Scott Buchanan

Scott Buchanan (1895 – 1968) was an American philosopher, educator, and foundation consultant. He is best known as the founder of the Great Books program at St. John's College, at Annapolis, Maryland.

Buchanan's various projects and writings may be understood as an ambitious program of social and cultural reform based on the insight that many crucial problems arise from the uncritical use of symbolism. In this sense, his program was similar to and competed with a number of contemporary movements such as Alfred Korzybski's General Semantics, Otto Neurath's "Unity of Science" project, the semiotics of Charles Morris and the "orthological" projects of Charles Kay Ogden. Buchanan collaborated with the latter effort for a number of years.

Buchanan's own program, however, differed from these generally empiricist, positivist, or pragmatist movements by stressing what he saw as the need for reforms in the mathematical symbolism employed in modern science. Buchanan's first book, published in 1927, stated that science is "the greatest body of uncriticized dogma we have today" and even likened science to the "Black Arts". For the rest of his career, Buchanan pondered ways to mitigate the variety of threats to humanity that he perceived in the unmanaged and unsupervised growth of modern science and technology. Provided by Wikipedia
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