chapter  14
6 Pages

Literature, Science, and Dogma 1927

WithT. S. Eliot

Mr I. A. Richards is both a psychologist and a student of literature; he is not a psychologist who has chosen to exercise his accomplishments at the expense of literature, nor is he a man of letters who has dabbled in psychology. The Foundations of Aesthetics and The Meaning of Meaning are books which certainly gain in importance and estimation. His theory of value appears to be the same as it was in his Principles of Literary Criticism. The difference between Good and Evil becomes therefore only the 'difference between free and wasteful organization': Good is Efficiency, a perfectly working mental Roneo Steel Cabinet System. King Lear is after all a pretty huge exception; but the statement is very questionable. Of the Roman poets, the one with the most 'belief' was Lucretius, whose beliefs were precisely of a scientific kind, and whose belief in his phantom Venus is very attenuated indeed.