Marjorie Grene

American philosopher (1910–2009)

Marjorie Glicksman Grene (1910 – 2009) was an American philosopher and Professor of philosophy at Virginia Tech. She wrote both on existentialism and the philosophy of science, especially the philosophy of biology.


  • The social rootedness of science is often associated with the utility of applied science; this is an error and a dangerous error. But precisely the detachment of the theoretical scientist is rooted in the institutions of his society and in the evaluative choices which underlie those institutions. He can focus his whole attention, bringing every relevant clue to bear, on a problem wholly without appetitive or utilitarian implications, he can put his whole heart and mind into the search for understanding for the sake of understanding alone. How can he do this? First, because he himself has been nourished and disciplined by traditions cultivated within his society which have produced this kind of devoted attention to impersonal goals. And secondly, because the society itself, in its deepest foundations, respects those independently self-sustaining traditions of scientist or scholar.
    • The Knower and the Known (1974), pp. 180-181
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