r preference for an old humanist order that masks an i d e a l i s t philosophy of l i t e r a r y essences. Sometimes, as i n the case of Leavis, s c i e n t i f i c method and abstract theory are coupled with technology, which i s viewed as pernicious to modern c i v i l i z a t i o n . Paul de Man explains t h i s complex phenomenon of the opposition to s c i e n t i f i c theory i n The Resistance to Theory (1986). His view confirms the d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p between opposition to theory and resistance to a s c i e n t i f i c model of knowledge. De Man wonders why theory i s seen as "so threatening that i t provokes such strong resistances and attacks." In h i s explanation, he relates t h i s resistance to theory's "status as a s c i e n t i f i c d i s c i p l i n e " (emphasis added), but most importantly, because theory presents a threat to ideologies. He explains: . . . upsets rooted ideologies by revealing the mechanics of t h e i r workings; i t goes against a powerful philosophical t r a d i t i o n of which aesthetics i s a prominent part; i t upsets the established canon of l i t e r a r y works and blurs the borderlines between l i t e r a r y and non-literary discourse. (The Resistance to Theory 11-12) In a l l i a n c e with theory, s c i e n t i f i c i t y has therefore acquired a subversive or rather revolutionary power that can subvert ideologies and reveal the truth of discourse, which l i e s i n i t s "mechanics" and "workings." I t also functions i n opposition to "ideology," understood here as a kind of d e c e i t f u l , f a l s e discourse; a negation of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge. We are here close to an Althusserian Stru c t u r a l i s t - M a r x i s t opposition between "science" and "ideology" i n which s c i e n t i f i c method i n the humanities i s presented i n highly t h e o r e t i c a l terms (see Chap. VI below). But for de Man, theory has a special meaning; i t i s anchored p a r t i c u l a r l y i n a l i n g u i s t i c , p h i l o l o g i c a l and S t r u c t u r a l i s t model. By implication, s c i e n t i f i c i t y must follow the same route i n order to define i t s e l f as t h e o r e t i c a l , capable of "uproot[ing] ideologies." As de Man argues elsewhere, "the return to theory occurred as a return to philology, to an examination of the structure of language p r i o r to the meaning i t produces. This i s so even among the most controversial French theoreticians" ("The Return of Philology" 1355); hence h i s p r i v i l e g i n g of grammar as central to any via b l e i n t e r p r e t i v e p r a c t i c e . This i s why, he asserts, any resistance to theory and, by implication, to s c i e n t i f i c i t y should address the nature of language f i r s t . According to de Man, 19 . . .as long as i t i s grounded i n grammar, any theory of language, including a l i t e r a r y one, does not threaten what we hold to be the underlying p r i n c i p l e of a l l cognitive and aesthetic l i n g u i s t i c systems. Grammar stands i n the service of l o g i c which, i n turn, allows for the passage to the knowledge of the world. The study of grammar . . . i s the necessary pre-condition for s c i e n t i f i c and humanistic knowledge. (The Resistance to Theory 14-15; emphasis added) Thus, through the application of the rules of grammar to the study of language s c i e n t i f i c i t y , a f t e r theory, could mediate knowledge. Moreover, grammar bridges the gap that separates such diverse d i s c i p l i n e s as theory and mathematics. The s c i e n t i f i c knowledge that theory y i e l d s i s further confirmed by such a rapprochement among d i s c i p l i n e s , t r a d i t i o n a l l y perceived as opposites. De Man explains further: [The] a r t i c u l a t i o n of the sciences of language with the mathematical sciences represents a p a r t i c u l a r l y compelling version of a continuity between a theory of language, as l o g i c , and knowledge of the phenomenal world to which mathematics gives access. (14) The most important conclusion one draws from de Man's defence of theory i s revealing about the status of s c i e n t i f i c i t y . As part of theory, s c i e n t i f i c i t y bridges the gap between s c i e n t i f i c and humanistic d i s c i p l i n e s and brings " s c i e n t i f i c and humanistic knowledge" under the same umbrella of i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r i t y . But since de Ma n — l i k e Ransom, Richards, Frye, Hrushovsky, Balibar, Meyer, and a l l those l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s who 20 have sought the transplantation of s c i e n t i f i c i t y into t h e i r f i e l d of study—was not a mathematician, a p h y s i c i s t , or a b i o l o g i s t , h i s lumping science and c r i t i c a l theory together needs further support. This must come from pure s c i e n t i s t s themselves, for hardly anybody would believe a l i t e r a r y c r i t i c ' s hypothesis that words function l i k e atoms or l i k e p a r t i c l e s of l i g h t i n an Einsteinian system. For i f there were a p h y s i c i s t to confirm such a hypothesis and thereby lend support to the c r i t i c ' s hypothesis, then the question of s c i e n t i f i c i t y i n l i t e r a r y theory would l o g i c a l l y be less troublesome. Indeed, by launching i t s e l f into such an epistemological venture, which i s that of the pursuit of s c i e n t i f i c i t y e i t h e r i n emulation of the natural sciences or in opposition to t h e i r methodologies, c r i t i c i s m seems to have taken up a complex task. Yet, such a venture seems to have turned out to be a mixed blessing. Though t h i s s i t u a t i o n has m u l t i p l i e d c r i t i c i s m ' s problems and rendered i t s i n t e r p r e t i v e task more complex, i t helped i n the sharpening of i t s t h e o r e t i c a l concepts and t o o l s . In fact, i t was i n response to the l a t e r developments of the hi s t o r y and philosophy of science that the notion of s c i e n t i f i c i t y i n c r i t i c i s m underwent some of i t s most r a d i c a l metamorphoses. These modern developments helped narrow the gap separating the two sides of the argument that l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m was t r y i n g so hard to reconcile. Assistance came from the s c i e n t i s t s themselves. Now, many s c i e n t i s t s perceived the natural sciences and the humanities as being close to each other rather than i n sharp c o n f l i c t . As Stephen Toulmin, a p h y s i c i s t , states: I t i s a p i t y then for scholars working i n the humanities to continue shaping t h e i r c r i t i c a l attitudes and theories by r e l y i n g on a contrast with a modern science that—among s c i e n t i s t s themselves—no longer even seems to e x i s t . . . . Instead, we should ask scholars to pay more attention to the elements of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n — e v e n of hermeneutics—that have become es s e n t i a l to both the natural and human sciences and to base t h e i r comparisons between the sciences and the humanities not on the assumed absence of hermeneutic interpretation from natural science but rather on the d i f f e r e n t modes of inte r p r e t a t i o n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the two general f i e l d s . ("The Construal of Reality: C r i t i c i s m i n Modern and Postmodern Science" 101) Such a r a d i c a l move to bring science closer to the humanities, and c r i t i c i s m i n p a r t i c u l a r , knew many converts among s c i e n t i s t s , namely Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, Paul Feyerabend, Michel Serres, and Richard Lewontin, to name ju s t a few of those whose ideas are nowadays widely discussed. This move could be interpreted as a sign of grace conferred upon those c r i t i c s seeking a science of c r i t i c i s m . I t i s not only l i t e r a t u r e s p e c i a l i s t s who are now c a l l i n g for a r e v i s i o n of the epistemological status of s c i e n t i f i c discourse but s c i e n t i s t s themselves. To c i t e an important example from France, the p h y s i c i s t Jean-Marc Levy-Leblond has put forward a penetrating c r i t i q u e of modern science, which he perceives as having h i s t o r i c a l l y developed toward "une defa i t e . " He argues: . . . l a science moderne, depuis son emergence a l a f i n de l a Renaissance, est devenue progressivement " l a " science tout court. E l l e a relegue l e s autres formes de connaissance, r a t i o n n e l l e ou non, dans l e passe historique ou dans l a marge i n s t i t u t i o n n e l l e . . . . En quatre s i e c l e s , l a science, t e l l e que nous l a connaissons desormais, s'est erigee en modele hegemonique du savoir.. . . Mais l ' h i s t o i r e de ce triomphe est aussi c e l l e d'une defaite. Au fur et a mesure qu'elle s'est affirmee comme reference majeure du discours s o c i a l , l a science a perdu contact avec l a culture. ( L ' E s p r i t de s e l 87) Accordingly, i f science i s to serve i t s most genuine function i n society, i t must renew i t s dialogue with culture, understood here as " l e savoir ne de l a s e n s i b i l i t e , de l a s u b j e c t i v i t e , l e savoir meme de l a v i e qui fonde l a culture" (87). Studies i n the hist o r y and philosophy of science have contributed a great deal to the evolution of the concept of s c i e n t i f i c i t y . A stronger rapprochement between the natural sciences and l i t e r a r y theory i s confirmed. Not unlike Toulmin and Levy-Leblond, Raman Selden argues that "the use of analysis and models i n the natural sciences suggests a much more poetic theory of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge, and draws attention to the s i m i l a r i t i e s between ' s c i e n t i f i c ' and ' n o n - s c i e n t i f i c ' d i s c i p l i n e s , rather than the difference" ( C r i t i c i s m and O b j e c t i v i t y 35). C r i t i c a l theory, consequently, benefited from t h i s s i t u a t i o n i n order to pursue further the consolidation of i t s project of s c i e n t i f i c i t y . The necessity to keep a c l e a r l i n e of demarcation between science and non-science was no longer imperative or defensible. In other words, the metaphor of s c i e n t i f i c i t y i s no longer forced to bind i t s meaning to empiricism and r a t i o n a l i t y as propounded e a r l i e r by the natural sciences. I t must now account for some new t h e o r e t i c a l impasses that have emerged within the methodology of the natural sciences themselves. Indeed, the work of Kuhn, Lakatos, Toulmin, Feyerabend, Lyotard, and Castoriadis has been p i v o t a l to recent studies i n the h i s t o r y of s c i e n t i f i c thought, as well as to the s c i e n t i f i c interpretations of l i t e r a t u r e . This work needs to be studied i n depth i n order for us to understand the f u l l s i g n i f i c a n c e of i t s e f f e c t s on the development of c r i t i c a l theory and on the metaphor of s c i e n t i f i c i t y i t s e l f . But since a d e t a i l e d exposition of the work of these s c i e n t i s t s and philosophers of science i s beyond the scope of t h i s discussion, I s h a l l l i m i t myself to addressing c e r t a i n s p e c i f i c arguments relevant to the question of s c i e n t i f i c i t y i n the f i e l d of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . This w i l l shed important l i g h t on the recent metamorphoses of the concept of s c i e n t i f i c i t y , as well as provide for a wider t h e o r e t i c a l framework for the study of Leavis's and Macherey's c r i t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s . Thomas Kuhn's work i n p a r t i c u l a r , i n i t i a t e d by his theory of "paradigm s h i f t s " as developed i n The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions (1962), has brought a powerful c r i t i q u e to "Normal Science," the modes of s c i e n t i f i c thought that dominate at any one p a r t i c u l a r period. His i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the hi s t o r y of the natural sciences points out that, i n the end, "normal science" does not d i f f e r very much from any d i s c i p l i n e i n the humanities. Not unlike c r i t i c i s m , for instance, "normal science" i s governed by the workings of "paradigms" or dominant theories, the nature of s c i e n t i f i c communities, the types of instruments used i n research, and by a highly structured " b u i l t - i n mechanism" that checks on "anomalies" i n matters of knowledge (The Structure 24). Sometimes, because of the r i g i d i t y of s c i e n t i f i c rules, i t appears that the closest example to the structure of "normal science" i s theology. To substantiate t h i s point, Kuhn argues that "the nature of the educational i n i t i a t i o n " (165) of young s c i e n t i s t s into the mature practice of science through the rules of paradigms makes them "committed to the same rules and standards of s c i e n t i f i c p r a c t i c e " that "seldom evoke overt disagreement over fundamentals" (11). Compared to education i n "music, the graphic arts, and l i t e r a t u r e , " s c i e n t i f i c education i s "narrow and r i g i d . . .probably more so than any other except perhaps i n orthodox theology" (166). To understand science we must, therefore, understand the functioning of "paradigms" and t h e i r "communities" f i r s t . For Kuhn, the term "paradigm" has two meanings: " i t stands for the entire c o n s t e l l a t i o n of b e l i e f s , values and techniques shared by the members of a given community"; at the same time, i t "denotes one sort of element i n that c o n s t e l l a t i o n , the concrete puzzle-solutions which, employed as models or examples, can replace e x p l i c i t rules as a basis for the solution of the remaining puzzles of normal science" (175). While dependent on the functioning of a s c i e n t i f i c community, "paradigms guide research by d i r e c t modeling as well as through abstracted rules" (47). Paradigm s h i f t s or s c i e n t i f i c revolutions occur when the dominant paradigm can no longer make room for the anomalies that a r i s e . When "the profession can no longer evade anomalies that subvert the e x i s t i n g t r a d i t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c p r a c t i c e — t h e n begin the extraordinary investigations that lead the profession. . .to a new set of commitments, a new basis for the practice of science" (6). Furthermore, any r a d i c a l changes that occur at the l e v e l of the paradigm d i r e c t l y a f f e c t the paradigm's network of rel a t i o n s h i p s : "paradigm changes do cause s c i e n t i s t s to see the world of t h e i r research-engagement d i f f e r e n t l y " (111). In many ways, s c i e n t i f i c theories become closer to l i t e r a r y theories. They are both affected by the nature of t h e i r constituencies and t h e i r s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l contexts. Indeed, Kuhn concludes, " s c i e n t i f i c knowledge, l i k e language, i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y the common property of a group or else nothing at a l l . To understand i t we s h a l l need to know the s p e c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the groups that create and use i t " (210). Anchored i n community practices, s c i e n t i f i c i t y must forsake i t s t r a d i t i o n a l abode of o b j e c t i v i t y and universal truth. Accordingly, the b e l i e f that was held for a long time by empiricist and r a t i o n a l i s t philosophies such as the Vienna C i r c l e early i n t h i s century i n the ontological development of science, i t s cumulative "progress" and the n e u t r a l i t y of i t s discourse no longer holds water (206; see also Hans Eichener, "The Rise of Modern Science" 21-2 2) . In the past, t h i s image of s c i e n t i f i c i t y as a view of the world that i s detached, impersonal, coherent, value-free, and u n i v e r s a l l y true was i n fact only part of the i d e o l o g i c a l requirements for the functioning of the dominant paradigms. "Science i s obviously seldom or never. . .a single monolithic and u n i f i e d enterprise," Kuhn adds. On the contrary, when "viewing a l l f i e l d s together, i t seems instead a rather ramshackle structure with l i t t l e coherence among i t s various parts" (The Structure 49). For instance, Kuhn points out, "although quantum mechanics—or Newtonian dynamics, or electromagnetic t h e o r y — i s a paradigm for many s c i e n t i f i c groups, i t i s not the same paradigm for them a l l " (50). Clearly, the consensus claimed among s c i e n t i s t s often masks various divergences among 27 the d i f f e r e n t communities of s c i e n t i s t s as well as within t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l s p e c i a l t i e s . These divergences are often smothered i n order to allow the t r a d i t i o n of the paradigm to continue. Moreover, since both "normal science and revolutions are community-based a c t i v i t i e s " (179), the claim to the n e u t r a l i t y of a s c i e n t i f i c language becomes a mere id e o l o g i c a l statement: "as for a pure observation-language, perhaps one w i l l yet be devised" (126). In the end, "science does not deal in a l l possible laboratory manipulations. Instead, i t selects those relevant to the juxtaposition of a paradigm with the immediate experience that that paradigm has p a r t i a l l y determined" (12 6) . Toulmin, for his part, corroborates t h i s point i n p a r t i c u l a r by arguing that " s c i e n t i f i c discoveries are t y p i c a l l y arrived at not by generalizing from preexisting facts but by providing answers to preexisting questions" (Toulmin, "The Construal of Reality" 101). What i s problematized here by both Kuhn and Toulmin, besides "normal science," i s the status of the s c i e n t i f i c " f a c t " i t s e l f . The " f a c t , " as an object of s c i e n t i f i c investigation, i s no longer a passive ontological e n t i t y that exists independently of the methods that seek to appropriate i t ; i t i s rather the object of a method. I t responds d i r e c t l y to that method i n i t s process of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . In t h i s context and with reference to modern physics, Toulmin maintains: 28 The Newtonian choice for passive over active matter seems. . .to have turned as much on issues of s o c i a l imagery—God being seen to " i n s p i r e " matter and confer motion on i t , j u s t as the king was seen to be the f i n a l source of p o l i t i c a l agency—as i t did on genuine matters of s c i e n t i f i c i n terpretation and explanation. (108) The end-result of t h i s problematization of the ontological status of the s c i e n t i f i c " f a c t " has led i n turn to the questioning of the nature of o b j e c t i v i t y as well. The notion of s c i e n t i f i c o b j e c t i v i t y which has been p i v o t a l to those c r i t i c a l approaches aiming at an approximation of s c i e n t i f i c rigour has thus been problematized by the Kuhnian theory of paradigms, and hence can no longer stand as a yardstick for measuring the v a l i d i t y of the epistemological status of c r i t i c a l discourse. C r i t i c i s m would be wrong to expect the hard sciences to provide l i t e r a r y methods and t h e i r c r i t e r i a of judgement with an exact s c i e n t i f i c model to emulate (see Selden, C r i t i c i s m and O b j e c t i v i t y 40). S c i e n t i f i c o b j e c t i v i t y now bears a self-conscious c r i t i c a l character, a mechanism that allows i t to s c r u t i n i z e i t s method of analysis from a l l possible angles. Since the disappearance of the t r a d i t i o n a l l y priviledged Archimedian vantage p o i n t — o f naive r e a l i s m — i t seems that a r e l a t i v i s t i c view has slipped from the humanities into the f i e l d of "normal science," thereby problematizing the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the thinking subject (the s c i e n t i s t / c r i t i c ) and the theorized object (the s c i e n t i f i c f a c t / t e x t ) . But as Kuhn i n s i s t s , t h i s does not mean that "anything goes" or that the s c i e n t i f i c method should f a l l into some kind of b l i n d subjectivism (Kuhn, The Structure 191). As Toulmin puts i t so succinctly, " i n the physical sciences, o b j e c t i v i t y can now be achieved only i n the way i t i s i n the human sciences: the s c i e n t i s t must acknowledge and discount his own reactions to and influence on that which he seeks to understand" (Toulmin, "The Construal of R e a l i t y " 103). By a kind of tour de force, we witness the return to a defence of i n t u i t i o n and imagination i n science—something t r a d i t i o n a l i s t c r i t i c s and the Romantics propounded, and which Wellek considered to be unjustly excluded by s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m . Toulmin goes on to argue, In sciences and humanities a l i k e , we must be prepared to consider the products of human imagination and creation—whether ideas or a r t i f a c t s , poems or t h e o r i e s — f r o m a v a r i e t y of d i f f e r e n t points of view, some of them i n t e r n a l to the immediate content and professional goal, others r e f l e c t i n g more the influence of external factors. (110) Accordingly, the system that i s deemed most s c i e n t i f i c i s the one that seems to be highly s e l f - r e f l e x i v e , capable of s e l f - c r i t i c i s m , and conscious of the mechanisms—both intenal and e x t e r n a l — t h a t determine i t s l e g i t i m i z a t i o n and functioning. 30 This i s one of the many facets of postmodern science, which Jean-Fancois Lyotard defines i n the following terms: En s 1 i n t e r e s s a n t aux indecidables, aux l i m i t e s de l a p r e c i s i o n du controle, aux quanta, aux c o n f l i t s a information non complete, aux "f r a c t a " , aux catastrophes, aux paradoxes pragmatiques, l a science postmoderne f a i t l a theorie de sa propre evolution comme discontinue, catastrophique, non r e c t i f i a b l e , paradoxale. E l l e change l e sens du mot savoir, et e l l e d i t comment ce changement peut avoir l i e u . E l l e produit non pas du connu, mais de l'inconnu. Et e l l e suggere un modele de legitimation qui n'est nullement c e l u i de l a meilleure performance, mais c e l u i de l a difference comprise comme paralogie. (La Condition Postmoderne 97) The new science i s now portrayed as a system capable of embracing a l l possible theories even when they are i n contradiction with each other. I t does not l i v e on the exclusion of opposite discourses, but rather makes room for a l l the paradoxical ones that come i t s way. Thus, Kuhn's, Toulmin 1s, and Lyotard*s r e f l e c t i o n s on the development as well as the epistemological status of s c i e n t i f i c discourse have narrowed the gap separating the natural sciences from the humanities. The alter n a t i v e s they o f f e r widen the scope of the metaphor of s c i e n t i f i c i t y so as to embrace even those t h e o r e t i c a l concepts that were branded i n the past as " u n - s c i e n t i f i c . 1 1 As a solution to the c o n f l i c t that has p i t t e d both d i s c i p l i n e s against each other f o r centuries, Kuhn c a l l s for a comparative study between "the community structure of science" and "the corresponding communities i n other f i e l d s . " Toulmin, for his part, suggests that the aims of c o n f l i c t i n g d i s c i p l i n e s should be unified, whereas Lyotard proposes "un systeme ouvert" as the best alternative. For Kuhn, the comparative project he offers should begin by addressing the following key questions: How does one elect and how i s one elected to membership i n a p a r t i c u l a r community, s c i e n t i f i c or not? What i s the process and what are the stages of s o c i a l i z a t i o n to the group? What does the group c o l l e c t i v e l y see as i t s goals; what deviations, i n d i v i d u a l or c o l l e c t i v e , w i l l i t tolerate; and how does i t control the impermissible aberration? (Kuhn, The Structure 209) Not unlike Kuhn, Toulmin suggests that methodological concerns in both d i s c i p l i n e s should attend to the same goal: r c i r i t i c a l judgement in the natural sciences . . . i s not geometrical, and c r i t i c a l interpretation i n the humanities i s not whimsical. In both spheres, the proper aims should be the same—that i s , to be perceptive, illuminating, and reasonable. (Toulmin, "The Construal of Reality" 117; author's emphasis) Indeed, the alternative Kuhn and Toulmin off e r to a hegemonic "Normal Science" i s that of a highly conscious t h e o r e t i c a l system capable of analyzing the workings of i t s own method while analyzing i t s object and formulating i t s rules. The c a l l i s then for a science that i s not distorted by any monolithic r h e t o r i c of power that hides ideologies of exclusion. I t i s , i n Lyotard's terms, a "pragmatic open system": Pour autant qu'elle est differenciante, l a science dans sa pragmatique o f f r e l'antimodele du systeme stable. Tout enonce est a r e t e n i r du moment q u ' i l comporte de l a difference avec ce qui est su, et q u ' i l est argumentable et prouvable. E l l e est un modele de "systeme ouvert" dans lequel l a pertinence de 1'enonce est q u ' i l "donne naissance a des idees", c'est-a-dire a d'autres enonces et a d'autres regies de jeu. II n'y a pas dans l a science une metalangue generale dans laq u e l l e toutes l e s autres peuvent etre t r a n s c r i t e s et evaluees. C'est ce qui i n t e r d i t 1 ' i d e n t i f i c a t i o n au systeme et, tout compte f a i t , l a terreur. (Lyotard, La Condition 103-4) In the l i g h t of such an argument, the concept of s c i e n t i f i c i t y has acquired a wider s i g n i f i c a n c e which could be summed up i n a single Kuhnian key-term: "incommensurability." I t i s t h i s s i g n i f i c a n c e that grants the concept a sense of e l a s t i c i t y when applied to eithe r "science" or "non-science." But most importantly, through t h i s c r i t i q u e of "normal science," the concept of s c i e n t i f i c i t y has moved into the t e r r a i n of ideology. A discourse that i s marked " S c i e n t i f i c " can no longer pass through the gates of int e r p r e t a t i o n unchecked. A f t e r being perceived as the negation of ideology, s c i e n t i f i c i t y now seems to have c o l l i d e d with i t . Both concepts and t h e i r ramifications must now inhabit human discourse, be i t " s c i e n t i f i c " or " n o n - s c i e n t i f i c . " 33 Why Leavis and Macherey? On the one hand, both c r i t i c s exemplify—although from opposite a n g l e s — a continual struggle with the question of s c i e n t i f i c i t y i n the domain of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . On the other hand, they both mark two c r u c i a l moments i n the development of c r i t i c a l theory: Leavis witnessed and collaborated i n the genesis of c r i t i c i s m as a d i s t i n c t u n i v e r s i t y d i s c i p l i n e at Cambridge immediately a f t e r the F i r s t World War, whereas Macherey mediates some of the major p r i n c i p l e s of the " t h e o r e t i c a l revolution" of the l a t e 1960s i n France, and l a t e r i n England and North America. Moreover, thanks to Leavis and Macherey, s c i e n t i f i c i t y i n l i t e r a r y studies has undergone i t s major metamorphoses. In the meantime, both c r i t i c s problematize the epistemological status of theory as science, of l i t e r a t u r e as a v i a b l e i n s t i t u t i o n , and of interpretation as a p o l i t i c a l act. Therefore, i t w i l l be necessary to look at Leavis's and Macherey's c r i t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s i n d e t a i l i n order to see how the idea of a s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m has been addressed by two opposing c r i t i c s who not only disagree on the r o l e of theory and the nature of the l i t e r a r y text, but also belong to two d i f f e r e n t cultures and l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n s : the English c r i t i c i s marked by an empirical t r a d i t i o n that i s "deeply rooted i n the s o i l , " whereas the other belongs to a French t r a d i t i o n that has been h i s t o r i c a l l y marked by philosophical abstraction. Leavis s t i l l remains an enigma and h i s work ambiguous despite the debates he has aroused i n various l i t e r a r y journals and departments of English throughout the world. In contrast, Macherey's work s t i l l remains obscure despite the attention i t has drawn from those c r i t i c s interested i n the debates between the S t r u c t u r a l i s t s , the Marxists, and the Deconstructivists (see Felperin, Beyond Deconstruction; Eagleton, C r i t i c i s m and Ideology; and Bennett, Formalism and Marxism). In t h e i r accounting for l i t e r a t u r e , c r i t i c i s m , and theory, both Leavis and Macherey have followed diverging t h e o r e t i c a l and epistemological t r a j e c t o r i e s . The former fought against the notion of a science of c r i t i c i s m whereas the l a t t e r supported i t s p o s s i b i l i t y . In t h e i r c o n f l i c t i n g attempts to analyze l i t e r a t u r e and define the c r i t e r i a of i t s interpretation, they reveal the two sides of Wellek's p o l a r i t y of "science versus i n t u i t i o n . " Against the idea of s c i e n t i f i c i t y i n c r i t i c i s m , Leavis proposes such notions as " i n t u i t i o n , " " s e n s i b i l i t y , " "organic culture," " l i f e , " and "human c r e a t i v i t y . " In contrast, Macherey views s c i e n t i f i c i t y as the main id e a l to be pursued by c r i t i c a l theory i n order to achieve a "knowledge" that displaces ideology and " c r i t i c a l f a l l a c i e s . " Whereas Leavis c a l l s for the "unity," "coherence," and "homogeneity" of the l i t e r a r y text, Macherey upholds the notions of "contradiction," "decenteredness, 1 1 "absence," and "ideology" as necessary elements for h i s "rigorous" and 35 " s c i e n t i f i c " system. However, the differences between these two c r i t i c s are not always that c l e a r l y marked, for t h e i r theorization of l i t e r a t u r e — a l t h o u g h Leavis would not admit to any theory—has led them into major t h e o r e t i c a l impasses that are, i n the f i n a l analysis, not t o t a l l y d i s s i m i l a r . Thus, i n the l i g h t of the major metamorphoses of the notion of s c i e n t i f i c i t y , as developed i n t h i s f i r s t section, i t i s worth considering how Leavis and Macherey have conceived of c r i t i c i s m as a p r i v i l e g e d d i s c i p l i n e . Part Two, which consists of three chapters, deals with Leavis's c r i t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s as they develop towards a confrontation with the question of a s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m . Leavis grants increasing attention to t h i s question from 1962 onward, the year he published h i s Richmond lecture, "Two Cultures?" i n response to C P . Snow's Rede lecture i n which the l a t t e r i d e a l i z e s "the s c i e n t i f i c culture." To understand Leavis's response to Snow and scientism, we need to address the Arnoldian legacy, e s p e c i a l l y i n the way i t conceived of the re l a t i o n s h i p between science, c r i t i c i s m , and l i t e r a t u r e . Leavis's argument against science finds many of i t s echoes i n his controversy with Marxism, which he perceives as a l l i e d with destructive technology and negativity. Part Three, which i s also divided into three chapters, deals with Macherey's c r i t i c a l system and the elements of his 36 "theory of l i t e r a r y production." I t also addresses the question of ideology i n the s c i e n t i f i c model posited by Macherey's Althusserian paradigm. Here, the main focus i s on Macherey's concepts of "absence," the "non-dit," and "contradiction" as co n s t i t u t i v e of l i t e r a t u r e and c r i t i c a l knowledge. The t h e o r e t i c a l problematic that emerges from Macherey's theory i s the d i f f i c u l t y of r e c o n c i l i n g the "structure of absence" with s c i e n t i f i c i t y and ideology. F i n a l l y , Part Four draws a b r i e f comparative assessment of the two c r i t i c s ' positions with reference to the status of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , theory, s c i e n t i f i c i t y , and ideology. While drawing on Habermas's c r i t i q u e of modern s c i e n t i f i c r a t i o n a l i t y , I s h a l l point out the need to theorize c r i t i c i s m from the perspective of the theory of ideology. The main idea argued here i s that the resistance to or the celebration of the concept of s c i e n t i f i c i t y marks a c r u c i a l "moment" i n the histo r y of c r i t i c i s m and attests to i t s continual struggle for sur v i v a l both as an academic a c t i v i t y and as a human epistemological p r a c t i c e . But i n pursuing s c i e n t i f i c i t y , c r i t i c i s m must beware of f a l l i n g into the ideology of l e g i t i m i z a t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r epistemologies and worldviews. In addressing these t h e o r e t i c a l problems, I s h a l l follow an a n a l y t i c approach i n order to point out the th e o r e t i c a l contradictions of p a r t i c u l a r systems of closure, 37 rather than pretending to o f f e r f i n a l answers to a l l the questions raised. 38 PART TWO: F.R. Leavis and the Question of Science: C r i t i c a l Knowledge, L i t e r a r y Standards, and Valuation 39 I. Revising the Arnoldian Tradition: Leavis's C r i t i c i s m , S c i e n t i f i c Knowledge, and "Organic Culture" L i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m can be no more than a reasoned account of the f e e l i n g produced upon the c r i t i c by the book he i s c r i t i c i z i n g . C r i t i c i s m can never be a science: i t i s , i n the f i r s t place, much too personal, and i n the second, i t i s concerned with values that science ignores. The touchstone i s emotion, not reason. We judge a work of a r t by i t s e f f e c t s on our sincere and v i t a l emotions and nothing else. A l l the c r i t i c a l twiddle-twaddle about s t y l e and form, a l l t h i s pseudo-scientific c l a s s i f y i n g and analysing of books i n an imitation-botanical fashion i s merely impertinence and mostly d u l l jargon, (cited i n F.R. Leavis, Valuation i n C r i t i c i s m 245-6) This Lawrentian statement could e a s i l y have been uttered by F.R. Leavis. Indeed, he often expressed a s i m i l a r attitude towards science, as opposed to " v i t a l emotions," at various stages of h i s career (cf. Thought, Words and C r e a t i v i t y 47; and Education and the University 116). The statement quoted above also marks a c l e a r demarcation between criticism and science and sums up Leavis's view of the function of criticism; i t offers a miniature picture of his representation of s c i e n t i f i c i t y in the domain of literature. In fact, both Leavis's h o s t i l i t y to s c i e n t i f i c knowledge and his defence of a c r i t i c a l realm of "emotion" and "sensibility" are nowadays taken for granted by the majority of scholars interested in Leavisite criticism. But what remains a bone of contention among these scholars is the nature of criticism Leavis offers. R.P. Bilan, for instance, sees Leavis as presenting "one of the most definite and coherent ideas of criticism of the twentieth century" (R.P. Bilan, The Literary Criticism of F.R. Leavis 61). Similarly, Gary Watson argues that "in England today the c r i t i c a l practice of the Leavises represents the only valid c r i t i c a l alternative" (The Leavises; the "Social" and the Left; cf. Pradham "Literary Criticism and Cultural Diagnosis," 3 9 3 ) . John Needham for his part maintains that Leavis i s "the best of the modern English c r i t i c s because he kept to the central road of criticism, responding as a f u l l human being to literature. . ." (The Completest Mode 158). In opposition to Bilan and Watson, other literary scholars have objected to Leavis's c r i t i c a l principles, for they perceive them as anti-scientific, flawed, and moralistic at heart. Colin MacCabe argues that "the Leavisite position of the mid-sixties (and the essential components were already in place in the late forties) retained a narrow focus on literature" ("The Cambridge Heritage" 248). formulations depend wholly on. . .mistaken hypotheses. . ." (Literature and Method 203), while Howard Felperin says that "the Leavisite p r i v i l e g i n g of i n t u i t i o n over i n t e l l e c t , morality over form, evaluation over interpretation, conscience over consciousness. . .seem. . .fundamentally misguided" (Felperin, Beyond Deconstruction 16). These readings of Leavis's work, which are not always illfounded, base themselves mainly on his assessment of what he perceives as the c u l t u r a l and s p i r i t u a l c r i s i s of the twentieth century that was generated by the technological revolution. Yet, what most of these c r i t i c s merely touch upon i s the c r u c i a l relevance of Leavis's argument against the " s c i e n t i f i c culture" to his formulation of a p a r t i c u l a r c r i t i c a l approach. In fact, t h i s argument became more engaging after his confrontation with C P . Snow in the early s i x t i e s . As a result, Leavis's perception of the interpretive method i n c r i t i c i s m was d i r e c t l y affected by his negative attitude towards science. The peculiar representation of s c i e n t i f i c i t y that he offers, seen b a s i c a l l y as a threat to l i t e r a r y values, seems to have forced him—perhaps unawares—to theorize his c r i t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s , something he openly opposed i n the exchanges he had with Wellek, Bateson, and Tanner. As he often argued, c r i t i c i s m and abstract theory were incompatible a c t i v i t i e s . To him, viewing l i t e r a t u r e as human experience anchored i n a world of moral values such as " r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , " a c t i v i t i e s . To him, viewing l i t e r a t u r e as human experience anchored i n a world of moral values such as " r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , " " s i n s i b i l i t y , " and "collaborative" action renders c r i t i c i s m more appropriate to the study of l i t e r a t u r e and culture than any method propounding a s c i e n t i f i c or philosophical epistemology. In fact, h i s confrontation with s c i e n t i f i c i t y marked h i s discourse with a p a r t i c u l a r language which was not t o t a l l y a l i e n to the dominant s c i e n t i f i c discourse of h i s time; hence the complexity of Leavis's statements about l i t e r a t u r e , c r i t i c i s m , and science. U n t i l h i s death i n 1978, Leavis repeatedly defended himself against a l l these objections to h i s views of c r i t i c i s m and he formulated his own l i t e r a r y p r i n c i p l e s i n response to those c r i t i q u e s directed against him. His c r i t e r i a of analysis often swayed between the celebration of a p a r t i c u l a r pseudo- p o s i t i v i s t i c view of culture, since these c r i t e r i a were marked by an e m p i r i c i s t bent, and an overt r e j e c t i o n of abstract hypotheses—whether philosophical or s c i e n t i f i c — i n defence of i n t u i t i o n and emotion. In so doing and despite his confession that "I neither believe i n any sp e c i a l ' l i t e r a r y * value nor am h o s t i l e to science" (Nor Shall My Sword 152). Leavis t r i e d to put forward a method of "judgement and analysis" that emphasized, such notions as "precision," " v e r i f i c a t i o n " of value-judgement (see The Living P r i n c i p l e 35), and the idea of the l i t e r a r y work as a "concrete" object of study whose reading necessitates a kind of pseudo-objective " s e l f - d e n i a l " on the part of the c r i t i c (Revaluation 10). These notions which Leavis shares with other c r i t i c s , such as E l i o t , Empson, and Richards i n his early phase who have defended the p o s s i b i l i t y of an "objective" c r i t i c i s m , constitute h i s a n t i - s c i e n t i f i c system. But these notions, most importantly, reveal also a central paradox i n the theorization of h i s c r i t i c a l approach. His formulation of c r i t i c a l c r i t e r i a remains p o s i t i v i s t i c at the l e v e l of i t s language but a n t i - p o s i t i v i s t i c and a n t i - s c i e n t i f i c at the l e v e l of i t s c u l t u r a l content. This i s the major thesis that governs Leavis's t h e o r e t i c a l v i s i o n . However, t h i s paradox or t h e o r e t i c a l impasse which confronts Leavis's representation of s c i e n t i f i c method cannot be understood simply on i t s own, without r e l a t i n g i t to a complex network of p r i n c i p l e s . Some of these are indebted to an Arnoldian heritage while others are anchored i n an English c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n that extends back to Ruskin, Carly l e , and Coleridge (see Raymond Williams, Culture and Society 154; 248). Moreover, these p r i n c i p l e s pertain to h i s view of society, culture, and the function of both l i t e r a t u r e and c r i t i c i s m i n a contemporary c i v i l i s a t i o n perceived as being on the brink of chaos. As Leavis pointed out i n 1933, "when disi n t e g r a t i o n , s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l , has set i n , the business of c r i t i c i s m becomes very d i f f i c u l t of performance" (Towards Standards of C r i t i c i s m 5 ) . This i s why I f i n d i t imperative to look f i r s t at Leavis's theory of culture i n i t s re l a t i o n s h i p to the question of science. For i n his c r i t i c a l model, in t e r p r e t i v e method i s caught between a desire to instaure a l o s t past of organic culture and to formulate a c r i t i c a l method i n response to the hegemony of science. Moreover, the influence of the English c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n on Leavis's understanding of these questions o f f e r s us some s i g n i f i c a n t clues as to the nature of t h i s c r i t i c a l system. Indeed, among Leavis's early concerns which brought him popularity at Cambridge Univesity was h i s attention to the importance of culture i n securing a remedy for the post-war c r i s i s of English society. While addressing the questions of l i t e r a t u r e , c r i t i c i s m , and s c i e n t i f i c method, he worked towards the formulation of a c u l t u r a l theory that was to remain long a central component of his theorization of c r i t i c i s m and h i s representation of science. Yet, h i s discussion of culture never produced a systematic theory. The elements of such a "theory" must be gathered from the various pronouncements Leavis made about society and l i t e r a t u r e i n general i n order for us to understand what hi s r e a l aim was. Often, h i s d e f i n i t i o n s of concepts, e s p e c i a l l y of "organic culture," which he idealized, remain quite ambiguous. Nevertheless, his contribution to the debate around the question of culture proved f r u i t f u l i n the English context. 45 For i t was t h i s question of culture, which subsequently had d i r e c t influence on the development of a number of c u l t u r a l c r i t i c s i n England, namely R. Hoggart, E.P. Thompson, R. Williams, S. H a l l , and others (see Lesley Johnson, The Cultural C r i t i c s ) , and led i n the end to the foundation by Hoggart i n 1959 of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham (see Michael Green, "The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies," 77-90). What was to occupy primary attention i n Le a v i s i t e thinking then was the fate of "organic culture." I t was the idea of an "organic society" i n p a r t i c u l a r which became central to his worldview even when he emphasized c r i t i c i s m as a special " d i s c i p l i n e of thought" with i t s claim to c l e a r l y defined standards of "precision," empirical attention to "the words on the page," and " s e n s i b i l i t y " i n c r i t i c a l response. In his f i r s t pamphlet, Mass C i v i l i s a t i o n and Minority Culture (1930), Leavis points out that the c r i s i s of modern society i s a c r i s i s of culture, r e s u l t i n g from the d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of the "organic society" of the past. " I t i s a commonplace to-day," he argues, "that culture i s at a c r i s i s . I t i s a commonplace more widely accepted than understood: at any rate, r e a l i s a t i o n of what the c r i s i s portends does not seem to be common" (Mass C i v i l i s a t i o n 5). To Leavis, t h i s c r i s i s i s part of the ethos of modern technologized c i v i l i s a t i o n , a s i t u a t i o n that i s enhanced by rapid change, the negative e f f e c t s of technology, 46 mass-production, and the standardization of values. To i l l u s t r a t e t h i s point about the e f f e c t s of industrialism, he refers to the machine as the symbol par excellence that mediates the nature of t h i s c r i s i s of culture. He says: The machine, i n the f i r s t place has brought change in habit and the circumstances of l i f e at a rate for which we have no p a r a l l e l . . . Change has been so catastrophic that the generations f i n d i t hard to adjust themselves to each other, and parents are helpless to deal with t h e i r children. It seems u n l i k e l y that the conditions of l i f e can be transformed i n t h i s way without some injury to the standards of l i v i n g . . . : improvisation can hardly replace the d e l i c a t e t r a d i t i o n a l adjustments, the mature, inherited codes of habit and valuation, without severe loss, and loss that may be more than temporary. I t i s a breach i n continuity that threatens: what has been inadvertently dropped may be irrecoverable or forgotten. (Mass C i v i l i s a t i o n 6-7) Modern " c i v i l i s a t i o n " has become a threat to "culture." Consisting of "inherited codes of habit" t h i s culture i s based upon an important sense of t r a d i t i o n . I t seeks to ensure the continuity of a p a r t i c u l a r sense of cohesion among a l l the members of the community; hence i t s "organic" character. The advent of the modern age, according to Leavis, has brought with i t a c i v i l i s a t i o n that negates nearly a l l the elements of t h i s "organic culture." As a r e s u l t , the future of such a culture has become bleak, but without being t o t a l l y hopeless: "the prospects of culture, then, are very dark. There i s the less room for hope i n that a standardised c i v i l i s a t i o n i s r a p i d l y enveloping the whole world" (30). Indeed, i n opposing "culture" and " c i v i l i s a t i o n , " Leavis perceives the former as the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of a se l e c t minority and represents the Arnoldian p r i n c i p l e of "the best that has been thought i n the world." In contrast, the l a t t e r stands for the uncouth practices of the populace who are said to be enslaved by the intervention of the machine and the u n s p i r i t u a l materialism of the market-oriented technology of p u b l i c i t y i n t h e i r l i v e s . Such a state of a f f a i r s i s best exemplified by the a l i e n a t i n g e f f e c t s of the media and the f i l m industry on the masses: The films. . .provide now the main form of recreation i n the c i v i l i s e d world; and they involve surrender, under conditions of hypnotic r e c e p t i v i t y , to the cheapest emotional appeals, appeals the more insidious because they are associated with a compellingly v i v i d i l l u s i o n of actual l i f e . (9-10) Accordingly, the i l l u s o r y and a l i e n a t i n g e f f e c t s of consumerist c i v i l i s a t i o n negate the authenticity of the modes of f e e l i n g i n the "organic" world. And " f e e l i n g , " l i k e "emotion" and "sincere" responsiveness, i s an e s s e n t i a l component of Leavis's theorization of culture and c r i t i c i s m . These romantic concepts o f f e r major bases on which Leavis seeks to b u i l d h i s refutation of s c i e n t i f i c i t y . 48 However, i n perceiving " c i v i l i s a t i o n " and "culture" as " a n t i t h e t i c a l terms," Leavis reverses the order of hi s t o r y as well as the dominant conception of h i s contemporary world. Instead of portraying c i v i l i s a t i o n as progress, he perceives i t as " c i v i l i z e d barbarity, complacent, self-indulgent and ignorant. . .[It] can see nothing to be quarrelled with i n believing, or wanting to believe, that a computer can write a poem" (Nor Shall my Sword 207). Technology i s , therefore, incapable of generating or e f f e c t i n g authentic and " v i t a l " human emotions; the "cheapest emotional appeals" i t e f f e c t s among the masses are ini m i c a l to a "healthy" c u l t u r a l order as re f l e c t e d i n the "organic" society of the seventeenth century, for instance. For an al t e r n a t i v e to modernity and consumerist c i v i l i s a t i o n , Leavis turns h i s attention to the p r e - i n d u s t r i a l past as a genuine epitome of a l l refined modes of thought and l i v i n g . These modes are expressed i n the language of "art-speech," mediating "organic culture" as i t i s found, for instance, i n the works of Shakespeare, Bunyan, and Donne. Commenting on a passage from Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, Leavis says that the language here i s p l a i n l y t r a d i t i o n a l a r t and, equally p l a i n l y the l i f e i n i t i s of the people. . .The names and racy turns are organic with the general s t y l e s and the st y l e , concentrating the l i f e of popular idiom, i s the expression of popular h a b i t — t h e expression of a vigorous humane culture. For what i s involved i s not merely an idiomatic raciness of speech, 49 expressing a strong v i t a l i t y , but an a r t of s o c i a l l i v i n g , with i t s mature habits of valuation. . . . There would have been no Shakespeare and no Bunyan i f i n t h e i r time, with a l l i t s disadvantages by present standards, there had not been, l i v i n g i n the d a i l y l i f e of the people, a p o s i t i v e culture which has disappeared. (The Common Pursuit 2 08) 1 For Leavis, the modes of l i v i n g expressed by "popular idiom" or "art-speech" mediate other notions such as " l i f e , " " v i t a l i t y , " " t r a d i t i o n , " and the "continuity" of a "humane culture." These are necessary ingredients for an i d e a l culture that would produce poets and a r t i s t s such as Donne, Blake, or Lawrence. The elements of an "organic society" are held together by a center of authority that looks a f t e r the health of the culture and i t s cohesion. Cultural d i s i n t e g r a t i o n means that "the power and sense of authority are. . .divorced from culture" (Mass C i v i l i s a t i o n 26). This locus of authority i s l a t e r attributed to the d i s c i p l i n e of c r i t i c i s m through i t s i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n at the u n i v e r s i t y and i s supported by a c r i t i c a l review l i k e The Calendar or Scrutiny. As to the empirical proof for the existence of t h i s conceptualized "organic culture," Leavis r e l i e d mostly on two books, The Wheelwright Shop (1923) and Change i n the V i l l a g e (1912), by George Sturt (George Bourne), which depict the In Culture and Environment, p. 2, Leavis and Thompson describe The Pilgrim's Progress as the "supreme expression" of organic culture. 50 beginning of the Industrial Revolution and i t s e f f e c t s on r u r a l England. Leavis r e l i e d also on the "anthropological" studies of Q.D. Leavis i n her F i c t i o n and the Reading Public (1932). This book which was published the year Scrutiny was launched, had a d i r e c t influence on the Scrutineers' method of analysis, e s p e c i a l l y i n t h e i r reviews of the novel. 2 Queenie Leavis's interpretation of the history of the English novel and old England's determining role i n generating the c l a s s i c s of l i t e r a t u r e resembles F.R. Leavis's reading of the "great t r a d i t i o n . " The following passage from the l a s t public lecture she gave i n her l i f e t i m e sums up her views of l i t e r a t u r e , "organic culture," and modern c i v i l i s a t i o n . She says: The England that bore the c l a s s i c a l English novel has gone forever, and we can't expect a country of high-rise flat-dwellers, o f f i c e workers and factory robots and unassimilated m u l t i - r a c i a l minorities, with a suburbanized countryside, factory farming, sexual emancipation without r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , r i s i n g crime and violence, and the Trade Union mentality, to give r i s e to a l i t e r a t u r e comparable with i t s novel t r a d i t i o n of a so d i f f e r e n t past. (Collected Essays 325) Here, Queenie Leavis's view of the fate of the i d e a l i z e d culture of the past seems to be even more r a d i c a l l y to the r i g h t and more pessimistic than that of her husband. But her r e j e c t i o n of nearly a l l signs of modernity, including women's See G. Singh, Editor's Introduction, Collected Essays: Vol. One: The Englishness of the English Novel by Q. D. Leavis, p. 2; and F. R. Leavis, "'Scrutiny': A Retrospect," Scrutiny, Vol. 20 (1963), pp. 2, 9, and 13. l i b e r a t i o n movements, lends strong support to the general Leav i s i t e p r i n c i p l e of culture. Moreover, her insistence on the r o l e of the "puritan conscience" i n enhancing the emergence of the English c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n points towards F. R. Leavis's own p r i v i l e g i n g of figures l i k e Bunyan and Lawrence and t h e i r worldviews, e s p e c i a l l y t h e i r emphasis on morality and r e l i g i o n as imperative dimensions to a healthy c u l t u r a l order. Indeed, t a l k i n g about the nov e l i s t s he selects to represent the "great t r a d i t i o n , " Leavis maintains that "they are a l l distinguished by a v i t a l capacity for experience, a kind of reverent openness before l i f e , and a marked moral i n t e n s i t y " (The Great Tra d i t i o n 18). As for Sturt's testimony to the disappearance of old c r a f t s and t r a d i t i o n a l s k i l l s as a r e s u l t of the spread of technology, i t i s widely discussed by Leavis and Thompson i n t h e i r c o l l a b o r a t i v e work, Culture and Environment. For Sturt, the wheelwright's shop i s the symbol of a thoroughly humane "organic" order that centered around a kind of t a c i t " f o l k knowledge." Bourne maintains that A good wheelwright knew by art but not by reason the proportion to keep between spoke and f e l l o e s ; and so too a good smith knew how t i g h t a two-and- a-half inch tyre should be made for a f i v e foot wheel and how t i g h t for a four foot. He f e l t i t , i n h i s bones. I t was perception with him. (G. Bourne, qtd. i n Eugene Goodheart, The F a i l u r e of C r i t i c i s m 17) There i s a kind of mystery i n t h i s antique s k i l l the wheelwright possesses and feels " i n h i s bones." I t i s an e s s e n t i a l s k i l l that i s lacking i n contemporary technologized c i v i l i s a t i o n and whose disappearance i s lamented by the Leavises. When F.R. Leavis l a t e r r e c a l l s h i s i n i t i a l reading of Sturt's work, he says that the wheelwright's work presents a v a r i e t y of t r a d i t i o n a l s k i l l s which "contained a f u l l human meaning" and "kept a human si g n i f i c a n c e always present, and t h i s was a climate i n which the craftsman l i v e d and worked. Lived as he worked" (Nor Shall my Sword 85). However, t h i s q u a l i t y of humanness, l i k e that of the claimed organic nature of p r e - i n d u s t r i a l s o c i e t i e s , remains highly ambiguous. For despite Leavis's insistance on c l e a r d e f i n i t i o n s and c r i t i c a l "discrimination," the idea of " v i l l a g e l i f e " as the examplar of t h i s "organic" human culture must remain "self-explanatory" (Culture and Environment 83; emphasis added). I t i s grasped mainly through a number of symbols and metaphors. Like the symbol of the machine i n the context of a technological c i v i l i s a t i o n , the wheelwright's shop, as described by Bourne and appropriated by Leavis, becomes a symbol of the "organic society." In fact, the wheelwright's shop i s a motif that occurs regularly i n Leavis•s discussions of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between " c i v i l i s a t i o n " and "culture" to i l l u s t r a t e the idea of a cohesive community. However, such a view of the "organic society" and L e a v i s 1 s theory of culture i n general present a number of t h e o r e t i c a l problems. F i r s t , Leavis does not problematize the r e l a t i o n s h i p between c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e and i t s supposed referent, the "organic society." He reads the works of the poets, dramatists, and novelists whom he i d e a l i s e s i n a r e a l i s t i c manner: There would have been no Bunyan without an organic culture. Here language mirrors society unproblematically. In fact, i t was t h i s r e a l i s t method of reading a l a Goldmann which has appealed to the l e f t - L e a v i s i t e s , who f l i r t e d with t r a d i t i o n a l Marxism, as well as to proponents of the sociology of l i t e r a t u r e . In fact, Q.D. Leavis was well aware of t h i s c r i t i c a l o rientation of t h e i r project: "I should i f challenged, sum up my work as l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m which i s directed towards the sociology of l i t e r a t u r e and the arts i n general" (Collected Essays 24). This t h e o r e t i c a l l i m i t a t i o n i s p a r t l y the r e s u l t of Leavis's r e j e c t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c i t y and theory, and of h i s conscious r e f u s a l to engage i n abstraction. He perceives l i t e r a r y language, i n Bunyan or Sturt for example, as a non-problematic mimetic form and a purely r e a l i s t i c r e f l e c t i o n of "organic l i v i n g " ; hence Leavis's i d e a l i z a t i o n of nineteeenth century n o v e l i s t s i n The Great T r a d i t i o n . I t i s as i f the l i t e r a t u r e of the twentieth century, with i t s symbolist and modernist trends did not count. 54 Second, Leavis perceives the type of community preceding the emergence of the Indu s t r i a l Revolution as a homogeneous t o t a l i t y without any contradictions. This view turns the perceived "organic society" more into a myth than a r e a l i t y . As Lesley Johnson says, i t i s rather a "fantasy" (The Cultural C r i t i c s 107). To a large extent, Andrew Milner i s r i g h t i n pointing out that i t i s the "absence of a concept of contradiction which l i e s at the root of a l l major weaknesses i n Leavis's system" ( "Leavis and English L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m " 101). I t seems that i n t h i s system, i t i s only the "organic society" that i s absolved from contradiction, for Leavis perceives paradoxes and negations at a l l l e v e l s of modern c i v i l i s a t i o n , but not at the l e v e l of the t r a d i t i o n a l society. In many ways, his "organic" world coincides with Lukacs's "epic" universe. For Lukacs, "the community [of the ep i c ] . . . i s an organic—and therefore i n t r i n s i c a l l y meaningful—concrete t o t a l i t y ; that i s why the substance of adventure i n an epic i s always a r t i c u l a t e d , never closed" (The Theory of the Novel 67). Notwithstanding the r a d i c a l difference between Lukacs and Leavis, i n both the organic and the epic worlds, d i s i n t e g r a t i o n has yet not b e f a l l e n human beings, and the gods—as i t were—are s t i l l watching over the cohesion of the order of things: "the novel i s the epic of a world that has been abandoned by God" (88), Lukacs says. For both Leavis and Lukacs, only with the a r r i v a l of modernity does chaos set i n . Third, from a methodological perspective, i n perceiving his i d e a l c u l t u r a l order as u n i f i e d and homogeneous, Leavis posits a possible world that i s devoid of any ruptures or ra d i c a l change; hence his insistence on the p r i n c i p l e of a "c u l t u r a l continuity" mediated by language and the Church (Nor Shall My Sword 184). The English language i n p a r t i c u l a r "registers the consequences of many generations of creative response to l i v i n g : i m p l i c i t valuations, i n t e r p r e t i v e constructions, ordering moulds and frames, basic assumptions" (184). When t h i s order changes under the impact of technology, the l a t t e r i s understood as an a l i e n force coming from an e x t r a t e r r i t o r i a l universe. Leavis would hardly admit that the ra d i c a l change effected by technology a c t u a l l y emanated from elements that were inherent i n the structure of the "organic" world i t s e l f . When he ta l k s about "creative renewal which means change i n every present," he seems to imply the reproduction of c u l t u r a l sameness to maintain the continuity of "organic" r e l a t i o n s (see English Literature i n Our Time 184). Moreover, while r e j e c t i n g change at the l e v e l of the organic society, he vehemently campaigns fo r a r a d i c a l change of modern c i v i l i s a t i o n through the spread of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , whose aim i s to instaure a t r a d i t i o n a l order. In other words, he i s for reversed s o c i a l change, but not for h i s t o r i c a l development of the present from the past. I r o n i c a l l y , Leavis's idea of c u l t u r a l continuity annuls h i s t o r i c a l continuity, thus refusing to e s t a b l i s h any d i r e c t l i n k between modernity and the possible contradictions that were part of the "organic" society of the seventeenth century. The c a l l of the L e a v i s i t e c u l t u r a l model i s for a stable system that abolishes the h i s t o r i c i t y of cultures. In so doing, Leavis rejects contradiction and dismisses change from his i d e a l i z e d culture, thereby undermining the l o g i c of his whole c r i t i c a l project. He c a l l s for a r a d i c a l transformation of modern c i v i l i z a t i o n but denies organic s o c i e t i e s the p o t e n t i a l for h i s t o r i c a l change. Hence, i n his attempt to formulate a t o t a l i z i n g theory of culture, Leavis has defeated his own purpose: what remains excluded from the t o t a l i z e d object of his analysis i n the end i s not " c i v i l i s a t i o n " but the "organic society" i t s e l f . Because the l a t t e r belongs to an a p r i o r i coherent order, i t stands outside the periphery of any changing world that might negate i t or transform i t into something d i f f e r e n t . C r i t i c a l practice need not approach t h i s organic order. And even when i t does, i t s r o l e i s merely to confirm the truthfulness of i t s cohesion, not i t s contradiction. In assessing t h i s L e a v i s i t e c u l t u r a l model, Perry Anderson maintains that we should not understand i t as a s p e c i a l case, "as a r e f l e c t i o n of megalomania on the part of Leavis." On the contrary, " i t i s a symptom of the objective vacuum at the centre of the [English] culture" (Anderson, "Components of the National Culture" 2 69). The L e a v i s i t e c u l t u r a l project i s , accordingly, a part of a whole English epistemological phenomenon that n a t i o n a l l y concerned i t s e l f with a search for homogeneous epistemological t o t a l i t y ; hence i t s insistence on "organic" relationships among a l l the par t i c i p a n t s i n any c u l t u r a l practice, whether they are artisans, readers, or teachers of l i t e r a t u r e . Anderson further explains: The central idea of t h i s epistemology. . . demands one c r u c i a l precondiction: a shared, stable system of b e l i e f s and values. Without t h i s , no l o y a l exchange and report i s possible. I f the basic formation and outlook of readers diverges, t h e i r experience w i l l be incommunicable. Leavis's whole method presupposes, i n fact, a morally and c u l t u r a l l y u n i f i e d audience. In i t s absence, hi s epistemology disintegrates. ("Components" 271) Indeed, the question of audience, l i k e that of the function of an educated public, i s c r u c i a l to t h i s epistemology. According to Leavis, without the existence of "a large and c u l t i v a t e d public," the e f f e c t s of c r i t i c i s m i n securing c u l t u r a l renewal i s d i r e c t l y threatened (see Towards Standards x i , 20). "What we need to look to," he goes on to argue, "what we have to ensure and power, i s the maintenance of c u l t u r a l continuity by a body of the educated" (Nor Shall My Sword 131) . Enhanced by an academic center l i k e the uni v e r s i t y and a l i t e r a r y review l i k e The Calendar or Madox Ford's English Review, t h i s educated public would keep the creative c r i t i c a l process a l i v e i n society. In the mid 1920s when The Calendar was being launched, the absence of such a public was a serious problem to which Leavis's c i r c l e devoted much of t h e i r attention. As he was to r e c a l l l a t e r on, "the disappearance of the cu l t i v a t e d public and the need for an i n t e l l i g e n t and courageous c r i t i c a l organ were f a m i l i a r topics at our Fridays" (Towards Standards x v i i ) . The seriousness of the case, then, manifested i t s e l f i n the lack of a responsive public needed for the consolidation of the proposed c u l t u r a l project. And when both The Calendar and Scrutiny f a i l e d , much blame was thrown upon t h i s lack. In 1976, Leavis protested: A public capable of appreciating the scandal of the Arts Council's way with l i t e r a t u r e doesn't e x i s t . The obvious manifestation of such non-existence i s the absence, not merely of any serious l i t e r a r y - c r i t i c a l organ, but also of any i n t e l l i g e n t concern for the c r i t i c a l function (that i s , for l i t e r a t u r e ) i n the respectable newspapers and weeklies. (Towards Standards v i i i ) This idea of an " i n t e l l i g e n t " and "educated" public seems to be only an extension of Leavis's e a r l i e r conception of the educated "minority" which was meant to i n i t i a t e the desired c u l t u r a l r e v i v a l but was missing. Already i n the 1930s, i n 59 Mass C i v i l i z a t i o n and Minority Culture. Leavis portrayed the sought cultured e l i t e i n s i m i l a r terms: The minority capable not only of appreciating Dante, Shakespeare, Donne, Baudelaire, Hardy (to name major instances) but of recognising t h e i r l a t e s t successors constitute the consciousness of the race (or of a branch of i t ) at a given time. For such capacity does not belong merely to an iso l a t e d aesthetic realm: i t implies responsiveness to theory as well as to art, to science and philosophy i n so far as these may af f e c t the sense of the human s i t u a t i o n and of the nature of l i f e . Upon t h i s minority depends our power of p r o f i t i n g by the f i n e s t human experience of the past; they keep a l i v e the subtlest and most perishable parts of t r a d i t i o n . (5) On the one hand, through t h i s appeal to "the consciousness of the race," the idea of the public i s extended further so as to embrace the whole "human race," thereby acquiring a t o t a l i z i n g dimension. On the other hand, although t h i s view of the public i s s e l e c t i v e and e l i t i s t , as some c r i t i c s of the Leavi s i t e system have r i g h t l y pointed out (see McCallum, Literature and Method 162; and Baldick, The Mission 164-65 and passim), i t s t i l l draws on a t o t a l i z i n g conception of culture, merging theory, science, philosophy, and aesthetics together into a single realm, that of the humanist t r a d i t i o n . Thus, i n opposing s p e c i a l i z a t i o n at the l e v e l of h i s ide a l "minority" and "public," Leavis tends to relegate s c i e n t i f i c knowledge to a secondary p o s i t i o n ; i t i s part of the consciousness of the race only i n so fa r as i t "may a f f e c t the sense of the human s i t u a t i o n and the nature of l i f e . " Otherwise, i t i s excluded, 60 f o r then i t only becomes the concern of a "herd." As the founders of The Calendar announced i n t h e i r f i r s t issue i n 1925, "the reader we have i n mind, the i d e a l reader, i s not one with whom we share any p a r t i c u l a r set of admirations and b e l i e f s . The age of i d o l s i s past, for an i d o l implies a herd of l i t e r a r y worshippers" (Towards Standards 27). Sp e c i a l i z a t i o n , therefore, means a "herd" and both terms threaten the organic community, which must look for a coherent t o t a l i t y that transcends a l l differences among i t s members as well as i t s d i s c i p l i n e s : Today there i s only the race, the b i o l o g i c a l - economic environment; and the i n d i v i d u a l . Between these extremes there i s no cl a s s , c r a f t , art, sex, sect or other sub-division which, i t seems to us, can claim p r i v i l e g e of the rest. (27) "Organic culture" becomes the metaphor that dominates Lea v i s i t e discourse whenever i t s c r u t i n i z e s any c u l t u r a l , philosophical, or s c i e n t i f i c concepts. Like every term that Leavis recommends as an essential component of the c r i t i c ' s and the s c i e n t i s t ' s epistemological repertoire, c r i t i c i s m and science are defined and c r i t i c i z e d , while t h e i r functions are sc r u t i n i z e d , through a fixed meaning of the "organic culture." Both science and c r i t i c i s m are judged i n accordance with what they o f f e r i n terms of the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e t r i e v i n g , creating or maintaining the "continuity" of t h i s "organic" human world. For the standards of c r i t i c i s m to be of value, e s p e c i a l l y within the educational system that Leavis defends, they must help reconstruct the " t r a d i t i o n " of English Literature, for the l a t t e r mirrors genuine culture and ensures i t s continuity in a present that i s h o s t i l e to i t . With a strong sense of commitment to such a project, Leavis argues: Our business, our v i t a l need, i s to maintain the continuity of l i f e and consciousness that a c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n i s , and not to lose anything ess e n t i a l from our h e r i t a g e — t h e heritage that i s only kept a l i v e by creative renewal (which means change) i n every present. I f we continue to have an i n f l u e n t i a l educated public, a responsible public that cares for and represents the heritage and i s concerned (as such a public w i l l be) to get i t shared as widely as possible, we s h a l l hear much less of the l o s t sense of purpose. And we can't forsee what, by i t s creative action i n the t h i r d realm (which the technologico-Benthamite world despises and ignores) a l i v i n g c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n may do for humanity. (English Literature in Our Time 184) Literature has now been turned into a substitute for the l o s t culture, "a substitute l i v i n g " : the aim of education as the c u l t i v a t i o n of c r i t i c a l awareness "should be to give command of the a r t of l i v i n g " (Culture and Environment 107). In assuming such an important r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , l i t e r a t u r e and c r i t i c i s m must c u l t i v a t e organic s e n s i b i l i t y i n order to make the public conscious of the l o s t culture as well as of the destructiveness of contemporary c i v i l i s a t i o n . As Leavis further argues: 62 to form i t . . . — f o r that, rather, i s what the c r i t i c a l function looks l i k e when decay has gone so f a r . (For Continuity 183) Not unlike l i t e r a t u r e , c r i t i c i s m i s entrusted with a double task: to re-instaure an organic and authentic s e n s i b i l i t y on the one hand, and to combat the destructive manifestations of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge on the other. But i n order to f u l f i l l such a task, c r i t i c i s m needs a modus operandi that allows i t to address the nature of method as i n the other d i s c i p l i n e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the natural sciences; hence Leavis's uneasy insistence i n the previous quotation on "t e s t [ i n g ] " and "defin[ing]" c r i t i c a l judgements. To circumvent t h i s pradoxical situation, Leavis offers a number of c r i t i c a l standards which he anchors, i n the f i n a l analysis, in a humanist discourse that posits an a p r i o r i c u l t u r a l i d e a l . He asserts: In the rapidly changing external c i v i l i z a t i o n of the technological age i t i s p a r t i c u l a r l y necessary that the consciousness of human r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and what i t involves should be cu l t i v a t e d and strengthened to the utmost — that there should be a d i r e c t i n g sense of human need and human ends the most r i c h l y charged with human experience that can be made to p r e v a i l . (Nor Shall My Sword 14 0 - 4 1 ; emphasis added) The hammering on the word "human" i n t h i s statement, as Leavis so often does i n his writing, signals the boundaries of the epistemological space that c r i t i c i s m must inhabit. With such emphasis, he voices a sense of urgency i n the need to defend humanism as a way of consolidating the mission which c r i t i c i s m must f u l f i l l . Nonetheless, t h i s emphasis betrays a kind of fading away of the exact meaning of t h i s humanism i t s e l f , to the extent that the word "human" becomes vague and abstract: It embraces a l l possible p o s i t i v e categories while displacing whatever science stands for. In the end, the term "human," l i k e "organic," i s turned into an e s s e n t i a l i s t , t o t a l i z i n g metaphor whose primary aim i s to displace s c i e n t i f i c i t y i n c r i t i c a l thought. This point i s made clearer i n Leavis's argument against C P . Snow during t h e i r controversy around the question of the "two cultures": science and the Humanities. In re j e c t i n g the p r i v i l e g e d status that Snow and other s c i e n t i s t s grant the natural sciences i n education, Leavis i n s i s t s on the primacy of humanist concerns i n any d i s c i p l i n e deserving attention i n the modern world: [T]he advance of science and technology means a human future of change so rapid and of such kinds, of tests and challenges as unprecedented, of decisions and possible non-decisions so momentous and insidious i n t h e i r consequences, that mankind — t h i s i s surely c l e a r — w i l l need to be i n f u l l i n t e l l i g e n t possession of i t s f u l l humanity. (Two Cultures? 26; emphasis added) The value of s c i e n t i f i c thought i s judged by i t s results and consequences. This i s why, i n order to grasp the re a l significance of what Leavis offers as an alternative to 64 The value of s c i e n t i f i c thought i s judged by i t s r e s u l t s and consequences. This i s why, i n order to grasp the r e a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of what Leavis offers as an a l t e r n a t i v e to s c i e n t i f i c i t y , we need to look c a r e f u l l y at the way he portrays the world of technology, which negates the "organic" universe and i t s humanism. Indeed, i n circumventing the problem of a s c i e n t i f i c method, Leavis nearly always points out the negative e f f e c t s of science as technology instead of r a t i o n a l i z i n g the t h e o r e t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s of the method refuted. As Pamela McCallum has pointed out, t h i s a t titude i s part of the empiricist bent that marks the L e a v i s i t e mode of thought and places i t at the heart of the English c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n (see McCallum, Literature and Method 201). Since Leavis's early works and r i g h t up to h i s death in 1978, the question of science i s a motif that i s constantly yoked to "technologico-Benthamism," and i s evoked along with a number of negative e f f e c t s on " l i f e , " "continuity," " c r e a t i v i t y , " and "organic" modes of l i v i n g . From Culture and Environment through to The Living P r i n c i p l e (1975), Leavis's c r i t i q u e of science i s construed through a series of associations defining i t i n r e l a t i o n s h i p to a plethora of c r i t e r i a that constitute h i s theory of the "organic culture." In the same way that he traces the moment of the "organic society" to the time before the I n d u s t r i a l Revolution, Leavis situates the beginning of "the great change," that of "the confident s t a r t of science upon i t s accelerating advance," i n the seventeenth century (Nor Shall Mv Sword 126). For him the "Great Cause," the i n i t i a t o r of the modern c r i s i s i n c i v i l i s a t i o n , i s science. Its e f f e c t s seem to pervade every sector of modern culture; hence his perception of technology as a negative t o t a l i z a t i o n of a l l manifestations of modernity Science seems to t o t a l i z e a l l the negations of the l o s t "organic culture." This negative t o t a l i t y i s not only that o s c i e n t i f i c method but also of the e f f e c t s of knowledge gained by i t : Science, s c i e n t i f i c method and s c i e n t i f i c thought, science as represented by the Royal Society. . . has a profound e f f e c t on non-specialist i n t e l l e c t u a l ideals, on the habits of assumption and valuation that marked the educated, on the conception of Nature, on the cosmos and Man's place i n i t , on standards of c i v i l i z e d conduct, on the p r e v a i l i n g notion of c i v i l i z a t i o n , on architecture, on ethics, on r e l i g i o n , on the English language. (172-73) Such a spectral and contemptuous image of science i n i t s invasion of a l l walks of l i f e and forms of thought i s f u l l y embodied, i n Leavis's view, by the country that has unquestionably become the symbol of modernity for nearly a l l twentieth-century c u l t u r a l c r i t i c s , from 0. Spengler to H. Marcuse. I t i s America which, with i t s heavy reliance on s c i e n t i f i c research and technology has secured a leading role for i t s e l f i n the modern world. Because of i t s technological culture, America came to represent for Leavis the f u l l embodiment of technologico-Benthamism, his bete noire. Indeed, in his eyes, America constitutes a major threat to genuine English culture, i t s continuity, and i t s " r e l i g i o u s s p i r i t " which represent the p i l l a r s of authentic organic existence. In h i s sustained faithfulness to Arnold's views, Leavis compares the threat that American technological culture represents to the threat of the spread of " s p i r i t u a l P h i l i s t i n i s m " and moral decay which Arnold perceived i n Holland i n the nineteenth century: What threatens us, the a l t e r n a t i v e to successful resistance, i s too unspeakably r e p e l l e n t — t h e hope i s the recognition of that. What we face i n immediate view i s a nightmare i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of what Arnold feared. He saw t h i s country i n danger of becoming a greater Holland; we see i t unmistakably turning with rapid acceleration into a l i t t l e A m e r i c a . . . . We see i n fact a b l i n d and complacent acceptance of the process by which t h i s country i s ceasing to maintain i t s c u l t u r a l continuity or to have a c o n s t i t u t i v e character at a l l — t o be anything more ( f i n a l triumph of s p i r i t u a l P h i l i s t i n i s m ) than a p o l i t i c a l , economic and administrative i d e n t i t y . (English Literature i n Our Time 33) This dreaded influence has already manifested i t s e l f , i n the lower s t r a t a of English culture, i n the spread of Pop Art among the masses, and at "higher c u l t u r a l l e v e l s , " where Leavis maintains, "we have to f i g h t i t " (34) . The sphere of struggle i s thus located at the l e v e l of the u n i v e r s i t y where c r i t i c i s m and l i t e r a t u r e are said to have been eroded by American standards of valuation: I t has become current as matter of commonplace that. . .in l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m America has an obvious superiority, that American work i n scholarship and c r i t i c i s m has i n our time performed the major service to English l i t e r a t u r e . The s i g n i f i c a n c e of these positions l i e s i n t h e i r being so u t t e r l y ungrounded. (34) These views of American culture convey a p o s i t i o n that i s c l e a r l y n a t i o n a l i s t i c , often b l i n d l y p a t r i o t i c , and h o s t i l e to anything American. Commenting on Leavis's p o s i t i o n towards American l i t e r a t u r e , Wellek accurately points out that "the American novel enters somehow sideways into the great t r a d i t i o n , with Hawthorne as the ancestor of James and Mark Twain," adding that Leavis disparages most American nove l i s t s and "becomes more and more anti-American, not, as he avows, on personal or n a t i o n a l i s t i c grounds but for fear of Americanization" ("The Latter Leavis" 497-8). Yet, i f we consider Leavis's i n d i r e c t response to t h i s judgement, a d i f f e r e n t explanation must be sought. He says that h i s c r i t i q u e of American culture "has nothing of the chauvinist i n i t and a very d i f f e r e n t thing from p a t r i o t i c nationalism. Nor has the s p i r i t of i t the lea s t touch of contemporary nostalgia for l o s t imperial 'greatness'" (English L i t e r a t u r e i n Our Time 34-35). S i m i l a r l y , he maintains elsewhere that " i t i s 68 misleading to describe me as anti-American" (Nor Shall My Sword 133) . The answer Leavis offers urges us to look elsewhere for the reasons behind his vehement c r i t i q u e of modern American society as well as i t s s c i e n t i f i c and technological culture. At the same time, his answer can explain the reasons that have prompted him to oust s c i e n t i f i c i t y from the sphere of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . In a key passage that appeared f i r s t i n Education and the University i n 1943, and which Leavis quoted l a t e r i n 1972 in Nor Shall My Sword, he reaffirms his opposition to American culture and o f f e r s an explanation for such a view: American conditions are the conditions of modern c i v i l i z a t i o n , even i f the ' d r i f t ' has gone futher on the other side of the A t l a n t i c than on t h i s . On the one hand there i s the enormous technical complexity of c i v i l i z a t i o n , a complexity that could be dealt with only by an answering e f f i c i e n c y of co - o r d i n a t i o n — a co-operative concentration of knowledge, understanding and w i l l . . .On the other hand, the s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l d i s i n t e g r a t i o n that has accompanied the development of the inhumanly complex machinery i s destroying what should have controlled the working. I t i s as i f society, i n so complicating and extending the machinery of organization, had incurred a progressive d e b i l i t y of consciousness and of the powers of co-ordination and c o n t r o l — l o s t i n t e l l i g e n c e , memory and moral purpose. . . The inadequacy to t h e i r function of statesmen and labour-leaders i s notorious, depressing and inevi t a b l e , and i n our time only the very naive have been able to be exhilarated by the hopes of revolutionaries. The complexities being what they are, the general d r i f t has been technocratic, and the e f f e c t i v e conception of the human ends to be served that accompanies a preoccupation with the smooth running of the machinery tends to be a d r a s t i c a l l y s i m p l i f i e d one. The war, by providing 69 imperious immediate ends and immediately a l l - s u f f i c i e n t motives, has produced a s i m p l i f i c a t i o n that enables the machinery, now more t y r a n n i c a l l y complex than ever before, to run with marvellous e f f i c i e n c y . The greater i s the need for i n s i s t i n g on the nature of the problem that the s i m p l i f i c a t i o n does not solve, and on the dangers that, when t h i s war i s over, w i l l be l e f t more menacing than before, though not necessarily more attended to. (201-2) Three major points here recapitulate Leavis's general representation of American culture, and by implication, of technology and science. On the one hand, there i s a "technical complexity" that i s injected into modern society by the presence of machinery at a l l l e v e l s of the s o c i a l order. This has led to a " s i m p l i f i c a t i o n " i n the conceptualization of the functioning of the human order. On the other hand, there are the negative consequences t h i s state of a f f a i r s has effected: " s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l d i s i n t e g r a t i o n " ; the breakdown of every centre of authority; and a process of i n d i v i d u a l a l i e n a t i o n , which manifests i t s e l f i n a " d e b i l i t y of consciousness" and a loss of " i n t e l l i g e n c e , memory and moral purpose." The t h i r d point, which Leavis indicates as the determining factor of the modern condition, and which ac t u a l l y marks a break i n h i s thought i n t h i s passage, i s the event of the war. As the war i s r e c a l l e d i n the l a s t instance, what brings i t to mind here i s the machinery and the complexity i t adds to the running of the system. The war seems to mark a digressive break i n h i s thinking. Being a destructive agent, the war has necessitated technology and science, complexity i n human rela t i o n s h i p s , and caused havoc. For Leavis, "more and more does human l i f e depart from the natural rhythms, the cultures have mingled, and the forms have dissolved into chaos" ( c i t . i n Iain Wright, "F. R. Leavis, the 'Scrutiny' Movement and the C r i s i s " 41). The war blurred a l l the landmarks that maintained the s t a b i l i t y of the s o c i a l order of the past. Ultimately, the war turns out to be a s i g n i f i e r that has displaced not only a l l the s i g n i f i c a t i o n s of science and technology as signs of modernity, but those of the organic society as genuine existence as well. Indeed, Leavis seems to evoke the war with a kind of obsessive cadence throughout his writings. For him, the war destroyed c r e a t i v i t y , k i l l e d the "young genius" Lawrence, and "may be said to have k i l l e d Ford's English Review i n advance" (Towards Standards x i ) . Moreover,^"what the s t r a i n of the war did was to accelerate the ess e n t i a l development of modern c i v i l i z a t i o n . That c i v i l i z a t i o n depended more and more on technology, i t s economy more and more on m i l l i o n s and s t a t i s t i c s " (xv). The war was a d r a s t i c "rupture" i n the continuity of culture and history, causing a "mass of destruction and d i s i n t e g r a t i o n . " For Leavis, only E l i o t ' s poetry, e s p e c i a l l y Four Quartets seems to be capable of capturing the r e a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s " p l i g h t . " "The central E l i o t i c preoccupation," Leavis argues, what i s "at the sick deep centre of the modern psyche. . .may be c a l l e d the technologico-Benthamite p l i g h t " (Nor Shall My Sword 122). To a large extent, the war bears a metonymic re l a t i o n s h i p to science and technology; i t i s conceived as another facet of the same negative t o t a l i t y : "the war being more representative of the t o t a l i t y of the re a l drives of developing i n d u s t r i a l c i v i l i z a t i o n " ( x i i ) . Leavis had first-hand experience of war working as a stretcher-bearer at the front during the F i r s t World War, and the trauma of t h i s experience was to remain with him a l l his l i f e . However, Leavis's view of war goes beyond simple personal experiences. As an i n t e l l e c t u a l , he was not alone i n his attitude towards war. To a large extent, h i s views mediate the consciousness of a whole generation of English and European i n t e l l e c t u a l s who addressed t h i s enigma of destruction i n t h e i r writings. Among his English contemporaries, one would c i t e E l i o t , Richards, Orwell, Forster, Caudwell, Auden, Lawrence, and Tawney, among others. They offered d i f f e r e n t explanations for t h i s "rupture," but a l l threw much of the blame upon technology and science. For instance, George Steiner offers a view p a r a l l e l to Leavis's. Steiner says: What had turned professional, e s s e n t i a l l y l i m i t e d warfare into massacre? Different factors intervened: the murderous s o l i d i f i c a t i o n of the trenches, fire-power, the sheer space covered by 72 the eastern and western fronts. But there was also, one suspects, a matter of automatism: once the elaborate machinery of conscription, transport and manufacture had slipped into gear, i t became exceedingly d i f f i c u l t to stop. The enterprise had i t s own l o g i c outside reason and human needs. (Steiner, In Bluebeard's Castle: Notes Towards the Re-definition of Culture 32) Steiner's idea of "automatism" here rel a t e s d i r e c t l y to Leavis's view of the "complexity" and "marvellous e f f i c i e n c y " of the war machinery. For both writers, technology generated a destructive l o g i c that became the negation of a l l forms of human necessity. Lying at the heart of Leavis's e x p l i c i t marginalization and then abandonment of the project of s c i e n t i f i c i t y i n h i s theor i z a t i o n of culture i s the war, with i t s images of death and destruction against which he continuously celebrated the idea of "human l i f e " : "there i s a drawing unselfrecognized conviction that we can get on, and get on better, without much l i f e ; and that i s the most frightening thing about our c i v i l i z a t i o n " (Nor Shall My Sword 33). On " l i f e " depends c r e a t i v i t y , continuity, and a l l the other p o s i t i v e values of an i d e a l order of things: [I]n speaking of the need to maintain c u l t u r a l continuity, [I] i n s i s t that the maintaining, being eith e r a strongly p o s i t i v e drive of l i f e or p i t i f u l l y nothing, i s creative. Only i n terms of l i t e r a t u r e can t h i s truth be asserted with e f f e c t i n our world, and the asserting must be, not a 73 matter of d i a l e c t i c , but i t s e l f , i n a patently i l l u s t r a t i v e way, an assertion of l i f e . And here I state the unique nature, and the central importance, of English as a u n i v e r s i t y study. (120) In p o s i t i n g English l i t e r a t u r e as a d i s c i p l i n e of thought that i s capable of saving " c r e a t i v i t y " and " l i f e " and of opposing technology, war, and science, Leavis reconfirms the presence of a strong i n t e l l e c t u a l bond that l i n k s him to an i n t e l l e c t u a l English t r a d i t i o n extending from Coleridge and Arnold up to Lawrence and Williams. In fact, Leavis's celebration of the p r i n c i p l e of " l i f e " i s a restatement of Lawrence's philosophy of c r e a t i v i t y , which i s held i n d i r e c t opposition to s c i e n t i f i c knowledge. Lawrence says: [It] may be said that every genuine creative writer's work i s the discovery of a new way. L i f e i s unamenable to mathematical or quantitative f i n a l i t y or treatment, and every creative writer i s a servant of l i f e . The dualism of subject and object, fact and v a l u e — i t faces us, unprofitably, with a l l the problems of epistemology—is h o s t i l e to l i f e . (quot. i n F. R. Leavis, Thought. Words. and C r e a t i v i t y 45) For both Lawrence and Leavis, i t i s the negation of " l i f e " as effected by warfare which leads them, i n the end, to oppose s c i e n t i f i c knowledge and reinstate a philosophy of c r e a t i v i t y as an a l t e r n a t i v e . In addition to t h i s s i g n i f i c a n c e that Leavis a t t r i b u t e s to the war, there i s h i s f a i t h f u l n e s s to the Arnoldian t r a d i t i o n which he revises, without i n fact r a d i c a l l y veering from i t s path. This t r a d i t i o n had always read science through a p r i v i l e g i n g of poetry and b e l l e s l e t t r e s . Even when t h i s t r a d i t i o n s h i f t e d i t s attention to c r i t i c i s m towards the end of the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth, poetic c r e a t i v i t y remained a central c r i t e r i o n for evaluating knowledge. Therefore, i t i s imperative to consider the Arnoldian legacy, e s p e c i a l l y i n i t s attitude to s c i e n t i f i c knowledge, c r i t i c i s m , and poetic creation. This w i l l shed l i g h t on Leavis's c r i t i c a l paradigm and reveal the extent to which Arnold's attempt to reconcile poetry and science at the l e v e l of c r i t i c i s m was c a r r i e d farther by Leavis. Leavis and the Arnoldian Legacy: Af t e r Wordsworth's assertion i n the preface to the second e d i t i o n of L y r i c a l Ballads (1802) that "poetry was the f i r s t and l a s t of knowledge—. . .as immortal as the heart of man," Arnold, despite his disappointment i n the Romantics, s t i l l projected i n 1880 that "The future of poetry i s immense, because i n poetry, where i t i s worthy of i t s high destinies, our race, as time goes on, w i l l f i n d an ever surer and surer stay" (M. Arnold, The Portable Arnold 299). Such a powerful statement i n defence of poetry, coming approximately sixteen years a f t e r the publication of h i s i n f l u e n t i a l essay, "The Function of C r i t i c i s m i n the Present Time" (1864), may come as a surprise to us. I t c e r t a i n l y indicates the extent to which Arnold's project remained ambivalent about whether l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m could t o t a l l y replace poetry at a h i s t o r i c a l juncture where a l l r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s were being eroded by secular s c i e n t i f i c thought. I t i s an ambivalence that we also encounter l a t e r i n the development of Leavis's " p r a c t i c a l c r i t i c i s m " and Richards' New C r i t i c a l approach. In 1864, i n both "The Function of C r i t i c i s m at the Present Time" and "The L i t e r a r y Influence of Academies," i t was c r i t i c a l thought rather than poetry that received Arnold's f u l l endorsement. C r i t i c i s m then became the "appointed guardian" to look a f t e r the moral and epistemological needs of the culture of the time. In "The Function of C r i t i c i s m , " Arnold's argument s t a r t s with a defence of c r i t i c a l inquiry against Wordsworth's view of c r i t i c i s m as p a r a s i t i c a l , sponging on the r e a l works of l i t e r a t u r e represented by creative writing. Arnold's response i s that creative genius cannot be l i m i t e d to the discovery of novel ideas: "the grand work of l i t e r a r y genius," he says, " i s a work of synthesis and exposition, not of analysis and discovery" (237). The l a t t e r are the areas reserved for the c r i t i c . Yet creative power, he goes on to elaborate, i s not li m i t e d to the a c t i v i t y of the poet alone. I t i s shared by c r i t i c i s m , not only as an imaginative but also as an i n t e r p r e t i v e force. I ts function 76 i s to help generate a knowledge of the world that i s r e a l i s t i c and objective (see The Portable Arnold 2 38). C r i t i c a l thought i s the common denominator u n i t i n g a l l d i s c i p l i n e s of learning. Science i s not exempted from t h i s general view of the world. Arnold refuses to es t a b l i s h a boundary-distinction between science per se and other d i s c i p l i n e s of thought. S i m i l a r l y , the d i s t i n c t i o n between poetry and c r i t i c i s m i s glossed over. Poetry being at the service of c r i t i c a l ideas about l i f e : "More and more mankind w i l l discover that we have to turn to poetry to interpret l i f e for us, to console us, to sustain us. Without poetry, our science w i l l appear incomplete" (300; emphasis added). Here, he i s d r i v i n g at the establishment of a firm connection between c r i t i c a l - p o e t i c c r e a t i v i t y and s c i e n t i f i c inquiry. And the best way for him to achieve t h i s purpose i s through the advocacy of a " c r i t i c a l power" that i s a common and an i n t r i n s i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a l l forms of human knowledge. Accordingly, i t i s a c r i t i c a l power that would generate concepts needed i n his age i n order to evaluate ideas, harmonize the rel a t i o n s h i p between divergent d i s c i p l i n e s , and " d i s c i p l i n e " the society i t s e l f . Going beyond the C l a s s i c i s t s ' and the Romantics' elevation of the sublimity of poetic thinking, Arnold indicates h i s target as the defence of c r i t i c a l thought. He recommends that, while keeping a c e r t a i n distance from the object of poetic knowledge, the poet should turn c r i t i c i n order to achieve ideal poetic r e s u l t s . Such a method Arnold labels "disinterestedness, 1 , 3 which approximates s c i e n t i f i c o b j e c t i v i t y ; i . e . , the poet's s u b j e c t i v i t y and l y r i c a l musings must be c u r t a i l e d i n order to achieve a c r i t i c a l standard of high i n t e l l e c t u a l q u a l i t y . In fact, t h i s concept of "disinterestedness" and i t s s c i e n t i f i c connotations— i n d i c a t i n g less subjective interferences on the part of the subject i n perceiving an object—were very a t t r a c t i v e to such c r i t i c s as T.S. E l i o t , F.R. Leavis, and N. Frye. To enhance t h i s notion of "disinterestedness," Arnold also evoked the idea of "free w i l l " and independent c r i t i c a l thought that could soar above p o l i t i c a l partisanship i n order to create an i d e a l world of free thought. The practice of c r i t i c i s m becomes b a s i c a l l y "a d isinterested endeavour to learn and propagate the best that i s known and thought i n the world" (265; author's emphasis). And when Arnold asks h i m s e l f — r h e t o r i c a l l y — a b o u t the exact meaning of "the best that i s known," h i s answer i s very s p e c i f i c as to what exactly constitutes an i d e a l epistemological universe. He has as much praise f o r the natural sciences as he does for other 3 Arnold, "The Function of C r i t i c i s m , " p. 247 and passim. Murray Krieger notes that t h i s concept i s Kantian; see h i s "The C r i t i c a l Legacy of M. Arnold," The Southern Review. 5. 2 (1969), pp. 463. Chris Baldick argues that Arnold borrowed the concept from Saint-Beuve. For a succinct comparison between Saint-Beuve and Arnold, see Baldick, op. c i t . . pp. 11-15. 78 d i s c i p l i n e s of study and argues that "into knowing I t a l y and England there comes a great deal more, G a l i l e o and Newton . . .We must a l l admit that i n natural science the habit gained of dealing with facts i s a most valuable d i s c i p l i n e , and that every one should have some experience of i t " (413-15). I t i s only through the strengthening of the c r i t i c a l f a c u lty of i n t e l l i g e n c e that proper knowledge—including here both the s c i e n t i f i c and Humanistic k i n d s — c a n be restored. To serve t h i s perfection of thought i s the function of c r i t i c i s m . Without i t , f u l f i l l i n g any l o f t i e r tasks, such as those pertaining to the s p i r i t u a l r o l e with which i t must be invested, w i l l remain i l l u s o r y . For Arnold what distinguishes id e a l c r i t i c i s m i s a ce r t a i n sense of s p i r i t u a l commitment—a p u r i t a n i c a l view of existence. Indeed, the further Arnold elaborates on the way he perceives the nature and function of c r i t i c i s m , the more i t becomes obvious that c r i t i c a l thinking, not unlike h i s conception of poetry, i s turned into a substitute r e l i g i o n . I t i s turned into a way to salvation through the attainment of an absolute truth: "beauty," "conduct," and happiness, a l l understood as i n s t i n c t s i n human nature. According to a Leav i s i t e mode of expression, the i n s t i t u t i o n of such a c r i t i c i s m i s meant to ensure the l i v i n g continuity of " r e a l " c u l t u r a l standards and to maintain strong t i e s with the organic past of the s o c i e t y — " c u l t u r a l " being here an i n c l u s i v e term r e l a t i n g to a l l the norms required to evaluate knowledge. A concrete v i s u a l i z a t i o n of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r r o l e of c r i t i c i s m , as a c u l t u r a l apparatus or a powerful i n s t i t u t i o n — which Leavis develops i n the image of Cambridge—can be read in Arnold's unflinching praise for the French Academy. Founded i n 1637 by Cardinal Richelieu, who wanted i t to be a type of " L i t e r a r y Tribunal" intended to look a f t e r the health of the French language, l i t e r a r y taste, and standards of evaluation, the Academy came to symbolize the center of authority for Arnold. (The p a r a l l e l c e n t r a l i t y of the University of Cambridge to Leavis's c r i t i c a l thought i s very s i g n i f i c a n t here). As a supervisory body to check the c u l t u r a l health of society, the Academy was, meant to function as a powerful center to ward o f f the dangers that Ernest Renan saw i n the emerging " i n f e r i o r l i t e r a t u r e s . " Not unlike Richelieu, A r n o l d — l i k e Leavis a f t e r him—saw the dangers of l i t e r a r y anarchy l y i n g at the heart of " p r o v i n c i a l " ideas and s t y l e s . These manifested themselves i n what he perceived as a lack of "precision of s t y l e , " i n "prose somewhat barbarously r i c h and over-loaded"; and i n the "eruptive and aggressive manner i n l i t e r a t u r e " (The Portable Arnold 288; author's emphasis). In f a i t h to Arnold's dream of a center of authority, Leavis emphasized the necessity of the u n i v e r s i t y — w i t h the "English School," i n p a r t i c u l a r — a n d the r i g h t public i n order to 80 c u l t i v a t e proper c r i t i c a l awareness. Thus the emergence of the Arnoldian view of l i t e r a r y knowledge at a time when the Church had f a i l e d i t s mission lends special meaning to the concept of a c r i t i c i s m — a s a " c r i t i c a l force." For both Arnold and Leavis, c r i t i c i s m becomes a wished-for i n s t i t u t i o n to govern the production of p a r t i c u l a r forms of s i g n i f i c a t i o n . Arnold's conception of " p r a c t i c a l c r i t i c i s m " i s t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t from what i t became a f t e r him through Leavis and Richards. For Arnold, the word " p r a c t i c a l " has a c l e a r l y Platonic meaning and denotes, as he admits, "handicraft and trade and the working professions," which Plato "regards with disdain" because "the base mechanic arts and a r t i c r a f t s . . . bring about a natural weakness i n the p r i n c i p l e of excellence i n a man" ( 4 0 5 ). The Arnoldian version of the term " p r a c t i c a l " makes i t r e f e r d i r e c t l y to a negation of p o l i t i c s . This i s why he warns against i t and recommends c r i t i c a l knowledge as an "independent" sphere of ideas that i s unaffected by any form of p o l i t i c a l f i l i a t i o n : "A polemical p r a c t i c a l c r i t i c i s m makes men b l i n d even to the ideal imperfection of t h e i r practice, makes them w i l l i n g l y assert i t s i d e a l perfection, i n order the better to secure i t against attack [ s i c ] ; and c l e a r l y t h i s i s narrowing and baneful for them" ( 2 5 1 ). In contrast, the l a t e r New-Critical rephrasing of the term " p r a c t i c a l " reverses t h i s o r i g i n a l meaning a n d — i r o n i c a l l y — a s s o c i a t e s i t with the other 81 Arnoldian notion, that of "disinterestedness," thus making the term " p r a c t i c a l " a formalist, d e p o l i t i c i z e d concept. It i s against t h i s c u l t u r a l background and from t h i s angle of binary opposition between the " p r a c t i c a l " versus the p u r e l y - i n t e l l e c t u a l or t h e o r e t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s i n culture that A r n o l d — l i k e Leavis a f t e r him—addresses the re l a t i o n s h i p between science and l i t e r a t u r e . In his 1885 essay on l i t e r a t u r e and science, he argues with T.H. Huxley—a representative of the r i s i n g power of anti-humanist positivism of the nineteenth century—about the function of Belles Lettres as opposed to s c i e n t i f i c subjects i n education. I t i s a question that re-emerges as the centre of attention of much of Leavis's writing, and as a bone of contention during the controversy that p i t t e d him against C P . Snow i n the early 1960's. In Arnold's writing i n defence of l i t e r a t u r e i n p a r t i c u l a r and the Humanities i n general against science, he posits three major propositions. F i r s t , l i t e r a t u r e i s an a l l - i n c l u s i v e term. I t cannot be understood as some sort of " s u p e r f i c i a l humanism," because i t "may mean everything written with l e t t e r s or printed i n a book" (411). He further contends that "Euclid's Elements and Newton's P r i n c i p i a are thus l i t e r a t u r e . A l l knowledge that reaches us through books i s l i t e r a t u r e " (411-12). By b l u r r i n g a l l d i s t i n c t i o n s between s c i e n t i f i c and n o n - s c i e n t i f i c 82 writing, Arnold's argument makes glossing over contradictions inside the epistemological world he projects easy to e f f e c t . This move also tends to simplify the argument, hence avoiding more complex issues relevant to the epistemological conditions that determine a p a r t i c u l a r d i s c i p l i n e , whether l i t e r a r y or s c i e n t i f i c . Furthermore, the world of "the best which has been thought and said i n the world" can be expanded to include mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology and what has been achieved by s c i e n t i s t s such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, and Darwin. Such a l i n e of reasoning leads Arnold to the next deduction. Second, by implication, a l l knowledge i s humanist, "and a genuine humanism i s s c i e n t i f i c " (411). A s i m p l i f i e d r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i s , therefore, reached and both s c i e n t i f i c and n o n - s c i e n t i f i c d i s c i p l i n e s are joined together under the same umbrella as the best that has been thought i n the world. The contradictions that ripped apart the i n t e l l e c t u a l world i n the nineteenth century seem, on the surface, to be absent here. But t h i s i s only a deceptive situation, for the secular s c i e n t i f i c world i s simply incorporated into the Arnoldian paradigm i n order to serve what Arnold himself terms the "human i n s t i n c t " for order and s p i r i t u a l salvation. This deduction leads h i m — i n t u r n — t o the next proposition. 83 T h i r d , t h e r e i s a human i n s t i n c t f o r "beauty," "conduct," and " h a p p i n e s s " t h a t human knowledge i n t o t o e x i s t s t o s e r v e i n p e r p e t u i t y . And " i n s e e k i n g t o g r a t i f y t h i s i n s t i n c t i n q u e s t i o n , " A r n o l d f u r t h e r argues, "we are f o l l o w i n g t h e i n s t i n c t o f s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n i n humanity" (417). I t i s i n t h e g r a t i f i c a t i o n o f t h i s i n s t i n c t t h a t t h e s c i e n t i f i c and n o n - s c i e n t i f i c s u b j e c t s t a k e f o r k e d p a t h s . The humanist s u b j e c t s a re p e r c e i v e d as more apt t o s a t i s f y t h e human i n s t i n c t because t h e y a p p e a l t o t h e senses and "engage t h e emotions" i n t h e same way t h a t "the knowledge, d e l i v e r e d by S c r i p t u r e and t h e Church" d i d d u r i n g t h e M i d d l e Ages. S c i e n t i s t s l i k e Darwin o r Huxley a re c o n s i d e r e d u n a b l e t o connect human d e s i r e f o r "conduct" and "beauty" w i t h t h e p u r e l y s c i e n t i f i c knowledge t h e y produce. "They w i l l g i v e u s , " A r n o l d m a i n t a i n s , o t h e r p i e c e s o f knowledge, o t h e r f a c t s , about o t h e r a n i m a l s and t h e i r a n c e s t o r s , o r about p l a n t s . . .or about s t a r s ; and t h e y may f i n a l l y b r i n g us t o t h o s e g r e a t " g e n e r a l c o n c e p t i o n s o f t h e u n i v e r s e " . . . . But s t i l l i t w i l l be knowledge t h e y g i v e u s; knowledge not put f o r us i n t o r e l a t i o n w i t h our sense f o r conduct, our sense f o r beauty, and t o u c h e d w i t h emotion by b e i n g so p u t . (419) A c c o r d i n g l y , s c i e n c e i s p e r c e i v e d as h a v i n g f a i l e d t o evoke human emotion o r t o m a i n t a i n p r o p e r "conduct"; i t i s t h e f u n c t i o n o f t h e h u m a n i t i e s t o f u l f i l l t h i s t a s k . 8 4 F i n a l l y , we witness a return to the epistemological paradise of poetic creation. Poetry i s once again reinstated as the mediator between science and human i n s t i n c t . And c r i t i c i s m , a f t e r an attempt to move i t s t h e o r e t i c a l formulations a l i t t l e beyond t r a d i t i o n a l and Romantic notions of poetic creation and imagination, i s allocated a marginal p o s i t i o n . When Leavis rethinks the Arnoldian worldview and defends Arnold against a e s t h e t i c i s t accusations that h i s views of poetry are a f f i l i a t e d with the doctrine of 'Art for Art's Sake', he evokes the famous Arnoldian phrase that "poetry i s the c r i t i c i s m of l i f e " (Leavis, The C r i t i c as Anti-Philosopher 60). At the same time, and while ignoring the f u l l implications of T.S. E l i o t ' s comments on that p a r t i c u l a r statement i n h i s The Use of Poetry and the Use of C r i t i c i s m r Leavis acquiesces to Arnold's b e l i e f i n the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of defining exactly the c r i t e r i a of t h i s c r i t i c i s m of l i f e (60). But what Leavis neglects most i s a f u l l consideration of the ultimate meaning that c r i t i c i s m embodies i n Arnold's theory of poetry; that i t must remain purely i n t e l l e c t u a l , " d i s i n t e r e s t e d , " and non-"practical". T h e o r e t i c a l l y speaking, t h i s c r i t i c i s m must simply cogitate about the beauty of i t s d i s i n t e r e s t e d practice. Indeed, Leavis remains incapable of distancing himself from Arnold's views about c r i t i c i s m , science, and the function of l i t e r a t u r e i n general. 8 5 Arnold's f i n a l conclusion about the re l a t i o n s h i p between science and poetry signals a return to the realm of poetic creation. After an ambitious project to reconcile l i t e r a r y d i s c i p l i n e s and science through the launching of an important project theorizing the c r i t i c a l function, the Arnoldian paradigm f a l l s back oh the c l a s s i c a l and quasi-romantic appeal to poetic creation as an almost r e l i g i o u s experience, and re-confirms i t as the only type of knowledge that i s valuable i n human existence. He makes t h i s assertion i n defence of the humanities: [W]hile we s h a l l have to acquaint ourselves with the great r e s u l t s reached by modern science, and to give ourselves as much t r a i n i n g i n i t s d i s c i p l i n e s as we can conveniently carry, . . . yet the majority of men w i l l always require humane l e t t e r s ; and so much the more, as they have the more and the greater r e s u l t s of science to r e l a t e to the need i n man for conduct, and the need i n him for beauty. (Arnold, The Portable Arnold 429) By an ultimate tour de force. Arnold demonstrates the inadequacy and incompleteness of science. And gently he pushes s c i e n t i f i c i n q u i r y — l i k e c r i t i c i s m for that m a t t e r — completely out of h i s frame of reference. Poetry, i n i t s c l a s s i c a l quasi-Longinian sense, as a s p i r i t u a l creation beckoning human consciousness towards some subliminal moments of communion with the s e l f , i s re-instated on the throne from which i t — n o t unlike R e l i g i o n — h a s been ousted by s c i e n t i f i c 86 thinking or c r i t i c a l theorization: "Science thinks, but not emotionally," Arnold concludes; " i t adds thought to thought, accumulates the elements of a synthesis which w i l l never be complete u n t i l i t i s touched with the beauty and emotion; and when i t i s touched with them, i t has passed out of the sphere of science" (Cited i n Baldick, The Mission 41). Commenting on Arnold's assessment of Wordsworth, L e a v i s — i n d i c a t i n g some of his own early c r i t i c a l d i r e c t i o n s — notes that "the c r i t i c a l attitude, i n fact, i l l u s t r a t e s the general t h e o r e t i c a l soundness that i s represented by 'The Function of C r i t i c i s m at the Present Time*, where Arnold sets fort h h is view of the healthy r e l a t i o n s between poetry and l i f e " (Leavis, Revaluation 154). This idea a r t i c u l a t e s the epistemological bond that relates Leavis to Arnold, not only at the l e v e l of c r i t i c i s m as " c r i t i c i s m of l i f e " but also at the l e v e l of the rel a t i o n s h i p of s c i e n t i f i c methodology to c r i t i c a l p r a c t i c e . A difference between the two c r i t i c s must be pointed out here, however; contrary to Leavis, Arnold does not take the claimed destructiveness of technology and science as the center of h i s reading of l i t e r a t u r e and c r i t i c i s m . However, Arnold's addressing the question of science i n c r i t i c i s m as well as his aim to incorporate various d i s c i p l i n e s i n approaching l i t e r a t u r e signal h i s importance and relevance to Leavis's work. His f i n a l r e c o n c i l i a t o r y 87 move to supersede t h i s project and to reinstate, instead, a celebration of the value of poetry as r e a l human thought par excellence has only proved the extent to which the issue i t s e l f presents insurmountable t h e o r e t i c a l complications for any c r i t i c . In fact, i t was Leavis, whose attitude towards science and p a r t i c u l a r l y techno-science—what he c a l l e d the "technologico-Benthamite ethos"—was h o s t i l e , who took over the Arnoldian t h e o r e t i c a l project and expanded on i t . Thus, addressing the same problematic of l i t e r a t u r e , c r i t i c i s m , and science, but from a fresh perspective, Leavis promised a widening of the scope of c r i t i c i s m and a better understanding of i t s function. Undoubtedly, without Arnold, Leavis's Scrutiny project and what followed would never have seen the l i g h t of day. What p a r t i c u l a r l y marks Leavis's r e v i s i o n of t h i s Arnoldian t r a d i t i o n i s the attention he pays to science and s c i e n t i s t s . In h i s formulation of a set of l i t e r a r y standards and c r i t e r i a which were to determine what would constitute l i t e r a t u r e and specify the t e l o s of c r i t i c i s m , Leavis kept i n mind the p o s i t i o n of a number of s c i e n t i s t s towards the humanities and l i t e r a t u r e i n p a r t i c u l a r . These s c i e n t i s t s ' views about l i t e r a t u r e c u r r i c u l a within u n i v e r s i t y programs, and t h e i r understanding of the c u l t u r a l problems of t h e i r society tend to a t t r a c t Leavis's attention more than the question of s c i e n t i f i c method. (The Snow-Leavis controversy had as primary concern t h i s p a r t i c u l a r issue.) When Lord Robbins p r i v i l e g e s the sciences i n education by saying that " i n a complex society such as ours, the hope of order and freedom i n s o c i a l conditions must rest upon the advancement of systematic knowledge i n s o c i a l studies," and adds that "as with the natural sciences, the u n i v e r s i t i e s have a fundamental contribution to make" ( c i t . by Leavis i n English Literature i n Our Time 137), Leavis responds with an opposite view. He argues that such a desire to turn "university English" into a "Social Science" which reveals a "devotion to the natural sciences" i s only "another disquieting symptom" of the c r i s i s . For, as he goes on to elaborate, " i t would be better for us i f they [the s o c i a l studies] were pursued and studied, i n so far as they aspire to be authoritative sources of knowledge and wisdom about human nature and human l i f e " i n an " i n t e l l e c t u a l and s p i r i t u a l " climate (173). This i s a p r i n c i p l e that he maintains also when he raises the question of c r i t i c a l standards: S c i e n t i s t s . . . i n t h e i r defence of standards . . .may count on the esse n t i a l measure of success, for science i s recognized as na t i o n a l l y important. And standards as we i n "Engish" are concerned for them are i n t h e i r nature not amenable to e f f e c t i v e presentation and assertion. They are patently not susceptible of reduction to quantitative, mathematical or any kind of demonstrative terms, and the drive of our triumphant technologico- Benthamite world i s not merely i n d i f f e r e n t , but h o s t i l e , to the human c r e a t i v i t y they represent. (Nor Shall My Sword 151) 89 This idea of s c i e n t i s t s being i n a l l i a n c e with technologico-Benthamism but against " c r e a t i v i t y " and " l i f e " i s c l a r i f i e d further when Leavis i n s i s t s on an important d i s t i n c t i o n among s c i e n t i s t s . For him, there are s c i e n t i s t s who are on the side of creative a r t i s t s , and there are those who are mere p h i l i s t i n e s . He explains: I was on the point of saying that the immense army of s c i e n t i s t s , or laboratory professionals, share i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l lack and the p h i l i s t i n e commensense that goes with i t , when I checked myself i n order to make an important d i s t i n c t i o n . True science i s what i s represented by great creative s c i e n t i s t s , who are not common; they exhibit neither the lack nor the humanly reductive commonsense [ s i c ] . (Valuation i n C r i t i c i s m 295) In making t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n , Leavis i s guided p a r t i c u l a r l y by Lawrence's v i t a l i s t philosophy and idea that "any creative act occupies the whole consciousness of a man. This i s true of the great discoveries of science as well as of a r t " (cited i n i b i d . , 295). The point here i s that through his continual references to s c i e n t i s t s i n general, and "creative s c i e n t i s t s " i n p a r t i c u l a r , Leavis not only c a l l s for the support of s c i e n t i s t s such as Michael Polanyi, Collingwood, Marjorie Grene, and Michael Yudkin, but also seems to betray his strong desire to emulate s c i e n t i f i c thought by o f f e r i n g c l e a r l y defined p r i n c i p l e s and methodological c r i t e r i a . This i s consistent with the t h e o r e t i c a l impasse that characterizes his whole epistemology. In Nor Shall My Sword and The Living whole epistemology. In Nor Shall My Sword and The L i v i n g P r i n c i p l e , for instance, both Grene and Polanyi are c i t e d i n support of his arguments against "positive science" and i n favour of " t a c i t knowledge," " l i f e , " and " i n t u i t i o n . " S i m i l a r l y , he refers to Yudkin, a b i o l o g i s t , i n h i s argument against Snow. To prove his point i n The C r i t i c as Anti-philosopher. Leavis r e c a l l s an important passage from Grene*s The Knower and Known which celebrates the "revolution of l i f e " : We have come, or are coming, at l e a s t to the end of t h i s epoch, the epoch presided over by the Newtonian cosmology and Newtonian method. We are i n the midst of a new philosophical revolution, a revolution i n which, indeed, the new physics too has had due influence, but a revolution founded squarely on the d i s c i p l i n e s concerned with l i f e : on biology, psychology, sociology, history, even theology and art c r i t i c i s m . Seventeenth century thinkers had to free themselves from the bonds of Newtonian abstraction, to dare, not only to manipulate abstractions, to calculate and predict and f a l s i f y , but to understand. The revolution before us i s a revolution of l i f e against dead nature, and of understanding as against the c a l c u l i of l o g i c a l machines, (cited i n The C r i t i c as Anti-philosopher 21) Grene's v i t a l i s t epistemology here i s as anti-technology as Leavis 1 attitude towards "the imperialism of the computer." Yet, notwithstanding his acquiescence to Grene 1s granting philosophical inquiry a p r i v i l e g e d p o s i t i o n here—something he rejects during his arguments with Wellek and Tanner—his attention i n reading t h i s passage i s directed 91 mostly towards the idea of a "revolution of l i f e against dead nature," of "culture" versus a " c i v i l i z a t i o n " of the machine. Although Grene's tone here i s more opt i m i s t i c than Leavis's i n his writings, both of them agree on the r o l e of "the machine" as the ultimate threat to t h i s "revolution of l i f e . " Negatively perceived, technology becomes for both Grene and Leavis a deus ex machina i n resolving the epistemological complexities that a theorization of human knowledge i s confronted with. The other scientist-philosopher to whom Leavis turns to in order to v a l i d a t e his visionary world of the "revolution of l i f e " i s Polanyi. The l a t t e r ' s views of science provided Leavis with v i t a l support i n making such categories as " i n d i v i d u a l c r e a t i v i t y , " " i n t u i t i o n , " " s e n s i b i l i t y , " " t a c i t knowledge," " l i f e , " and "imagination" central tenets of the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m he proposed as a d i s c i p l i n e to reform the "English School" at Cambridge. Leavis quotes Polanyi as follows: Thus our understanding of l i v i n g beings involves at a l l l e v e l s a measure of indwelling; our i n t e r e s t i n l i f e i s always c o n v i v i a l . There i s no break therefore i n passing from biology to the acceptance of our c u l t u r a l c a l l i n g i n which we share the l i f e of a human society, including the l i f e of i t s ancestors, the authors of our c u l t u r a l heritage, (cited i n Nor Shall My Sword 24) Leavis sees the same virtues i n Grene and Polanyi as i n Lawrence. The "strength of Polanyi's thought," Leavis argues, l i e s i n h i s evocation of a " c u l t u r a l heritage" and " l i f e " as universal p r i n c i p l e s . Both p r i n c i p l e s f i t i n well with Leavis's own b e l i e f i n "organic" continuity and l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n , which are part of the set of c r i t e r i a that constitute h i s c r i t i c a l system. This t o t a l i z i n g epistemological outlook, manifested i n Grene's words and i n Polanyi's idea of "no break. . .in passing from biology to" culture, projects a humanist view which smoothes out the opposition between science and non-science. I t i s a passage marked by the absence of any d i s t i n c t boundaries or sense of contradiction between d i s c i p l i n e s . This i s what Leavis expressed during his d i a t r i b e against Snow, Annan, and Robbins, i n h i s notion of the "One Culture." At the same time, the type of knowledge which r e s u l t s from the application in method of these t o t a l i z i n g c r i t e r i a that Leavis borrows from c e r t a i n s c i e n t i s t s tends to claim a universal character: " A l l thought i s incarnate; i t l i v e s by the body and by the favour of society. But i t i s not thought unless i t s t r i v e s for truth, a s t r i v i n g which leaves i t free to act on i t s own r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , with universal intent" (epigraph to Nor Shall Mv Sword). Thus, by continuously resorting to pronouncements by s c i e n t i s t s and philosophers of science i n order to convince 93 hi s audience of the v i a b i l i t y of his views of c r i t i c i s m , l i t e r a t u r e , and society, Leavis remains caught up i n an epistemological paradox: "I am faced with a d i f f i c u l t problem of method," he confesses i n The L i v i n g P r i n c i p l e (14). On the one hand, he sees the necessity of a set of standards that would guarantee understanding and ensure the process of continuity with the organic society of the past as imperative; on the other hand, he seems to be wary of any openly declared systematic method resembling a science for fear of i t s pote n t i a l a f f i l i a t i o n with technological culture: "of course, I myself don't dispute that there has to be the approach that defines i t s problems, and deals with them, i n terms of s t a t i s t i c a l data, charts and the computarizable generally" (Nor Shall My Sword 145). Thus, i n order to ensure that the idea of " l i v i n g " p r i n c i p l e s would be apprehended by the public he was addressing, and to implement the desired cure for the modern malaise of technological c i v i l i s a t i o n , he used such terms as "precision of thought," "concreteness," "disinterested i n t e l l i g e n c e , " and "impersonal" method to l e g i t i m i z e h i s own discourse. Yet, i n order to d i s t i n g u i s h his approach from s c i e n t i f i c method, which he saw as c u l t i v a t i n g s p i r i t u a l barrenness, p h i l i s t i n i s m , and eco l o g i c a l disaster, Leavis had to emphasize notions of i n d i v i d u a l i n t u i t i o n , t a c i t knowledge, the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of d e f i n i t i o n s , but also the unprovenness of ess e n t i a l c r i t e r i a . This paradox manifests i t s e l f , as we s h a l l now see, i n the way Leavis conceived and propounded a "theory" of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m which he sometimes c a l l e d "The Li v i n g P r i n c i p l e " and at other times "Judgement and Analysis" or "Valuation i n C r i t i c i s m . " 95 II. Towards "Living" C r i t i c a l Standards: the Necessity of "Precision" and Ambiguous Meaning C r i t i c i s m . . .must be i n the f i r s t place (and never cease being) a matter of s e n s i b i l i t y , of responding s e n s i t i v e l y and with precise discrimination to the words on the page. (Leavis, Towards Standards 16; emphasis added) What Mr. E l i o t ' s poetry has to give i s to be educated into a new understanding of the nature of precision i n thought. (Leavis, The Common Pursuit 254; emphasis added) Not unlike his theorization of culture which led him i n the end to the marginalization of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge because he perceived i t as negating "organic" existence and enhancing the destructive e f f e c t s of technology, Leavis's formulation of a set of c r i t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s to approach l i t e r a t u r e d i d not escape a d i r e c t confrontation with the notion of s c i e n t i f i c i t y . At the l e v e l of c r i t i c i s m , Leavis's engagement with s c i e n t i f i c discourse and method seems to be much more controversial than at the l e v e l of h i s c u l t u r a l theory, e s p e c i a l l y a f t e r his controversy with Snow over the "Two Cultures" i n the 1960s. Since t h i s c r u c i a l event i n Leavis's development as a l i t e r a r y c r i t i c , s c i e n t i f i c epistemology drew more of his attention and i n t e l l e c t u a l energy u n t i l h i s death i n 1978. This concern i s revealed p a r t i c u l a r l y through his increased attention to questions of c r i t i c a l theory, method, and abstract thinking i n i n t e r p r e t i n g l i t e r a t u r e , as well as through h i s t h e o r e t i c a l exchanges between Rene Wellek and Michael Tanner over the nature of c r i t i c i s m and i t s raison d'etre. Moreover, his most th e o r e t i c a l essays, as c o l l e c t e d i n The L i v i n g P r i n c i p l e (1975), Thought, Words, and C r e a t i v i t y (1976), The C r i t i c as Anti-Philosopher (1982), and Valuation i n C r i t i c i s m (1986), were written for the most part during the l a t t e r part of his career, at which time the question of theory and s c i e n t i f i c c r i t i c i s m became controversial issues. In addressing them, Leavis emphasized a number of concepts that s t i l l constitute major elements i n h i s t h e o r e t i c a l framework, namely the notions of "standards," " c r i t e r i a , " "discrimination," "precision," " d e f i n i t i o n , " "disinterestedness," " o b j e c t i v i t y , " "concreteness," and others. These terms had belonged to h i s e a r l i e r c r i t i c a l repertoire, but they were taken up again with more vigour during the l a t e r years. However, since many of these terms belonged also to,the discourse of science, i n appropriating and redefining them, Leavis seems to have offered h i s most t h e o r e t i c a l challenge to science as a d i s c i p l i n e of thought. At the same time, the key-terms which formed the basis of h i s theorization of "organic culture," such as " s e n s i b i l i t y , " "livingness," " i n t u i t i o n , " and " c r e a t i v i t y , " were evoked i n order to r e l a t e his ideal c r i t i c a l method to the c u l t u r a l t e l o s he envisaged for h i s contemporary society. In h i s analyses of l i t e r a r y works and h i s m e t a c r i t i c a l commentaries, Leavis always appealed to such key-terms i n order to explain the urgent "need" for c r i t i c i s m to es t a b l i s h i t s e l f as a separate d i s c i p l i n e supported by the u n i v e r s i t y and an i n t e l l i g e n t "public" s e n s i t i v e to l i t e r a t u r e . From the beginning, h i s writing was marked by t h i s search for ways of i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z i n g c r i t i c i s m , indeed, a major elaboration of the Arnoldian epistemological and educational project. For instance, as early as 1933, Leavis expressed h i s concerns for the nature of c r i t i c i s m as follows: A novel, l i k e a poem, i s made of words; there i s nothing else one can point to. We t a l k of a n o v e l i s t as "creating characters," but the process of "creation" i s one of putting words together. We discuss the quality of h i s " v i s i o n , " but the only c r i t i c a l judgements we can attach d i r e c t l y to observable parts of his work concern p a r t i c u l a r arrangements of words—the qua l i t y of the response they evoke. C r i t i c i s m , that i s , must be i n the f i r s t place (and never cease being) a matter of s e n s i b i l i t y , of responding s e n s i t i v e l y and with precise discrimination to the words on the page. But i t must, of course, go on to deal with the larger e f f e c t s , with the organization of the t o t a l response to the book. (Towards Standards 16-17; emphasis added) 98 Such notions as "observable parts," "precise discrimination" and h i s emphasis on the empirical character of the text, the " p a r t i c u l a r arrangements of [ i t s ] words," c l e a r l y demonstrate to what extent Leavis's c r i t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s are a f f i l i a t e d with empiricist and p o s i t i v i s t thinking, which conceived understanding as "based only on observable facts and the r e l a t i o n s between them and the laws discoverable from observing them" (Williams, Keywords 238). Nonetheless, Leavis argued vehemently against positivism and, as he claimed, i t s technologico-Benthamite off-shoot a l l along. This lends the c r i t i c a l method and the knowledge that he o f f e r s as an a l t e r n a t i v e to s c i e n t i f i c epistemology a sense of complexity and ambiguity which r e f l e c t s the t h e o r e t i c a l impasse that confronted him also at the l e v e l of h i s theorization of "organic culture." One may note a s t r i k i n g homology between Leavis's theorization of culture and h i s conceptualization of a c r i t i c a l method. Both take a s i m i l a r p o s i t i o n towards the question of science. When Leavis came to define the basic tenets of the d i s c i p l i n e of c r i t i c i s m i n the face of the hegemony of s c i e n t i f i c discourse, he was to put forward the "norms" or " c r i t e r i a " as the "standards" which he believed constituted c r i t i c i s m proper. He stated them as c a r e f u l l y as possible so that c r i t i c a l method and i t s t e l o s would not overlap with the other d i s c i p l i n e s , e s p e c i a l l y the natural sciences, which he claimed were denying l i t e r a t u r e i t s "true" value. This would also guarantee c r i t i c i s m a s p e c i f i c and es s e n t i a l p o s i t i o n i n society, s p e c i f i c a l l y at the heart of the educational e d i f i c e (see English Literature chap. 1 and passim). I t c l e a r that * Leavis w i l l be remembered mainly for h i s concern to determine c r i t i c a l p ractice as a d i s t i n c t category of thought. Yet, as R.P. Bilan confirms i n his The L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m of F.R. Leavis (1979), "what has not received wide enough attention i s the fact that l y i n g behind [Leavis's]. . .judgements on l i t e r a t u r e i s a very subtle and l u c i d l y a r t i c u l a t e d idea of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m " (61). I t i s the a r t i c u l a t i o n of t h i s " l u c i d i t y " and coherence of the Le a v i s i t e c r i t i c a l system that needs to be addressed c a r e f u l l y , for Leavis's basic t h e o r e t i c a l notions, e s p e c i a l l y when they confront the question of s c i e n t i f i c i t y , remain on close inspection problematic. Anyone attempting to pin down Leavis's "standards" of c r i t i c i s m must not neglect h i s own statement that "one can't prove the Tightness of. . .judgements; the mode of v e r i f i c a t i o n that goes with t h i s order of thought i s n ' t proof, and c e r t a i n l y y i e l d s no f i n a l i t y . But i t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the most important convictions one forms to admit to nothing l i k e proof" ("Mutually Necessary" 148). Nevertheless, and notwithstanding other statements which reemphasize his b e l i e f i n the t a c i t nature of a l l forms of knowledge, Leavis himself always reminded "the responsible c r i t i c " of the importance of l i t e r a r y standards and c r i t i c a l norms; they should be sought and followed c l o s e l y by any approach that aspires to win public attention. At times, c r i t i c a l standards are granted so much importance by Leavis that they become central to the l i f e of society i t s e l f . "Unless the standards are maintained," he warns i n Nor Shall My Sword, "the whole community i s l e t down" (151). To elucidate how, "exactly and p r e c i s e l y , " Leavis formulated his "Standards of c r i t i c i s m " , I propose to consider, as a s t a r t i n g point, three representative excerpts from h i s writings. Like most of his other statements, these passages are c a r e f u l l y wrought but also emotionally charged. The excerpts also r e l a t e to three important stages i n his l i f e . Without r e f l e c t i n g any r a d i c a l breaks i n h i s thought, they support a c r u c i a l argument: that Leavis's c r i t i c a l opinions developed towards a theorization of a' c r i t i c a l method which, i n i t s acerbic argument against scientism, could hardly escape the influence of the l a t t e r ' s discourse despite h i s appeal to c e r t a i n categories that were hardly accessible to s c i e n t i f i c inquiry. The f i r s t passage marks some of Leavis's e a r l i e s t formulations of the idea of c r i t i c i s m and of the ro l e of the c r i t i c s u i generis. I t i s an excerpt from h i s "Reply" to Rene Wellek's review of Leavis's Revaluations (1932), which appeared i n the Scrutiny issue of March, 19 37: Text 1 The business of the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s to a t t a i n a peculiar completeness of response and to observe a p e c u l i a r l y s t r i c t relevance i n developing h i s response into commentary; he must be on his guard against any premature or ir r e l e v a n t g e n e r a l i z i n g — of i t or from i t . His f i r s t concern i s to enter into possession of the given poem ( l e t us say) i n i t s concrete f u l l n e s s , and his constant concern i s never to lose his completeness of possession, but rather to increase i t . In making value-judgements (and judgement as to s i g n i f i c a n c e ) , i m p l i c i t l y , he does so out of that completeness of possession and with that f u l l n e s s of response. He doesn't ask, "How does t h i s accord with these s p e c i f i c a t i o n s of goodness i n poetry?"; he aims to make f u l l y conscious and a r t i c u l a t e the immediate sense of value that "places" the poem. (The Common Pursuit 213) The second extract i s an important statement about the object of c r i t i c a l judgement; t h i s a c t i v i t y has i t s boundaries, se t t i n g i t apart from other d i s c i p l i n e s . I t also marks a middle period i n Leavis's career. The s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s excerpt l i e s also i n the fact that i t was written i n 1962, during the vogue of Leavis's "Two Cultures?" lecture. I t indicates h i s view of the role of the c r i t i c during the time of h i s controversy with C P . Snow over the question of "scientism" versus "Literarism" (Leavis, Nor Shall 135). This passage i s as follows: Text 2 You cannot point to the poem; i t i s "there" only i n the re-creative response of i n d i v i d u a l minds to the black marks on the page. B u t — a necessary f a i t h — i t i s something i n which minds can meet. The process i n which t h i s f a i t h i s j u s t i f i e d i s given f a i r l y enough i n an account of the nature of c r i t i c i s m . A judgement i s personal or i t i s nothing; you cannot take over someone else's. The i m p l i c i t form of a judgement i s : This i s so, i s n ' t i t ? The question i s an appeal for confirmation that the thing i s so; i m p l i c i t l y that, though expecting, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y , an answer i n the form, "yes, but ," the "but" standing for q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , reserves, corrections. Here we have a diagram of the coll a b o r a t i v e - c r e a t i v e process i n which the poem comes to be established as something "out there," of common access i n what i s i n some sense a public world. I t gives us, too, the nature of the existence of English l i t e r a t u r e , a l i v i n g whole that can have a l i f e only i n the l i v i n g present, i n the creative response of ind i v i d u a l s , who c o l l a b o r a t i v e l y renew and perpetuate what they p a r t i c i p a t e i n — a c u l t u r a l community or consciousness. More, i t gives us the nature i n general of what I have c a l l e d the "Third Realm" to which a l l that makes us human belongs. (Two Cultures? 28) The t h i r d passage, which I s h a l l quote extensively because of i t s importance i n t h i s context, was published posthumously. I t signals the f i n a l stage of Leavis's career and argues for the p a r t i c u l a r role of "Standards" i n the consolidation of a proper c r i t i c a l approach. I t demonstrates as well how L e a v i s 1 s thought had developed towards a problematic theory of l i t e r a t u r e that i s opposed to defining c r i t i c a l terminology, while e x p l i c i t l y advocating "precision of thought." This passage presents a sense of a more overt 103 awareness of the question of s c i e n t i f i c i t y , the thorny issue that was to occupy Leavis u n t i l h is death. Text 3 It i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of our f i e l d of thought that we have to use terms we can't s t r i c t l y or neatly define. Of the term "standards" worse can be said: i t i n v i t e s the user to endorse and adopt f a l s e suggestions that make i n t e l l i g e n t thought about the nature of c r i t i c i s m impossible. The standards of c r i t i c i s m are not at a l l of the order of the standards i n the Weights and Measures Of f i c e . They are not producible, they are not precise, and they are not fixed. But i f they are not e f f e c t i v e l y "there" for the c r i t i c to appeal to, the function of c r i t i c i s m i s badly disabled. In fact, i t i s always a part of the function of c r i t i c i s m to assert and maintain them; that i s , to modify them, for to maintain i s to v i t a l i z e , and to v i t a l i z e i s almost ine v i t a b l y to modify. The goal to which the poet labours i s a Tightness that has a compelling impersonal authority; i t i s something other than the poet's s e l f . "Precision" e n t a i l s thought. The steps by which the poet moves towards the f i n a l rightness compel him to c u l t i v a t e a considering, weighing, t e s t i n g consciousness. The rightness, then, i s pre c i s i o n ; i t i s an achievement of thought: i n the achieving of i t , thought of a non-philosophic and n o n - s c i e n t i f i c kind has played an es s e n t i a l part. The pr e c i s i o n sought i n art-speech bears an i r o n i c a l r e l a t i o n to the u t t e r l y d i f f e r e n t p r e c i s i o n sought by science. The s c i e n t i f i c p r e c i s i o n i s associated with an ide a l of impersonality too. The s c i e n t i f i c impersonality fosters the p h i l i s t i n e commonsense of the age of technologico-industrialism. . .True science i s what i s represented by great creative s c i e n t i s t s , who are not common. (Valuation i n C r i t i c i s m 244; 295) 104 Taken together, these three extracts i l l u s t r a t e the basis of Leavis's c r i t i c a l paradigm. They offer a sense of the evolution of his thought towards a higher level of abstraction or theorization. In their chronological order, they also indicate the striking culmination of his thought towards an explicit engagement with the problematic of c r i t i c a l standards in s c i e n t i f i c criticism. Before taking issue with these c r i t i c a l tenets in detail, i t i s worth examining some of the most relevant propositions in each of these passages. In "Text 1" (1937), there i s a specification of what constitutes the function of the c r i t i c qua c r i t i c : a complete possession of the poem, leading towards a coherent response which forms a value-judgement of s t r i c t relevance and resists abstract generalizations. Ultimately the c r i t i c arrives at a f u l l realisation of the value of the poem. The role of the reader-critic i s defined here by Leavis without any hesitation as to what the c r i t i c should or should not do when approaching a lite r a r y text. Accordingly, a text's meaning does not wait for the application of some external rules of poetic value; on the contrary, i t is made "f u l l y conscious" of i t s a r t i s t i c value — as i f brought to l i f e by the c r i t i c ' s intervention. Nonetheless, certain expressions such as the "possession" of a poem, the "concrete fullness" of a reading, and the "plac[ing]" of the text, remain highly ambiguous. As for the tone of the passage, i t remains emphatic and didactic; a 105 common c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Leavis's s t y l e . Other s t y l i s t i c features that emerge here are s i g n i f i c a n t . His r e p e t i t i o n of some terms for the sake of further c l a r i f y i n g t h e i r meaning, as the overuse of clashes, commas, and parenthetical statements, the i n s e r t i o n of hypothetical dialogues with an imaginary reader who i s addressed as a single i n d i v i d u a l , and the wide use of words i n quotation marks to emphasize t h e i r special meaning—all together convey a f e e l i n g of uneasiness about the s i g n i f i c a t i o n s mediated by Leavis's c r i t i c a l discourse. This also reveals his persistent drive to get at some "precise" meaning that the words he uses cannot t o t a l l y grasp. I t i s as i f his thinking were confronted with a wall of abstraction that he cannot surmount despite the burning desire to do so. In "Text 2" (1962), on the other hand, Leavis's attention i s focussed more on the poem qua text and i t s intepretation. The poem i s understood as a common public "space" "out there", where the minds of the readers as i n d i v i d u a l s meet i n a "collaborative-creative" exchange. This c r i t i c a l a c t i v i t y s o l i c i t s the confirmation of p a r t i c u l a r analyses, but remains also open to disagreement. Through t h i s " c o l l a b o r a t i v e " process, the poem i s read as a representative part of a whole l i t e r a t u r e manifesting i t s l i f e and that of a " c u l t u r a l continuity." Furthermore, both the text and the judgement i t generates determine the existence of a c u l t u r a l 106 consciousness which, i n turn, o f f e r s us what Leavis c a l l s "the Third Realm," a Lawrentian concept that s i g n i f i e s the repository of some indefinable sacrosanct "human" values resembling those that dominate an "organic" order (see Two Cultures? 29; English Literature 48; and Nor Shall my Sword 110) . There are two other major points that should be noted here. F i r s t , t h i s passage i s s i l e n t about what c r i t e r i a of l i t e r a r i n e s s would q u a l i f y a p a r t i c u l a r poem or novel for the celebration of t h i s "Realm." I t i s taken for granted that not a l l texts are l i t e r a r y , for they do not a l l answer to the c r i t e r i a of the "great t r a d i t i o n " as represented by Austen, G. E l i o t , James, Dickens, Conrad, and Lawrence. In contrast, writers such as Joyce, Auden, Woolf, and Forster are excluded from the canon of "great" writers. Corroborating t h i s point are other studies by Leavis, namely The Great T r a d i t i o n . English Literature i n Our Time and the University, and Thought. Words and C r e a t i v i t y . In these books, he always considers l i t e r a t u r e i n terms of a hierarchy with Blake, Wordsworth, Lawrence, and T.S. E l i o t , i n addition to the nove l i s t s of the "great t r a d i t i o n , " ranking highest. For Leavis, a l l of these a r t i s t s share i n the consciousness and " s p i r i t " of the genius that makes them " a l i v e " to the s p i r i t u a l imperatives of the world they l i v e i n (The Great T r a d i t i o n 36; 38). For example, t a l k i n g of Conrad's "major 107 q u a l i t y " — a n d t h i s i s a judgement that i s applicable to nearly a l l the other novelists and poets chosen—Leavis says: [H]e i s one of those creative geniuses whose d i s t i n c t i o n i s manifested i n t h e i r being p e c u l i a r l y a l i v e i n t h e i r t i m e — p e c u l i a r l y a l i v e to i t ; not " i n the vanguard" i n the manner of Shaw and Wells and Aldous Huxley, but s e n s i t i v e to the stresses of the changing s p i r i t u a l climate as they begin to be registered by the most conscious. (Great Traditon 33) Literature mediates a s p i r i t u a l and r e l i g i o u s meaning that contrasts with the secular world of science and technologico-Benthamism. Indeed, Northrop Frye's r e f u t a t i o n of t h i s idea of " t r a d i t i o n " or what he terms "the touchstone theory" i n reference to Arnold i s relevant here. Frye i s correct i n saying that the idea of a l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n enhances the creation of a " s c r i p t u r a l canon. . .to serve as a guide f o r those s o c i a l p r i n c i p l e s which" require "culture to take over from r e l i g i o n " (Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m 22). Second, i n "Text 2" the nature of the c r i t i c ' s consciousness i s not s p e c i f i e d . According to Leavis, i n approaching the text to be analyzed, the c r i t i c must assume a c e r t a i n " f a i t h " i n "the black marks on the page" (Two Cultures? 28). Such a view denotes a hermeneutic- phenomenological understanding of the c r i t i c a l act. I t i s as i f the c r i t i c must be prepared beforehand to enter a sacred 108 textual t e r r i t o r y where the reading-interpretive act, the "collaborative-creative process," becomes a communion within the "Third Realm." Yet, despite t h i s ambiguity at the l e v e l of textual s i g n i f i c a n c e and c r i t i c a l practice, Leavis s t i l l i n s i s t s on the necessity of "precision" i n meaning. Nonetheless, such a characterization of the l i t e r a r y text i n general, and of the type of i n t e r p r e t a t i v e meaning i t i s supposed to generate can hardly be denied the status of theory. The way i n which Lea v i s i t e thinking has evolved towards an argument with "scientism," as shown in "Text 3" for instance, attests to the fact that his anti-theory claim must be taken with a grain of s a l t . Leavis's anti-theory stance i s i t s e l f t h e o r e t i c a l . The t h i r d excerpt i s a c t u a l l y a d i r e c t engagement with the p a r t i c u l a r domain of c r i t i c a l theory and the question of i t s standards and c r i t e r i a . In the f i r s t paragraph, the l a t t e r are seen as d i a m e t r i c a l l y opposed to those standards of s c i e n t i f i c discourse denoted here by Leavis's phrase: "the standards i n the Weights and Measures O f f i c e . " Unlike these norms, l i t e r a r y c r i t e r i a are accordingly impossible to " f i x " or to re-"produce." Nor are they "precise." But one r e c a l l s Leavis's own paradoxical p r e d i l e c t i o n for notions of "precision" and "concrete[ness]." In fact, the second paragraph of t h i s excerpt brings t h i s paradox to the fore. We are t o l d that the poet's goal i s the achievement of a sense of "impersonality" as the r i g h t method leading to "rightness [which]. . . i s p r e c i s i o n . " This method also r e l i e s on "considering, weighing, t e s t i n g " as c r u c i a l steps i n the c r i t i c a l - c r e a t i v e process. We are thus l e f t out i n the dark as to the nature of the boundaries that separate t h i s method from the one adopted i n the s c i e n t i f i c "Weights and Measures O f f i c e . " This point reveals the extent to which Leavis's c r i t i q u e i s continuously directed against a fixed image of science. I t i s the same image he r e l i e d on e a r l i e r to formulate h i s conception of the organic world. However, i t must be noted that the "standards" Leavis argues about here are more connected with the poetic text than with the metapoetic one. The a r t i s t i c consciousness referred to i s c l e a r l y that of the poet, which i s offered as a yardstick f o r measuring the i n t e n s i t y of c r i t i c a l consciousness. C r i t i c i s m i s therefore assessed according to the creative-poetic power i t mediates, a creativeness that speaks the language of "livingness": Not only can we not do without the word " l i f e " ; any attempt to think out a major c r i t i c a l issue e n t a i l s using p o s i t i v e l y the s h i f t s i n force the word i s bound to be incurring as i t f e e l s i t s way on and out and i n towards i t s f u l f i l m e n t . . . . [A] c r i t i c who would be i n t e l l i g e n t about the novel must be i n t e l l i g e n t about l i f e . (The C r i t i c As Ant i-ph i1osopher 114) Nonetheless, t h i s fusing together of the function of the poet and that of the c r i t i c into a single occupation that i s dominated by a v i t a l i s t concern does not seem to defeat Leavis's powerful argument for the establishment of c r i t i c i s m ; both poets and c r i t i c s seem to be involved i n a c r e a t i v e - c r i t i c a l process. I t i s a process whose mode of thinking, unlike that of " s c i e n t i f i c impersonality [which] fos t e r s " the ethos of industrialism, c u l t i v a t e s " l i f e " and maintains v i t a l i z i n g standards. Leavis•s statements reveal a sense of urgent necessity to define and apply p a r t i c u l a r c r i t e r i a or norms i n order to improve the practices of l i t e r a r y analysis. But without explaining why, Leavis claims that these c r i t i c a l standards defy any attempts to pin them down to cl e a r meaning: standards "are not producible, they are not precise, they are not fixed"; they are j u s t "there for the c r i t i c to appeal to." The v a l i d i t y of such a c r i t i c a l p r i n c i p l e — n o t unlike Leavis's views on " l i f e " and "organic c u l t u r e " — i s disproved by h i s statements about how d i f f i c u l t i t i s to define standards. However, a d e f i n i t i o n i s s t i l l a d e f i n i t i o n even when i t defines i t s object through a series of negations or of i t s opposites. By saying that standards are necessary for the c r i t i c ' s job, that they must be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from s c i e n t i f i c c r i t e r i a , that t h e i r "absence i s d i s a b l i n g " for any proper c r i t i c a l s e n s i b i l i t y , and that they should be maintained i n order to v i t a l i z e c r i t i c i s m and culture, Leavis forsakes every sense of the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of determining the nature of c r i t i c a l standards. In addition, when we are t o l d that one of the primary goals of poetic c r e a t i v i t y i s the c u l t i v a t i o n of a p a r t i c u l a r consciousness that aims at achieving "rightness," "precision," and "impersonality," as esse n t i a l c r i t i c a l c r i t e r i a , we are, indeed, very close to the d i c t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c discourse as understood either by those c r i t i c s who believed i n the s c i e n t i f i c i t y of l i t e r a r y method or by natural s c i e n t i s t s (cf. Raymond Williams, Keywords 276-80). Likewise, Leavis i n s i s t s that "the rightness, then, i s p r e c i s i o n . " But i t i s a kind of pre c i s i o n that i s graspable only through i t s opposites; the "thought of a non-philosophic and n o n - s c i e n t i f i c kind has played an es s e n t i a l part" i n i t s conceptualization. What Leavis's l i t e r a r y inquiry has led to i s , therefore, b a s i c a l l y the establishment of an uneasy, even " i r o n i c " and paradoxical a f f i n i t y between c r i t i c a l knowledge and s c i e n t i f i c knowledge. C r i t i c i s m must aim at a "precision" of thought, but i t i s a precision that does not resemble "precision" i n science. One i s faced with an important question here. Was Leavis's claim for t h i s idea of "precision," along with a plethora of i t s synonyms, made mainly as a response to the idea of "weighing," "measuring," and experimenting i n laboratories, which are practices that 112 e s s e n t i a l l y mark d i s c i p l i n e s such as physics, mathematics, and chemistry? Leavis's own words provide a c l e a r answer: "science i s obviously of great importance to mankind; i t i s of great c u l t u r a l importance. But to say t h i s i s to make a value-judgement—a human value judgement" (Nor Shall 140). This idea reveals the extent to which h i s reasoning about c r i t i c a l p r a ctice was shaped by a desire to emulate the methodologies of the natural sciences i n order to create a l i t e r a r y knowledge that i s s i m i l a r l y "of great importance to mankind," but that i s governed by a c r i t i c a l d i s c i p l i n e , not by the s c i e n t i f i c method. But t h i s desire was automatically frustrated, even cancelled i n advance, by the implications that s c i e n t i f i c knowledge o f f e r s , e s p e c i a l l y i n terms of the p o t e n t i a l destructiveness of technology as a byproduct of science. Accordingly, science i s not pure knowledge or method, but "techno-science," perceived as an undifferentiated t o t a l i t y , embracing both s c i e n t i f i c knowledge and technology. Leavis's search remained that of a c r i t i c a l method, capable of mediating a " l i v i n g p r i n c i p l e " and a c e r t a i n humanism that he thought were the only means capable of solving the c u l t u r a l c r i s i s modern c i v i l i s a t i o n faced. To f u l f i l l t h i s goal, " c r i t i c i s m must always remain humanist," he maintains i n Education and the University (19). This i s why the notion of "livingness," for instance, which he adopts as a yardstick for assessing the extent to which various writers, c r i t i c s , a r t i s t s , philosophers, and s c i e n t i s t s are responsibly committed to "humanitas" cannot be t o t a l l y anchored within the boundaries of the type of l i t e r a r y realm for which he campaigned. Although Leavis keeps reminding himself that "I neither believe i n any special ' l i t e r a r y ' values nor am h o s t i l e to science" (Nor Shall 152; 158), the view he often gives of c r i t i c i s m i s undeniably p u r i s t : "The idea of making science students attend lectures on English l i t e r a t u r e and students i n the humanities attend lectures on science i s p i t i f u l i n i t s f u t i l i t y . I t can a f f e c t nothing r e a l . . . .As for 'mixed courses', they must be regarded with suspicion" (English Literature 96). "Livingness," l i k e a l l L e a v i s i t e c r i t i c a l standards, had therefore inevitably to incorporate some forms of s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l , r e l i g i o u s , and e t h i c a l content into i t s epistemological framework. As C.H. Rickword, one of the editors of The Calendar wrote, "the organic i s the province of c r i t i c i s m " ( c i t . i n Leavis, Towards Standards 34). This e x t r a - l i t e r a r y dimension that inhabits Leavis's theorization of c r i t i c i s m constitutes h i s major t h e o r e t i c a l error i n h i s argument against a number of c r i t i c s . I t was a f a i l u r e to s c r u t i n i z e the f u l l implications of the very premises Leavis adopted as a basis for h i s formulation of c r i t i c a l standards, l i t e r a r y knowledge, and evaluation. 114 Not unlike the exchange Leavis had simultaneously with Wellek and Tanner, his argument with Bateson over the relevance of h i s t o r i c a l context to l i t e r a r y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s illum i n a t i n g i n t h i s discussion of the epistemological status of " c r i t i c a l standards." His thesis i n "The Responsible C r i t i c " i s that Bateson 1s idea of a "contextual c r i t i c i s m , " which necessitates placing the l i t e r a r y text i n i t s o r i g i n a l s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l co rntext, i n order to grasp i t s f u l l meaning, must remain inappropriate for the d i s c i p l i n e of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . Bateson's " d i s c i p l i n e , 1 1 Leavis argues, " i s not merely i r r e l e v a n t ; i t i s n ' t , and can't be, a d i s c i p l i n e at a l l ; i t has no determinate enough f i e l d or aim" (Leavis, "The Responsible C r i t i c " 173; emphasis added). I t f a i l s , according to him, to approach the text as a l i t e r a r y e n t i t y . Instead, Leavis goes on to explain, i t makes l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m dependent on the e x t r a - l i t e r a r y studies. . .To suggest that t h e i r purpose should be to reconstruct a postulated " s o c i a l context" that once enclosed the poem and gave i t i t s meaning i s to set the student a f t e r something that no study of history, s o c i a l , economic, p o l i t i c a l , i n t e l l e c t u a l , r e l i g i o u s , can y i e l d . ("The Responsible C r i t i c " 174) Adding that the " s o c i a l context" that Bateson "postulates i s an i l l u s i o n " (173), Leavis goes on to explain what a poem r e a l l y i s . His view r e c a l l s h i s theorization of the l i t e r a r y work as i t i s discussed i n "Text 2". Leavis argues: 115 The poem. . . i s a determinate thing; i t i s there; but there i s nothing to correspond—nothing answering Mr. Bateson's " s o c i a l context" that can be set over against the poem, or induced to re-e s t a b l i s h i t s e l f round i t as a kind of framework or completion. . .there never was anything. ("Responsible C r i t i c " 174) The notions of "determinate[ness]," "there[ness]", and "nothing[ness]" that Leavis postulates here as o r i g i n a l l y characterizing the poem add other t h e o r e t i c a l dimensions to his idea of the nature of c r i t i c a l standards: that the meaning of a text i s not fixed, and that the l a t t e r does not bear any d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p to the moment of i t s creation. Such a view makes Leavis•s theory even more > problematic. On the one hand, his r e j e c t i o n of any contextualism c a r r i e s formalist connotations which go against hi s readings of Shakespeare, Bunyan, E l i o t , or Conrad, who are chosen as "geniuses" because of the claimed " s p i r i t u a l " dimension that inhabits t h e i r writings and that r e f l e c t s the worlds they l i v e d i n . This also evokes Leavis's other statements concerning h i s ide a l l i t e r a r y moments, conceived as possessing an intimate r e l a t i o n s h i p with an organic s o c i a l context. On the other hand, his argument that Bateson's c r i t i c a l d i s c i p l i n e "has no determinate. . . f i e l d or aim" sharply contrasts h i s e a r l i e r s t i p u l a t i o n that the concepts of c r i t i c i s m require no f i n a l d e f i n i t i o n s and no t e l o s . Leavis's assessment of Blake i s to the point here. I t reveals the 116 extent to which Leavis's teleology confronts the ambiguity of i t s own lo g i c with much d i f f i c u l t y . Of Blake, he says: [I]n postulating a telos, a terminus ad quem, Blake was involving himself i n a fundamental contradiction. In his insistence on a human c r e a t i v i t y that means human r e s p o n s i b i l i t y he was repudiating a l l forms of determinism; to posit an ultimate end ("in my beginning i s my end") that gives significance to the creative e f f o r t , being i t s f i n a l cause, i s to gainsay the repudiation. (The C r i t i c as Anti-Philosopher 21) While i n s i s t i n g on the necessity of a precise and determinate c r i t i c a l aim i n Bateson's approach, Leavis reproaches Blake for postulating a p a r t i c u l a r t e l o s . If there i s any consistency i n Leavisite discourse, i t i s mainly at the l e v e l of i t s paradoxical l o g i c . However, notwithstanding the cogency with which such a response to Bateson contradicts some of Leavis's own previous comments on the problem of exact d e f i n i t i o n s i n science and i n l i t e r a t u r e , the ontological status of the text as defined during t h e i r exchange poses a number of unanswered questions. To borrow some of Bateson's language i n his l a t e r "Reply," i t i s a l o g i c a l deduction to ask i n what way the poem i s determined, and what c o n d i t i o n s — l i t e r a r y or e x t r a - l i t e r a r y — p l a y a role i n determining the "thereness" of a text or i t s existence as such. Furthermore, Leavis's assertion that " i n dealing with created-works, [the c r i t i c ] i s concerned with 117 l i f e " ("Responsible C r i t i c " 178) complicates even more h i s argument against Bateson. I t commits both c r i t i c i s m and "the poem" to something that i s surely beyond the l i t e r a r y - t e x t u a l domain: " L i f e " and the c u l t i v a t i o n of " s e n s i b i l i t y . " This i s another facet of the problem we encountered e a r l i e r i n r e l a t i o n to Leavis's conception of "organic culture" and i t s enemy, Benthamite c i v i l i s a t i o n . Thus Andor Gomme with his high praise for "the consistency of Leavis's l i f e l o n g endeavour" ("Why L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m " 45), and Bilan with h i s comment on the " l u c i d i t y " of Leavis's c r i t i c i s m (The C r i t i c i s m 61) lack insight into the paradoxes which i n fact underpin the L e a v i s i t e theory of l i t e r a t u r e . The exchange between Leavis and Bateson corroborates, i n r e a l i t y , an on-going b a t t l e not only within L e a v i s i t e discourse, but also i n l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m as a d i s c i p l i n e of thought. I t i s a b a t t l e over the need to c l a r i f y the epistemological norms and c r i t i c a l standards that should govern l i t e r a r y analyses, to specify the nature of the knowledge acquired through the reading and teaching of l i t e r a r y works. Attention should be drawn to the f a c t that despite these sometimes acerbic exchanges between Leavis and Bateson over the nature and role of c r i t i c a l i n terpretation, t h e i r positions do not seem i n the end to be mutually exclusive. As 118 Bateson himself confirms i n the l a s t piece he contributed to the exchange: "the c r i t i c a l gospels that he [Leavis] and I preach are, indeed, complementary rather than contradictory. . . . In the end we s h a l l be found to be on the same side ("Postscript" 316). In fact, what Bateson's "contextual" c r i t i c i s m turns out to be i s b a s i c a l l y another form of subjectivism. I t hardly grants the l i t e r a r y text any a f o r t i o r i s o c i a l or h i s t o r i c a l grounding from which the c r i t i c might extract some int e r p r e t i v e prompts i n order to complement the o r i g i n a l meanings of a text. Whereas Leavis emphasizes the "thereness" as well as the quasi-emptiness of the poem, Bateson—not unlike him—stresses the fact that textual meaning i s brought into the text mostly by the c r i t i c ' s intervention i n i t s set of "conventional black marks" (Bateson, "The Responsible C r i t i c : A Reply" 307). Even though he reproaches Leavis for not explaining the exact meaning of his statement that "the poem. . . i s there," Bateson does not seem to add much insight to Leavis's other idea that there i s "nothing" else the c r i t i c can re l a t e to i n the text except the printed marks on the page. Accordingly, Bateson argues, I imagine he [Leavis] must mean that the poem, as we meet i t on the printed page, consists of ce r t a i n s p e c i f i c words arranged i n a ce r t a i n determinate order. But s t r i c t l y speaking, of course, there i s nothing there, nothing ob j e c t i v e l y apprehensible, except a number of conventional black marks. The meanings of the words, and therefore, a f o r t i o r i the meaning of the whole poem, are emphatically not there. To discover t h e i r meaning, the connotations as well as the denotations, we s h a l l often f i n d ourselves 119 committed to pr e c i s e l y . . . s t y l i s t i c , i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l explorations . . . There i s no a l t e r n a t i v e — e x c e p t to invent the meaning ourselves. ("Responsible C r i t i c : A Reply" 307 ; author's emphasis) The closest Leavis gets to stat i n g a s i m i l a r p o s i t i o n to t h i s one i s i n an e a r l i e r discussion of h i s "Sketch for an English School," published i n Scrutiny i n 1941. His pos i t i o n here confirms a type of c r i t i c a l subjectivism i n which Bateson's view of a poem would f i n d a p o s i t i v e a l l y . Leavis maintains that a poem i s "there" for analysis only i n so f a r as we are responding appropriately to the words on the page. In pointing to them (and there i s nothing else to point to) what we are doing i s bringing into sharp focus, i n turn, t h i s , that and the other d e t a i l , juncture or r e l a t i o n i n our t o t a l response; . . . what we are doing i s to dwell with a deliberate, considering responsiveness on t h i s , that or the other mode or focal point i n the complete organization that the poem i s , i n so f a r as we have i t . (Education and the University 70) S t i l l , the "appropriate. . . t o t a l response," the "sharp focus," "the complete organisation" of the t e x t — w i t h t h e i r a l l u s i o n s to pre c i s i o n and an a l y t i c r i g o r — r e m a i n unspecified here. A l l these categories seem to r e l y on i n t u i t i o n f o r analysis and understanding. I f we were to evaluate them, Leavis's previous answer to Bateson could be leg i t i m a t e l y played back against him: these terms have "no determinate enough" c r i t e r i a that could sustain them within the c r i t i c a l function to which he appeals as a prerequisite for the understanding and overcoming of the c u l t u r a l c r i s i s . Since Bateson was asked to determine what exactly he meant by " s o c i a l context," Leavis also must explain further what exactly makes a focus sharp, a c r i t i c ' s response appropriate, or a formal organisation of a poem complete. His answer seems to l i e within i n t u i t i o n and i n d i v i d u a l genius. Not being governed by any c l e a r rules, t h i s c r i t e r i o n c e r t a i n l y stands as an a r b i t r a r y p r i n c i p l e that must refute Leavis's claimed b e l i e f i n c r i t i c i s m as a collaborative act. His l i b e r a l and p o s i t i v i s t p r i n c i p l e , " t h i s i s so, i s n ' t i t ? " seems to have f a i l e d the t e s t here. This p r i n c i p l e i s rendered even more a r b i t r a r y by the fact that i t i s never explained. And the more the answer i s relegated to the background, the more i t reemerges i n other discussions and essays by Leavis. What t h i s debate between Bateson and Leavis b o i l s down to i s surely a central quibble over what norms or h e u r i s t i c laws could standardize the methodology of c r i t i c a l p r a ctice i n order to enable the c r i t i c to generate meaning from a p a r t i c u l a r l i t e r a r y text. When assessing the Leavis-Bateson exchange i n h i s The Moment of 'Scrutiny' (1979), Francis Mulhern does not pay much attention to t h i s common hermeneutic p r i n c i p l e which indicates a s t r i k i n g rapprochement between Bateson's and Leavis's 121 theorizations of l i t e r a t u r e and c r i t i c i s m . Instead, Mulhern contextualises the exchange by placing i t i n the midst of a r i v a l r y between a dying Scrutiny and a nascent Essays i n C r i t i c i s m , the l i t e r a r y review that Bateson launched at Oxford i n 1951 (The Moment 301). However, Mulhern i s r i g h t i n pointing out that both Bateson and Leavis share i n the same "Arnoldian c u l t u r a l strategy designed to secure 'the function of c r i t i c i s m at the present time'" (The Moment 298). He adds that the exchange could not lead to an e x p l i c i t mutual agreement on the nature of c r i t i c i s m because "Leavis remained obdurate" although Bateson "emphasized h i s admiration for Scrutiny and renewed his plea for cooperation between the two journals i n the interests of t h e i r shared commitment to l i t e r a t u r e " (300). As to the sig n i f i c a n c e of the exchange, Mulhern concludes that i t s "main methodological issue and the th e o r e t i c a l problems underlying i t remain, i n very d i f f e r e n t i n t e l l e c t u a l settings, as pressing today as they were i n 1953" (300) . In a comparable way, t h i s debate over "context" and "standards" i s reenacted i n a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t form during Leavis's exchanges with Rene Wellek and Michael Tanner. Both exchanges were about the rel a t i o n s h i p between l i t e r a t u r e and philosophy. Although there was a period of nearly t h i r t y years separating the two exchanges, both Wellek*s i n i t i a l response to Leavis's method and Tanner's recent renewal of that 122 argument i n h i s review of The Living P r i n c i p l e seem to have e x p l i c i t l y marked the Leavisite categories of analysis. To a c e r t a i n extent, they have brought them into a sharper t h e o r e t i c a l focus. They have also forced Leavis to determine his t h e o r e t i c a l "colours" and to reveal the exact character of his idea of " l i v i n g standards." Wellek's i n i t i a l objections to Leavis's method of reading poetry, as demonstrated i n the l a t t e r ' s Revaluation (1936), have been often c i t e d by c r i t i c s discussing Leavis's c r i t i c i s m . The main points of Wellek's c r i t i q u e f a l l under four i n t e r r e l a t e d propositions: (i) that Leavis's assumptions about l i t e r a t u r e were not stated " e x p l i c i t l y " nor "defended. . .systematically"; ( i i ) that h i s p r i v i l e g i n g of a c t u a l i t y i n poetic creation made him neglect i d e a l i s m — a c r u c i a l trend i n human thought; ( i i i ) that Leavis's view of the Romantic poets ignored the fact that there i s a coherent philosophical outlook underlying the Romantic world-view; and (iv) that i t i s a " ' f a l l a c y of o r i g i n s ' . . .to reduce. . .[poetic meaning] to i n d i v i d u a l experience" (Wellek, " L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m and Philosophy" 23-40). As Leavis refused to enumerate the exact p r i n c i p l e s governing h i s appreciation of poetic works, Wellek went on to sketch them on his behalf: Your poetry must be i n serious r e l a t i o n to a c t u a l i t y , i t must have a firm grasp of the actual, of the object, i t must be i n r e l a t i o n to l i f e , i t must not be cut o f f from d i r e c t vulgar l i v i n g , i t should not be personal i n the sense of indulging i n personal dreams and fantasies, there 123 should be no emotion for i t s own sake i n i t , no a f f l a t u s , no mere generous emotionality, no luxury i n pain or joy, but also no sensuous poverty, but a sharp, concrete r e a l i z a t i o n , a sensuous p a r t i c u l a r i t y . The language of your poetry must not be cut o f f from speech, should not f l a t t e r the singing voice, should not be merely mellifluous, should not give, e.g., a mere general sense of motion, etc. ("Literary C r i t i c i s m and Phiosophy" 23) In formulating these seemingly r i g i d c r i t e r i a which were, i n fact, a l l quoted verbatim from d i f f e r e n t sections of Leavis's book, Revaluation, Wellek i n v i t e d him to "defend t h i s p o s i t i o n more abstractly and to become conscious that large e t h i c a l , philosophical, and. . .ultimately, also, aesthetic choices are involved" (23). In response to t h i s , Leavis declared that " l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m and philosophy seem to me to be quite d i s t i n c t and d i f f e r e n t kinds of d i s c i p l i n e s — a t least, I think they ought to be" ("A Reply" 31). L i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m i s not philosophy and therefore i t s c r i t i c a l standards cannot be theorized i n an abstract manner. For forcing himself into s t a t i n g h i s c r i t i c a l norms, as a philosopher would l i k e them to be, would not pertain to the d i s c i p l i n e of c r i t i c i s m . There i s not much to be "gained by the kind of e x p l i c i t n e s s [Wellek]. . .demands" (33), Leavis i n s i s t s . And against Wellek's claims that i t i s only philosophy that could make l i t e r a r y c r i t e r i a c learer, Leavis r e t o r t s : I thought I had provided something better. My whole e f f o r t was to work i n terms of concrete 124 judgements and p a r t i c u l a r analyses . . .; by choice, arrangement, and analysis of concrete examples I give. . .phrases a p r e c i s i o n of meaning they couldn't have got i n any other way. (34; emphasis added) In thus p o s i t i n g these norms of c r i t i c a l thought, characterized by notions of "concreteness," "precision," and "analysis" i n opposition to philosophical thought which i s distinguished by "abstraction" and a " j u d i c i a l one-eye-on-the-standard-approach" (31), Leavis commits his anti-p h i l o s o p h i c a l approach to an empiricist bent that shares much with p o s i t i v i s t thought as Williams pointed out e a r l i e r . As Pamella McCallum confirms, the c e n t r a l i t y of empirical experience i n Leavisite c r i t i c a l thought even brings him closer to Benthamism, his bete noire (Literature and Method 201; see also Tanner, "Literature and Philosophy" 54). Leavis's h o s t i l i t y to philosophy and h i s disagreement with Wellek about standards highlight another important point i n h i s theory: he perceives both philosophy and science as close mates, sharing the same epistemological o r i g i n . Philosophers are not s c i e n t i s t s and don't reckon to apply s t r i c t s c i e n t i f i c method, but nevertheless the t r a d i t i o n a l philosophic d i s c i p l i n e aims at an i n t e l l e c t u a l s t r i c t n e s s that i n ethos i s c l o s e l y related to science. . . . [P]hilosophers i n general seem to s t a r t at the mathematico-logical end of discourse and never to be able to escape from the i m p l i c i t c r i t e r i a . (Valuation i n C r i t i c i s m 290-91) 125 In opposing Wellek 1s appeal to philosophical thinking to determine the nature of c r i t e r i a without which no c r i t i c a l project can be c a r r i e d out, Leavis groups philosophy and science under the same umbrella of abstraction. He accuses the l a t t e r of lacking "precision of thought" and of venturing into generalizations that tend to lead the c r i t i c away from the poem. But most of a l l , philosophical thought, l i k e s c i e n t i f i c p ractice, i s perceived as a negation of " l i f e . " Hence Leavis's p r i v i l e g i n g Blake's "extraordinary p r e c i s i o n " and Lawrence's anti-Cartesian p r i n c i p l e s against Locke's or Newton's s c i e n t i f i c abstractions. In t h i s context, Leavis says of Lawrence that "he was profoundly anti-Cartesian, b e l i e v i n g not only that l i f e had always been there, but that the separated pure inanimate nature of natural science was a f a l s i f y i n g abstraction" (Thought. Words and C r e a t i v i t y 45). In 1975, when Michael Tanner takes over t h i s question of l i t e r a t u r e ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p to philosophy, h i s s t a r t i n g point i s obviously Wellek's e a r l i e r c r i t i q u e of Leavis. In his review a r t i c l e , "Literature and Philosophy," Tanner indicates that Leavis i s more i n s i g h t f u l than Wellek i n opposing the imposition of any e x t r i n s i c norms—be they philosophic or other—upon l i t e r a t u r e , and i n refusing to subscribe to the idea of a coherent "Romantic philosophy" u n i t i n g a l l the Romantic poets. In Wellek's c r i t i q u e of Leavis, Tanner finds two important propositions lacking, which i f attended to, 126 would bring l i t e r a t u r e closer to philosophy: (i) "the r e l a t i o n s h i p between poetry and what i t i s concerned to state, when that i s something that can reasonably be c a l l e d a philosophy" ("Literature and Phiosophy" 57); and ( i i ) the notion of "the probative force of l i t e r a t u r e , " which often allows Leavis to q u a l i f y c e r t a i n successful novels as "moral fables" or "dramatic poems" (58). These propositions, Tanner concludes, not only cross the paths of philosophical inquiry but also nourish a complex paradox i n Leavis's view of l i t e r a t u r e . He "both wants the art to vindicate i t s e l f without being referred to anything beyond i t s e l f , and also wants to claim that i t t e l l s the truth about our c i v i l i z a t i o n " (58). However, i n spite of the s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s paradox and what Tanner views as Leavis's suspicion towards philosophy, the l a t t e r ' s " s t r i k i n g ignorance" of psychology, as well as h i s mistrust of the potential of the s o c i a l sciences to achieve progress i n human knowledge, Tanner s t i l l perceives Leavis's thought as close to philosophy. This i s shown, according to Tanner, i n the way the f i r s t chapter of The L i v i n g P r i n c i p l e establishes an epistemological l i n k language, thought and o b j e c t i v i t y . Tanner concludes: Nonetheless, Leavis's i n s t i n c t for where the danger-zones i n philosophy are for someone who wants to hold his views of the r e l a t i o n between thought, languages and o b j e c t i v i t y i s e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y sound and his ideas about coping with them are also those of a f i r s t - r a t e 127 philosophical i n t e l l i g e n c e . ("Literature and Philosophy" 62) Whether t h i s pronouncement was made by Tanner mainly to balance h i s severe c r i t i q u e of Leavis's views of philosophy as an a l l y to Benthamism i s d i f f i c u l t to determine. One thing i s sure, however; i t welcomes Leavis's poetic method into the purview of philosophical thought. Yet both Wellek and Tanner seem to ignore the close attention that Leavis has unremittingly granted c r i t i c i s m s u i generis and i t s standards. The l a t t e r were indeed his primary focus even while he argued for a p a r t i c u l a r type of poetic creation or against philosophical enquiry. It i s true, however, that Leavis's l a t e r essays, namely The C r i t i c a l P r i n c i p l e . The C r i t i c as A n t i - Philosopher, and Valuation i n C r i t i c i s m pay a great deal of attention to the problem of the rel a t i o n s h i p of language to thought, but t h i s does not warrant the claim that his main target here i s a philosophy of l i t e r a t u r e . On the contrary, for to be f a i t h f u l to Leavis's own words, his engagement with philosophy must be relegated to a secondary order. His primary concern i s e s s e n t i a l l y with c r i t i c a l standards i n connection with s c i e n t i f i c norms as the l a t t e r were claiming academic p r i o r i t y at the un i v e r s i t y . This i s p r e c i s e l y what Tanner and Wellek see as the foundation of Leavis's p h i l o s p h i c a l inquiry. Nonetheless, a d i s t i n c t i o n must be made here; Leavis's 128 c r i t i q u e of philosophy does not perceive i t sui generis but i n terms of i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to s c i e n t i f i c abstraction, i t s lack of a r t i s t i c - c r e a t i v e precision, and i t s i n d i r e c t negation of organic culture. To t h i s e f f e c t , i n the t h e o r e t i c a l chapters of both The L i v i n g P r i n c i p l e and Thought. Words and C r e a t i v i t y , as i n his posthumous a r t i c l e s i n Valuation i n C r i t i c i s m , h i s argument with scientism i s renewed. Not only does he take up again h i s t h e o r e t i c a l crusade against "Cartesianism" i n his "Thought, Language and O b j e c t i v i t y " (in The L i v i n g Principle) but he also c a l l s upon D.H. Lawrence i n a c r i t i q u e (in Thought. Words and Creativity) of Lord Robbins's and I.A. Richards•s appeals to s c i e n t i f i c o b j e c t i v i t y . I t i s , therefore, understandable that both Wellek and Tanner, i n assessing Leavis's l i t e r a r y views, pay l i t t l e attention to Leavis's e x p l i c i t concern with the r e l a t i o n s h i p between c r i t i c i s m per se. philosophy, and s c i e n t i f i c knowledge. As Leavis argues elsewhere: What the student needs to acquire a minimum knowledge of i s the way i n which the "common-sense notion of the universe" (Whitehead's phrase) took possession of the ordinary man's mind, and with what consequences for the climate of the West and the ethos of our c i v i l i z a t i o n . This involves being able to state i n t e l l i g e n t l y what the Cartesian- Newtonian presuppositions were and to what kind of philosophical impasse they l e d — t h a t s t i l l exemplified i n the philosophies of science and the p o s i t i v i s t and empiricist fashions that p r e v a i l . (Nor Shall 126) 129 Accordingly, whether the question i s that of c r i t i c i s m , philosophy, or knowledge i n general, Leavis's c r i t i q u e , i n the l a s t instance, i s of the a f f i l i a t i o n of a l l epistemologies and forms of human thought with science and the ethos of "technologico-Benthamism." Part of the underlying argument of "Mutually Necessary" (1976), Leavis's reply to Tanner's a r t i c l e , lends strong support to t h i s view. The second h a l f of t h i s a r t i c l e reverts to the discussion of the problematic r e l a t i o n s h i p among " c r i t i c a l standards," " v e r i f i c a t i o n , " "valuation," and s c i e n t i f i c c r i t e r i a . At the same time, i t evokes Lord Robbins and his "Educational Report," which Leavis saw as a big blow to the place of the humanities within the univesity, because i t gave p r i o r i t y to s c i e n t i f i c learning ("Mutually Necessary" 137). From his reply, i t i s cle a r that what was weighing on his mind at that stage of his academic and i n t e l l e c t u a l career was the threat posed by the hegemony of the sciences. Though he i s very c r i t i c a l of philosophy because of i t s a l l i a n c e with s c i e n c e — b u t he also expresses mild recommendation of i t s u s e f u l n e s s — h i s complaint i s e s s e n t i a l l y not about philosophy. In h i s l a t e r writing i n p a r t i c u l a r , h i s addressing of philosophical issues i s mainly a part of h i s c r i t i q u e of scientism: One deduces that the main academic business of the uni v e r s i t y i s to promote s c i e n t i f i c education, advance natural science, and serve industry. Robbins does, of course, recognize that some other kind of provision should be made, such as might be thought of as doing something to balance the emphasis on natural science: humanity i t s e l f should get some attention. ("Mutually Necessary" 137) In The Living P r i n c i p l e , on the other hand, Leavis's discussion of the nature of philosophical inquiry i s adopted merely as a t h e o r e t i c a l threshold leading to the s p e c i f i c a t i o n of c r i t i c a l analysis as d i s t i n c t from s c i e n t i f i c inquiry. The f i r s t chapter, "Thought, Language and O b j e c t i v i t y , " one of the most t h e o r e t i c a l l y argued essays Leavis ever wrote, i s a comparative analysis of c r i t i c a l standards and s c i e n t i f i c c r i t e r i a . In the same vein, his references i n i t to Andreiski's S o c i a l Science and Sorcery and to Grene•s The Knower and the Known are part of the attempt to review the exact status of c r i t i c a l standards while c l a r i f y i n g the function of c r i t i c i s m within "English" as a d i s t i n c t d i s c i p l i n e . From the outset, he puts forward two main arguments: the question of norms i n " P r a c t i c a l C r i t i c i s m " (renamed "Judgement and Analysis"), and the academic status of "English" as a d i s c i p l i n e which safeguards a p a r t i c u l a r , valuable type of knowledge. Both arguments are considered i n d e t a i l against the v a l o r i z a t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c d i s c i p l i n e s — r e p r e s e n t e d here by Mathematics: 131 "English" i s at the other extreme of Mathematics. One can more re a d i l y t a l k i n a d e s c r i p t i v e and d e f i n i t i v e way of the kind of i n t e l l i g e n c e that begin [sic] to define the d i s c i p l i n e . There can be no equivalent of P r i n c i p i a Mathematica. Nonetheless, i t i s p o l i t i c to i n s i s t on "descriptive, 1 1 and necessary to be able to j u s t i f y the insistance. (The L i v i n g P r i n c i p l e 20) I t i s not a c r i t i q u e of philosophy that we meet here, as Tanner would have us believe, but rather an attempt to produce a systematic defence of l i t e r a t u r e and c r i t i c a l " i n t e l l i g e n c e " i n the face of s c i e n t i f i c method as represented by Mathematics. Such an attitude towards what represents science stems from the findings of h i s c u l t u r a l theory as developed p a r t i c u l a r l y i n C i v i l i s a t i o n and Minority Culture. Culture and Environment. and Q.D. Leavis's F i c t i o n and the Reading Public. These works evoke a l l the negative c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of-a s c i e n t i f i c - t e c h n o l o g i c a l c i v i l i z a t i o n . Nonetheless, t h i s view raises questions as to the extent to which Leavis•s theorization of l i t e r a t u r e r e a l l y r e l i e d upon the fundamental dis t i n c t n e s s of purely l i t e r a r y categories. While defining English as "a d i s c i p l i n e s u i g e n e r i s — a d i s c i p l i n e of i n t e l l i g e n c e , " Leavis i n s i s t s that "there w i l l be no neat and f i n a l account of the d i s t i n c t i v e d i s c i p l i n e , but the need and challenge to define and redefine w i l l always be there" (The L i v i n g P r i n c i p l e 20). This i s a way of distancing h i s approach from an a b s t r a c t - s c i e n t i f i c notion of d e f i n i t i o n . The problem that confronts h i s method i s , therefore, the need to a t t a i n f i n a l i z i n g proof i n p a r t i c u l a r c r i t i c a l judgements but, at the same time, the sense of a c r i p p l i n g i m p o s s i b i l i t y of doing so. In addition to t h i s genuine concern for the r e d e f i n i t i o n of the d i s c i p l i n e , which i s understood as having to obey no fixed c r i t e r i a , Leavis's project here answers the implications that " P r a c t i c a l C r i t i c i s m " has come to convey to those concerned with l i t e r a r y studies. By changing i t s nomenclature to "Judgement and Analysis," he means to rethink a methodology that he defined e a r l i e r as the following: [It] i s c r i t i c i s m i n practice, and we are engaged i n that when, for instance, we decide that a novel i s good, give our grounds for the judgement, and put the case with care, or when we inquire into the j u s t i c e or otherwise of E l i o t ' s conclusion, Hamlet being i n question, that "the play i s most c e r t a i n l y an a r t i s t i c f a i l u r e " . (The Liv i n g P r i n c i p l e 19) Leavis's focus i s the s p e c i f i c a t i o n of the grounds for valuation or judgement i n c r i t i c a l analysis and that of me t a c r i t i c a l commentaries about other c r i t i c s ' evaluations. He seeks to vindicate the practices " P r a c t i c a l C r i t i c i s m " has been turned into; "a spe c i a l i z e d kind of gymnastic s k i l l to be cu l t i v a t e d and practiced as something apart" (19). Therefore, i n the face of mathematical method, Leavis's study i s to review the p a r t i c u l a r categories that constitute l i t e r a r y analysis as a d i s t i n c t method r e l y i n g on i t s own s p e c i a l norms and standards. Its purpose i s to demonstrate how such a method, with i t s " i n t e l l i g e n c e , " could foster the required r e s u l t s : the c u l t i v a t i o n of i n t e l l i g e n c e , the creation of a responsible public, and the maintenance of an authentic "organic" culture. The other c r i t e r i o n that i s connected with science, and which Leavis attributes to the practice of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m i s " o b j e c t i v i t y . " In several of h i s l a t e r essays, he addresses t h i s concept with acuity. However, i t seems that i n addressing i t , he tends to empty i t of i t s s c i e n t i f i c content—as denoting f i n a l , universal truths that depend on precise and v a l i d a t i n g proofs and experiments. The term " o b j