Lev Tolstoy and modern science

  • Enzo Ferrara Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica – INRIM


Modern Science, an essay written by Lev Nikolàevič Tolstoy in 1898 is here reproduced in its complete version, as a historical document containing philosophical reflections on the practical functions and the cultural and educational role science has, or should have, in contemporary societies. The text was cited by Aldous Huxley in the foreword to Science, Liberty and Peace, a booklet written in 1946 in the aftermath of the second world war, with the threat of nuclear doomsday on the horizon. Are science and technology really at the service of universal needs, as it is continuously claimed – Tolstoy asks, and Huxley echoes – or are their services rather directed to preserving the power of the elites or dominant classes against the multitude of the oppressed?
Original Papers