Victorian science, lit expert to give Horning Lecture


CORVALLIS - George Levine, a Rutgers University professor and an expert in Victorian literature and science, will lecture Feb. 5 at Oregon State University on aestheticism and social science.

His talk is part of OSU's Horning Lecture series. Levine's lecture, "The Science and Art of Solipsism: Karl Pearson and Walter Pater," will begin at 4 p.m. in Memorial Union Room 206. It is free and open to the public.

Levine's presentation will focus on two famous Victorians - critic and essayist Walter Pater, and mathematician Karl Pearson. Pater is closely identified with aestheticism and the "art for art's sake" movement, which valued art independently of moral or utilitarian criteria. Pearson applied statistics to theories of heredity and evolution, helping found social science and eugenics.

In his talk, Levine will argue that Pater and Pearson shared a "Darwinian naturalistic imagination" and the conviction that all knowledge is only knowledge of our sensations.

Levine has published more than 60 essays and written or edited 16 books.