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We live, we are told, in bourgois societies. But what is the bourgeois worldview? What human capacities does it open-up and close-down? And why do so many people today argue that bourgeois society is breaking into bits? In this accomplished and penetrating book, the author argues that science - the attempt to describe the order of things objectively' and dispassionately' - is the highest expression of bourgeois thought. If science has liberated mankind, it has also devised new forms of discipline, repression and control. Historically, it marginalized the world of unrestrained possiblities, the condition of Fun, to the categories of childhood, lunacy and the savage. It identified Happiness in breaking free of the mythical and religious symbolic universe of feudalism. It found Pleasure in discovering and describing simple, universal mechanisms underlying the system of the world.' The project, however faltered in the very act of completing itself. Excitement has emerged as the distinctive character of the modern worldview.' In the most advanced' societies, as in the deepest' psychologies, the belief in an inherent, inviolate order of things has been abandoned.