Towards a sociology of abundance
DOI link for Towards a sociology of abundance
Towards a sociology of abundance book
We have noted how Bataille’s attitude towards science was ambivalent. He was doubtful about scientific methodology and suspicious of its intentions, yet at the same time he sought to frame his own work in relation with established science and continued to maintain that scientific objectivity was the only path of knowledge. On the other hand, he did not see any value in the pursuit of knowledge for itself. Too often, he felt, those drawn to science lacked passion: ‘Science is made by men in whom the desire to understand is dead.’1 Equally he denied the claims that science made for disinterested knowledge. Science could too easily succumb to servility and betray its own findings. It needed first of all to be true to itself and learn not to serve. In addition, he believed that a genuine knowledge needed to recognise its own essential incompleteness and the fact that it had to be completed through the embrace of a complementary ‘non-knowledge’, so that the known loses itself in a plunge into the unknown. Everything in Bataille is directed against any idea of absolute knowledge. The need to explore the interplay between knowledge and non-knowledge, arising in Bataille’s mind from the fact that he recognised the needs of science and yet refused to allow them to become overwhelming, is crucial to an understanding of the way Bataille conceived of his intellectual undertaking.