Science And Science In Gulliver's Travels By Jonathan Swift

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The book I choose to use for this section is Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. The reason for this is that I believe the book to be more relevant to the reality students are faced with in this day and age. Some themes in Robinson Crusoe are rather difficult for modern readers to relate to, such as the age of discovery, and the rise of the bourgeois. This is even more true for students. However, those present in Gulliver’s Travels are not, and some of these are still relevant even in this day and age. One example is the concern about the blind pursuit of knowledge in science, exemplified in the novel by the Kingdom of Laputa. This raises the question of “Should we, just because we can?”. Another instance where his satire can be appropriated to modern times is the Houyhnhnms and the Yahoos. The Houyhnhnms, intelligent talking horses, resemble the perfect beings. But perfect beings do not exist, thus would worshipping perfect beings be likened to worshipping horses, and the only ones able to find such a being, those who are effectively insane, like Gulliver at the end of the novel? And are humans, in their pursuit of material wealth. The first activity I believe to be suitable is to ask students to reflect on the sustainability of scientific progress. Science is largely a positive thing, having brought mankind plenty of benefits. But are there domains which science should not seek to venture into? And should there be a limit for scientific progress? Does advancement of

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