Front Page Titles (by Subject) Koestler: Chance vs. Reason - Literature of Liberty, January/March 1979, vol. 2, No. 1
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Koestler: Chance vs. Reason - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, January/March 1979, vol. 2, No. 1 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Koestler: Chance vs. Reason
“Arthur Koestler's Theodicy: On Sin, Science, & Politics.” Encounter 52 (February 1979): 46–57.
What philosophical viewpoint underlies all of Arthur Koestler's criticisms—whether against behaviorist psychology, or neo-Darwinian biology and evolution, or quantum mechanics, or statistical interpretations of history? Koestler's main concern (as suggested by a careful reading of his 1978 book Janus: A Summing Up) is to extirpate any hint of indeterminacy, randomness, or chance as explanatory forces in these sciences. Whether writing about science, philosophy, or history, Koestler's unifying thread is to uphold rationalism, order, and the providence of nature. In a politically chaotic era, Koestler is endeavoring to restore order where chaos reigns. Although Koestler's effort is to justify an anti-Marxian rationalism as a basis for human progress and qualified optimism, Toulmin believes that Koestler still finds the scientific socialist ideal appealing.
Koestler's main targets are: (1) behaviorist psychology; (2) neo-Darwinian evolution theory; and (3) the belief in historical coincidences. All three targets horrify Koestler's rationalistic aversion to “happenstance” or randomness in nature and man. As a secular rationalist, Koestler wished to provide nature with a “theodicy” or justify natural phenomena as being “rationally necessary.” Koestler's three positive theses likewise reflect the rationalistic search for stability amid chaos: (1) Bisociation (the purposeful, nonrandom faculty of human thinking) orders the human mind to be creative; (2) “Holons” and “holarchies,” entities that behave as parts as well as wholes and achieve order, hierarchy, and purposeful integration, create complex organization without randomness of a blind kind; and (3) “The hypothesis of a ‘paranoid streak’ in human beings, which acts as the Worm in the Apple of human affairs but proves . . . to be the outcome of an ‘evolutionary mistake’ in the development of the human brain, and corrigible by pharmaceutical means.”
Koestler's proposed solution to the “paranoid streak” in human nature (the evolutionary mistake that allows the dark, chaotic emotions of the primitive brain to overthrow higher reason and lead to destructive social or political movements) reveals his underlying attempt to restore order to human affairs through a rationalism that resembles his earlier “scientific socialism.” Koestler proposes turning to psychopharmacology, to a drug to reunite the primitive and more rational parts of the brain and thus usher in the Age of Reason. Koestler's drug aims to counteract irrational obedience, but even if it worked who would administer and control it? This question reveals that the real hope of human progress, of eliminating conflict and irrational fanaticism in politics, is not through psychotropic drugs in themselves but by devising new political institutions.