There are traces of modern science and technology such as films everywhere in the fiction In the Beauty of the Lilies. In an age manipulated by technology, to a certain extent, man is instrumentalized. This brings about the loss of faith, the indifference of social relations, and the rifts within families, which anticipates the unprecedented living crises. Updike had an ethical retrospection on this, treating the issue of instrumental reason dialectically. Habermas' s theory of technological philosophy could make a rational explanation for the result of social communicative actions displayed in Updike's fiction: only when one starts from the other's angle, based on equal and sincere communications, could a'consensus' be reached. In the fiction, Clark's final choice is the moral judgment made from the position of the other. What Updike's fiction conveys is just that the development of the society should be the dialectical unification of instrumental reason and human rationality. Science and humanity need to keep such a kind of balance.
Journal of Beijing Institute of Technology（Social Sciences Edition)