Science and Culture


Ethos is the means by which authors use their characters to convince their readers. This is because readers tend to believe individuals who are highly respected in the society. Pathos is how the authors use a strategy to persuade by appealing to the reader’s emotions while logos is how authors use logical reasoning to persuade their readers. Huxley employs the above strategies in his essay “Science and Culture” to explain the significance of science in ordinary education.

The Use of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

Ethos has successfully worked for Huxley. He is a learned individual who studied medicine and became a surgeon in the navy. In addition to that, he has worked as a professor of Cultural History in a royal school which was followed by many distinctions in the scientific world (Modern History Source Book, 2013). He has greatly contributed towards scientific knowledge in his popularization of Darwinism (ibid). Therefore, his essay is very reputable among his readers, and it manages to persuade them towards believing the significance of science in the society.

Huxley has successfully used pathos to persuade his readers. His style of writing is very appealing to readers, because it is clear, forcible, free from mannerism, yet telling and often memorable in phrase (Modern History Source Book, 2013). This has been a powerful intellectual influence on almost all classes of his generation. In his essay, he uses words like “We shall be of one mind” and “for us the children of the nineteenth century” so as to include or involve all his readers in the text. This is a strategy of becoming more appealing to his readers so that they get his message clearer. Another instance where Huxley uses pathos to appeal to his reader is where he decides to tell a parable of  a poor boy who became rich through a career of remarkable prosperity in order to demonstrative evidence of the practical value of science (Modern History Source Book, 2013).

In the same essay, logos takes its course where Huxley uses two logical reasons to persuade his readers against opponents of the significance of scientific education. “The first is, that neither the discipline nor the subject - matter of classical education is of such direct value to the student of physical science as to justify the expenditure of valuable time upon either; the second is that for the purpose of attaining real culture, an exclusively scientific education is at least as effectual as an exclusively literary education” (Modern History Source Book, 2013). He explains to the people that these two views are opposed to the views of educated English men. Huxley also reasons that culture is obtainable only by a liberal education. He continues to give several logical reasons as to why the knowledge of culture and spiritual issues alone will not help man in advancing. He does this by giving an example of an army without weapons as one which is not effective. Huxley says that scientific knowledge outweighs cultural knowledge and doctrines, because the whole theory of life has long been influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by the general conceptions of the universe which have been forced upon us by physical science.


Significance of science is evident in today’s world. Technological advancement in all economic sectors has made life better; for example, advancement in the education sector has led to research and discoveries useful in human life; health sector has been improved as well as transport and communication sectors.

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