restricted access Communion, Not Consilience: Protecting the Future of Interdisciplinary Literary Study


Literary Darwinists aspire to be white knights who rescue the humanities. By drawing literary studies under the methodologically and metaphysically naturalistic umbrella of consilience, they aim to transform it into a discipline that marks progress by accumulation of knowledge. This essay explains how this scientistic agenda works against the new interdisciplinary energy between the sciences and humanities. Instead of consilience, literary scholars interested in interdisciplinary work with the sciences would be far better served by Gadamer’s account of the structure of human experience as that which progresses by way of a transformative communion between the I and the Thou.