E F Schumacher asserts that it is the task of philosophy to provide a map of life and knowledge which exhibits the most important features of life in their proper prominence. The questions: How am I to conduct my life? What is the nature of art and nature? What is the meaning of religion? are restored to daylight on Schumacher's map of life by his maxim 'if in doubt show it prominently'. Science is therefore restored to its home territory and its growing imperialism over the fields is reserved.
Before the publication of Small is Beautiful, his bestselling reappraisal of Western economic attitudes, Dr E. F. Schumacher was already well known as an economist, journalist and progressive entrepreneur. He was Economic Adviser to the National Coal Board from 1950 to 1970, and was also the originator of the concept of Intermediate Technology for developing countries and Founder and Chairman of the Intermediate Technology Development Group Ltd (now Practical Action). He also served as President of the Soil Association (Britains largest organic farming organisation, founded thirty years ago) and as Director of the Scott-Bader Company (pathfinders in polymer chemistry and common ownership). Born in Germany, he first came to England in 1930 as a Rhodes Scholar to study economics at New College, Oxford. Later, at the age of twenty-two, he taught economics at Columbia University, New York. As he found theorising without practical experience unsatisfying, he then went into business, farming and journalism. He resumed the academic life for a period at Oxford during the war, afterwards serving as Economic Adviser to the British Control Commission in Germany from 1946 to 1950. In later years, his advice on problems of rural development was sought by many overseas governments. Dr Schumacher was awarded the CBE in 1974. He died in 1977.
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