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Toynbee, A.J. (1949). Poetical Truth and Scientific Truth in the Light of History. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 30:143-152.
  

(1949). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 30:143-152

Poetical Truth and Scientific Truth in the Light of History

Arnold Joseph Toynbee

I

The Convergence of the Human Sciences

When you did me the honour of asking me to give the Ernest Jones Lecture, and to suggest my subject, I naturally looked for some piece of common ground between this Institute's field of work and my own—some ground where Psycho-Analysis and the study of History meet, and on which I might hope to have something to say, from the standpoint of my own personal approach to history, that might perhaps also be grist for your mill.

I started with the expectation that substantial common ground would turn up, because I believe that the several different sciences that have been carving out local provinces for themselves in the great realm of Human Affairs are going to turn out to be all parts of one general science of Human Affairs.

I believe that one of the most valuable things that we, in our various lines of human studies, can do for the advancement of the understanding of Human Affairs in our generation, is to join hands with one another. After all, Human Affairs are still the Dark Continent of the Universe, compared to the realm of Physical Nature which has been so brilliantly illuminated by the discoveries of modern Western pioneer physical scientists in the course of the last three hundred years. We students of Human Affairs are like those explorers of Tropical Africa who were pushing their way into the interior from half a dozen different coasts in the middle years of last century; and, when people are opening up a dark continent by a converging movement, it is a landmark in their progress every time that a Stanley meets his Livingstone.

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