Much of what humans know we cannot say. And much of what we do we cannot describe. For example, how do we know how to ride a bike when we can’t explain how we do it? Abilities like this were called “tacit knowledge” by physical chemist and philosopher Michael Polanyi, but here Harry Collins analyzes the term, and the behavior, in much greater detail, often departing from Polanyi’s treatment.
In Tacit and Explicit Knowledge, Collins develops a common conceptual language to bridge the concept’s disparate domains by explaining explicit knowledge and classifying tacit knowledge. Collins then teases apart the three very different meanings, which, until now, all fell under the umbrella of Polanyi’s term: relational tacit knowledge (things we could describe in principle if someone put effort into describing them), somatic tacit knowledge (things our bodies can do but we cannot describe how, like balancing on a bike), and collective tacit knowledge (knowledge we draw that is the property of society, such as the rules for language). Thus, bicycle riding consists of some somatic tacit knowledge and some collective tacit knowledge, such as the knowledge that allows us to navigate in traffic. The intermixing of the three kinds of tacit knowledge has led to confusion in the past; Collins’s book will at last unravel the complexities of the idea.
Tacit knowledge drives everything from language, science, education, and management to sport, bicycle riding, art, and our interaction with technology. In Collins’s able hands, it also functions at last as a framework for understanding human behavior in a range of disciplines.
The Tacit Dimension
Michael Polanyi University of Chicago Press, 2009 Library of Congress BD161.P724 2009 | Dewey Decimal 121
“I shall reconsider human knowledge by starting from the fact that we can know more than we can tell,” writes Michael Polanyi, whose work paved the way for the likes of Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper. The Tacit Dimension argues that tacit knowledge—tradition, inherited practices, implied values, and prejudgments—is a crucial part of scientific knowledge. Back in print for a new generation of students and scholars, this volume challenges the assumption that skepticism, rather than established belief, lies at the heart of scientific discovery.
“Polanyi’s work deserves serious attention. . . . [This is a] compact presentation of some of the essentials of his thought.”—Review of Metaphysics
“Polanyi’s work is still relevant today and a closer examination of this theory that all knowledge has personal and tacit elements . . . can be used to support and refute a variety of widely held approaches to knowledge management.”—Electronic Journal of Knowledge
"The reissuing of this remarkable book give us a new opportunity to see how far-reaching—and foundational—Michael Polanyi's ideas are, on some of the age-old questions in philosophy."—Amartya Sen, from the new Foreword
In our own juvenile stage, many of us received our wide-eyed introduction to the wonders of nature by watching the metamorphosis of swimming tadpoles into leaping frogs and toads. The recent alarming declines in amphibian populations worldwide and the suitability of amphibians for use in answering research questions in disciplines as diverse as molecular systematics, animal behavior, and evolutionary biology have focused enormous attention on tadpoles. Despite this popular and scientific interest, relatively little is known about these fascinating creatures.
In this indispensable reference, leading experts on tadpole biology relate what we currently know about tadpoles and what we might learn from them in the future. Tadpoles provides detailed summaries of tadpole morphology, development, behavior, ecology, and environmental physiology; explores the evolutionary consequences of the tadpole stage; synthesizes available information on their biodiversity; and presents a standardized terminology and an exhaustive literature review of tadpole biology.
Smelting is an industrial process involving the extraction of metal from ore. During this process, impurities in ore—including arsenic, lead, and cadmium—may be released from smoke stacks, contaminating air, water, and soil with toxic-heavy metals.
The problem of public health harm from smelter emissions received little official attention for much for the twentieth century. Though people living near smelters periodically complained that their health was impaired by both sulfur dioxide and heavy metals, for much of the century there was strong deference to industry claims that smelter operations were a nuisance and not a serious threat to health. It was only when the majority of children living near the El Paso, Texas, smelter were discovered to be lead-exposed in the early 1970s that systematic, independent investigation of exposure to heavy metals in smelting communities began. Following El Paso, an even more serious led poisoning epidemic was discovered around the Bunker Hill smelter in northern Idaho. In Tacoma, Washington, a copper smelter exposed children to arsenic—a carcinogenic threat.
Thoroughly grounded in extensive archival research, Tainted Earth traces the rise of public health concerns about nonferrous smelting in the western United States, focusing on three major facilities: Tacoma, Washington; El Paso, Texas; and Bunker Hill, Idaho. Marianne Sullivan documents the response from community residents, public health scientists, the industry, and the government to pollution from smelters as well as the long road to protecting public health and the environment. Placing the environmental and public health aspects of smelting in historical context, the book connects local incidents to national stories on the regulation of airborne toxic metals.
The nonferrous smelting industry has left a toxic legacy in the United States and around the world. Unless these toxic metals are cleaned up, they will persist in the environment and may sicken people—children in particular—for generations to come. The twentieth-century struggle to control smelter pollution shares many similarities with public health battles with such industries as tobacco and asbestos where industry supported science created doubt about harm, and reluctant government regulators did not take decisive action to protect the public’s health.
On September 21, 1938, one of the most powerful storms of the twentieth century came unannounced into the lives of New Yorkers and New Englanders, leaving utter devastation in its wake. The Great Hurricane, as it came to be known, changed everything from the landscape and its inhabitants’ lives, to Weather Bureau practices and the measure of relief New Englanders would receive in the final years of the Great Depression.
The storm formed near the Cape Verde Islands on September 10, but was not spotted until several days later, and was predicted by the understaffed Weather Bureau to head toward Florida. Junior forecaster Charlie Pierce correctly projected the northerly storm track, but senior meteorologists ignored his forecast, a mistake that cost many lives—including those of immigrants who had arrived to the Northeast in waves in the preceding decades. Updated for the 80th anniversary of the hurricane, this compelling history successfully weaves science, historical accounts, and social analyses to create a comprehensive picture of the most powerful and devastating hurricane to hit New England to date.
On September 21, 1938 one of the most powerful storms of the twentieth century came unannounced into the lives of New Yorkers and New Englanders, leaving utter devastation in its wake. The Great Hurricane, as it came to be known, changed everything, from the landscape and its inhabitants’ lives, to Weather Bureau practices, to the measure and kind of relief New Englanders would receive during the Great Depression and the resulting pace of regional economic recovery.
The storm formed near the Cape Verde Islands on September 10 but was not spotted until several days later, and was predicted by the understaffed Weather Bureau to head toward Florida. Junior forecaster Charlie Pierce correctly projected the northerly storm track, but senior meteorologists ignored his forecast, a mistake that cost many lives—including those of immigrants who had arrived to the Northeast in waves in the preceding decades. To be published on the storm’s 75th anniversary, this compelling history successfully weaves science, historical accounts, and social analyses to create a comprehensive picture of the most powerful and devastating hurricane to hit New England to date.
Humanity is deeply committed to living along the world’s shores, but a catastrophic storm like Sandy—which took hundreds of lives and caused many billions of dollars in damages—shines a bright light at how costly and vulnerable life on a shoreline can be. Taking Chances offers a wide-ranging exploration of the diverse challenges of Sandy and asks if this massive event will really change how coastal living and development is managed.
Bringing together leading researchers—including biologists, urban planners, utilities experts, and climatologists, among others—Taking Chances illuminates reactions to the dangers revealed by Sandy. Focusing on New Jersey, New York, and other hard-hit areas, the contributors explore whether Hurricane Sandy has indeed transformed our perceptions of coastal hazards, if we have made radically new plans in response to Sandy, and what we think should be done over the long run to improve coastal resilience. Surprisingly, one essay notes that while a large majority of New Jerseyans identified Sandy with climate change and favored carefully assessing the likelihood of damage from future storms before rebuilding the Shore, their political leaders quickly poured millions into reconstruction. Indeed, much here is disquieting. One contributor points out that investors scared off from further investments on the shore are quickly replaced by new investors, sustaining or increasing the overall human exposure to risk. Likewise, a study of the Gowanus Canal area of Brooklyn shows that, even after Sandy swamped the area with toxic flood waters, plans to convert abandoned industrial lots around the canal into high-density condominiums went on undeterred. By contrast, utilities, emergency officials, and others who routinely make long-term plans have changed operations in response to the storm, and provide examples of adaptation in the face of climate change.
Will Sandy be a tipping point in coastal policy debates—or simply dismissed as a once-in-a-century anomaly? This thought-provoking collection of essays in Taking Chances makes an important contribution to this debate.
A dynamic account of ornithological history in America’s heartland.
Today, more than fifty million Americans traipse through wetlands at dawn, endure clouds of mosquitoes, and brave freezing autumn winds just to catch a glimpse of a bird. The human desire to connect with winged creatures defies age and generation. In the Midwest, humans and birds have lived together for more than twelve thousand years. Taking Flight explores how and why people have worshipped, feared, studied, hunted, eaten, and protected the birds that surrounded them.
Author and birder Michael Edmonds has combed archaeological reports, missionaries’ journals, travelers’ letters, early scientific treatises, the memoirs of American Indian elders, and the folklore of hunters, farmers, and formerly enslaved people throughout the Midwest to reveal how our ancestors thought about the very same birds we see today. Whether you’re a casual bird-watcher, a hard-core life-lister, or simply someone who loves the outdoors, you’ll look at birds differently after reading this book.
Taking Place argues that the relation between geographical location and the moving image is fundamental and that place grounds our experience of film and media. Its original essays analyze film, television, video, and installation art from diverse national and transnational contexts to rethink both the study of moving images and the theorization of place. Through its unprecedented—and at times even obsessive— attention to actual places, this volume traces the tensions between the global and the local, the universal and the particular, that inhere in contemporary debates on global cinema, television, art, and media.
Contributors: Rosalind Galt, U of Sussex; Frances Guerin, U of Kent; Ji-hoon Kim; Hugh S. Manon, Clark U; Ara Osterweil, McGill U; Brian Price, U of Toronto; Linda Robinson, U of Wisconsin–Whitewater; Michael Siegel; Noa Steimatsky, U of Chicago; Meghan Sutherland, U of Toronto; Mark W. Turner, Kings College London; Aurora Wallace, New York U; Charles Wolfe, U of California, Santa Barbara.
Philosophers of science traditionally have ignored the details of scientific research, and the result has often been theories that lack relevance either to science or to philosophy in general. In this volume, leading philosophers of biology discuss the limitations of this tradition and the advantages of the "naturalistic turn"—the idea that the study of science is itself a scientific enterprise and should be conducted accordingly.
This innovative book presents candid, informal debates among scholars who examine the benefits and problems of studying science in the same way that scientists study the natural world. Callebaut achieves the effect of face-to-face engagement through separate interviews with participants.
Contributors include William Bechtel, Robert Brandon, Richard M. Burian, Donald T. Campbell, Patricia Churchland, Jon Elster, Ronald N. Giere, David L. Hull, Philip Kitcher, Karin Knorr Cetina, Bruno Latour, Richard Levins, Richard C. Lewontin, Elisabeth Lloyd, Helen Longino, Thomas Nickles, Henry C. Plotkin, Robert J. Richards, Alexander Rosenberg, Michael Ruse, Dudley Shapere, Elliott Sober, Ryan Tweney, and William Wimsatt.
"Why can't we have both theoretical ecology and natural histories, lovingly done?"—Philip Kitcher
"Don't underestimate the arrogance of philosophers!"—Elisabeth Lloyd
So far, humanity hasn’t done very well in addressing the ongoing climate catastrophe. Veteran science educator L. S. Gardiner believes we can learn to do better by understanding how we’ve dealt with other types of environmental risks in the past and why we are dragging our feet in addressing this most urgent emergency. Weaving scientific facts and research together with humor and emotion, Gardiner explores human responses to erosion, earthquakes, fires, invasive species, marine degradation, volcanic eruptions, and floods in order to illuminate why we find it so challenging to deal with climate change. Insight emerges from unexpected places—a mermaid exhibit, a Magic 8 Ball, and midcentury cartoons about a future that never came to be.
Instead of focusing on the economics and geopolitics of the debate over climate change, this book brings large-scale disaster to a human scale, emphasizing the role of the individual. We humans do have the capacity to deal with disasters. When we face threatening changes, we don’t just stand there pretending it isn’t so, we do something. But because we’re human, our responses aren’t always the right ones the first time—yet we can learn to do better. This book is essential reading for all who want to know how we can draw on our strengths to survive the climate catastrophe and forge a new relationship with nature.
Since the late nineteenth century, medicine has sought to foster the birth of healthy children by attending to the bodies of pregnant women, through what we have come to call prenatal care. Women, and not their unborn children, were the initial focus of that medical attention, but prenatal diagnosis in its present form, which couples scrutiny of the fetus with the option to terminate pregnancy, came into being in the early 1970s.
Tangled Diagnoses examines the multiple consequences of the widespread diffusion of this medical innovation. Prenatal testing, Ilana Löwy argues, has become mainly a risk-management technology—the goal of which is to prevent inborn impairments, ideally through the development of efficient therapies but in practice mainly through the prevention of the birth of children with such impairments. Using scholarship, interviews, and direct observation in France and Brazil of two groups of professionals who play an especially important role in the production of knowledge about fetal development—fetopathologists and clinical geneticists—to expose the real-life dilemmas prenatal testing creates, this book will be of interest to anyone concerned with the sociopolitical conditions of biomedical innovation, the politics of women’s bodies, disability, and the ethics of modern medicine.
The Tangled Field
Nathaniel C. COMFORT Harvard University Press, 2001 Library of Congress QH429.2.M38C66 2001 | Dewey Decimal 576.5092
This biographical study illuminates one of the most important yet misunderstood figures in the history of science. Barbara McClintock (1902-1992), a geneticist who integrated classical genetics with microscopic observations of the behavior of chromosomes, was regarded as a genius and as an unorthodox, nearly incomprehensible thinker. In 1946, she discovered mobile genetic elements, which she called "controlling elements." Thirty-seven years later, she won a Nobel Prize for this work, becoming the third woman to receive an unshared Nobel in science. Since then, McClintock has become an emblem of feminine scientific thinking and the tragedy of narrow-mindedness and bias in science.
Using McClintock's research notes, newly available correspondence, and dozens of interviews with McClintock and others, Comfort argues that McClintock's work was neither ignored in the 1950s nor wholly accepted two decades later. Nor was McClintock marginalized by scientists; throughout the decades of her alleged rejection, she remained a distinguished figure in her field. Comfort replaces the "McClintock myth" with a new story, rich with implications for our understanding of women in science and scientific creativity.
In recent years, the use of molecular data to build phylogenetic trees and sophisticated computer-aided techniques to analyze them have led to a revolution in the study of cospeciation. Tangled Trees provides an up-to-date review and synthesis of current knowledge about phylogeny, cospeciation, and coevolution. The opening chapters present various methodological and theoretical approaches, ranging from the well-known parsimony approach to "jungles" and Bayesian statistical models. Then a series of empirical chapters discusses detailed studies of cospeciation involving vertebrate hosts and their parasites, including nematodes, viruses, and lice. Tangled Trees will be welcomed by researchers in a wide variety of fields, from parasitology and ecology to systematics and evolutionary biology.
Sarah Al-Tamimi, Michael A. Charleston, Dale H. Clayton, James W. Demastes, Russell D. Gray, Mark S. Hafner, John P. Huelsenbeck, J.-P. Hugot, Kevin P. Johnson, Peter Kabat, Bret Larget, Joanne Martin, Yannis Michalakis, Roderic D. M. Page, Ricardo L. Palma, Adrian M. Paterson, Susan L. Perkins, Andy Purvis, Bruce Rannala, David L. Reed, Fredrik Ronquist, Theresa A. Spradling, Jason Taylor, Michael Tristem
Tarsiiformes, or tarsiers for short, are a group of living species of special interest to primatologists because their combination of derived and ancient characters make them pivotal to understanding the roots of primate evolution. These small-bodied, nocturnal, solitary creatures resemble lower primates in their behavior but genetically, DNA evidence aligns them more closely with higher primates, such as monkeys, apes, and humans. These astounding creatures exhibit an ability found in no other living mammal¾they can turn their heads 180 degrees in either direction to see both prey and predators. The world’s only exclusive carnivorous primate, they eat live food (primarily insects, but the occasional vertebrate, such as lizards, snakes, or frogs will also do). This unique combination of behavior and anatomy makes the tarsier an especially interesting and controversial animal for study among primate behaviorists, evolutionists, and taxonomists, who view the tarsiers as “living fossils” that link past and present, lower and higher, primates in the long chain of evolutionary history.
This new volume presents alternative and contrasting perspectives on the most debated questions that have arisen in tarsier studies. Top researchers bring together perspectives from anatomical, behavioral, genetic, and conservation studies in this new and exciting addition to the understanding of primate evolution.
This book is a volume in the Rutgers Series on Human Evolution, edited by Robert Trivers, Lee Cronk, Helen Fischer, and Lionel Tiger.
The sixteen essays in this anthology describe the practice of teaching about place, with the goal of inspiring educators as well as other readers to discover the value of close investigation of their own places. The contributors discuss places from the desert river canyons of the American West, to the bayous of Texas, to wildlife refuges on the Atlantic Coast, to New England’s forests and river, and back to the wildland-urban interface in suburban Southern California. <br> These essays reveal broader lessons about the possibilities and limitations that come with teaching about place and inhabiting our own places outside the classroom. Contributors include: Ann Zwinger, Bradley John Monsma, SueEllen Campbell, Terrell Dixon, and John Elder.<br> <br>
In the early twentieth century, a curriculum known as nature study flourished in major city school systems, streetcar suburbs, small towns, and even rural one-room schools. This object-based approach to learning about the natural world marked the first systematic attempt to introduce science into elementary education, and it came at a time when institutions such as zoos, botanical gardens, natural history museums, and national parks were promoting the idea that direct knowledge of nature would benefit an increasingly urban and industrial nation.
The definitive history of this once pervasive nature study movement, TeachingChildren Science emphasizes the scientific, pedagogical, and social incentives that encouraged primarily women teachers to explore nature in and beyond their classrooms. Sally Gregory Kohlstedt brings to vivid life the instructors and reformers who advanced nature study through on-campus schools, summer programs, textbooks, and public speaking. Within a generation, this highly successful hands-on approach migrated beyond public schools into summer camps, afterschool activities, and the scouting movement. Although the rich diversity of nature study classes eventually lost ground to increasingly standardized curricula, Kohlstedt locates its legacy in the living plants and animals in classrooms and environmental field trips that remain central parts of science education today.
No fight over what gets taught in American classrooms is more heated than the battle over humanity’s origins. For more than a century we have argued about evolutionary theory and creationism (and its successor theory, intelligent design), yet we seem no closer to a resolution than we were in Darwin’s day. In this thoughtful examination of how we teach origins, historian Adam Laats and philosopher Harvey Siegel offer crucial new ways to think not just about the evolution debate but how science and religion can make peace in the classroom.
Laats and Siegel agree with most scientists: creationism is flawed, as science. But, they argue, students who believe it nevertheless need to be accommodated in public school science classes. Scientific or not, creationism maintains an important role in American history and culture as a point of religious dissent, a sustained form of protest that has weathered a century of broad—and often dramatic—social changes. At the same time, evolutionary theory has become a critical building block of modern knowledge. The key to accommodating both viewpoints, they show, is to disentangle belief from knowledge. A student does not need to believe in evolution in order to understand its tenets and evidence, and in this way can be fully literate in modern scientific thought and still maintain contrary religious or cultural views. Altogether, Laats and Siegel offer the kind of level-headed analysis that is crucial to finding a way out of our culture-war deadlock.
In science and technology, the images used to depict ideas, data, and reactions can be as striking and explosive as the concepts and processes they embody—both works of art and generative forces in their own right. Drawing on a close dialogue between the histories of art, science, and technology, The Technical Image explores these images not as mere illustrations or examples, but as productive agents and distinctive, multilayered elements of the process of generating knowledge. Using beautifully reproduced visuals, this book not only reveals how scientific images play a constructive role in shaping the findings and insights they illustrate, but also—however mechanical or detached from individual researchers’ choices their appearances may be—how they come to embody the styles of a period, a mindset, a research collective, or a device.
Opening with a set of key questions about artistic representation in science, technology, and medicine, The Technical Image then investigates historical case studies focusing on specific images, such as James Watson’s models of genes, drawings of Darwin’s finches, and images of early modern musical automata. These case studies in turn are used to illustrate broad themes ranging from “Digital Images” to “Objectivity and Evidence” and to define and elaborate upon fundamental terms in the field. Taken as a whole, this collection will provide analytical tools for the interpretation and application of scientific and technological imagery.
Technical Knowledge in American Culture addresses the relationships between what modern-day experts say to each other and to their constituencies and whether what they say and do relates to the larger culture, society, and era. These essays challenge the social impact model by looking at science, technology, and medicine not as social activities but as intellectual activities.
Technics and Civilization
Lewis Mumford University of Chicago Press, 2010 Library of Congress CB478.M8 2010 | Dewey Decimal 303.483
Technics and Civilization first presented its compelling history of the machine and critical study of its effects on civilization in 1934—before television, the personal computer, and the Internet even appeared on our periphery.
Drawing upon art, science, philosophy, and the history of culture, Lewis Mumford explained the origin of the machine age and traced its social results, asserting that the development of modern technology had its roots in the Middle Ages rather than the Industrial Revolution. Mumford sagely argued that it was the moral, economic, and political choices we made, not the machines that we used, that determined our then industrially driven economy. Equal parts powerful history and polemic criticism, Technics and Civilization was the first comprehensive attempt in English to portray the development of the machine age over the last thousand years—and to predict the pull the technological still holds over us today.
“The questions posed in the first paragraph of Technics and Civilization still deserve our attention, nearly three quarters of a century after they were written.”—Journal of Technology and Culture
Interrogating the work of four contemporary French philosophers to rethink philosophy’s relationship to science and science’s relationship to reality
The Technique of Thought explores the relationship between philosophy and science as articulated in the work of four contemporary French thinkers—Jean-Luc Nancy, François Laruelle, Catherine Malabou, and Bernard Stiegler. Situating their writings within both contemporary scientific debates and the philosophy of science, Ian James elaborates a philosophical naturalism that is notably distinct from the Anglo-American tradition. The naturalism James proposes also diverges decisively from the ways in which continental philosophy has previously engaged with the sciences. He explores the technical procedures and discursive methods used by each of the four thinkers as distinct “techniques of thought” that approach scientific understanding and knowledge experimentally.
Moving beyond debates about the constructed nature of scientific knowledge, The Technique of Thought argues for a strong, variably configured, and entirely novel scientific realism. By bringing together post-phenomenological perspectives concerning individual or collective consciousness and first-person qualitative experience with science’s focus on objective and third-person quantitative knowledge, James tracks the emergence of a new image of the sciences and of scientific practice.
Stripped of aspirations toward total mastery of the universe or a “grand theory of everything,” this renewed scientific worldview, along with the simultaneous reconfiguration of philosophy’s relationship to science, opens up new ways of interrogating immanent reality.
Techniques for Pollination Biologists is the first book to incorporate all techniques published in the pollination literature as well as unpublished methods compiled from practicing pollination biologists. The bibliography includes 1,200 references from more than 200 journals, plus books and previously unpublished materials.
Appendices list sources for all the equipment and chemicals needed.
This book presents the newest techniques such as fluorescence microscopy to examine pollen tubes, high-pressure liquid chromatography for nectar analysis, and using particle counters to count pollen grains and nuclear magnetic resonance for floral odor analysis. In addition to these sophisticated methods, basic techniques are described for labeling plants, manipulating flowers, marking or excluding, and designing simple but elegant experiments with small budgets. The book also examines potential pitfalls for pollination studies and offers cautionary advice about designing and implementing different types of pollination experiments.
Technology and American History explores the technological dimension of American life from the birth of American industry in the late eighteenth century to the massive industrial systems of the late twentieth century.
Emphasizing a societal context for technology, this carefully organized collection demonstrates both the manner in which cultural, political, and economic forces shape innovation, and the ways that technology has influenced society and shaped its values. Individual essays explore the importance of textile manufacturing in American industrialization, the role of the federal government in regulating new modes of transport, the development of interchangeable parts in production, the process of innovation, the notion of technological systems, and the relationship between technological change and work in the factory, on the farm, and in the home.
The essays were selected to be accessible to both the general reader and the undergraduate student.
Technology is changing all the time, but does it also have the ability to change us and the way we approach religion and spirituality? In Technology and Religion: Remaining Human in a Co-created World, Noreen Herzfeld examines this and other provocative questions as she provides an accessible and fascinating overview of the relationship between religion and the ever-broadening world of technology.
In order to consider fully a topic as wide as technology, Herzfeld approaches the field from three different angles: technologies of the human body—such as genetic engineering, stem cells, cloning, pharmaceutical technologies, mechanical enhancement and cyborgs; technologies of the human mind—like human and artificial intelligence, virtual reality and cyberspace; and technologies of the external environment—such as nanotechnology, genetically modified crops and new agricultural technologies, and energy technology. She takes a similarly broad approach to the field of religion, focusing on how these issues interface with the three Abrahamic traditions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Throughout, readers will find nuanced examinations of the moral and ethical issues surrounding new technologies from the perspectives of these faith traditions.
The result is a multifaceted look at the ongoing dialogue between these two subjects that are not commonly associated with one another. This volume is the third title published in the new Templeton Science and Religion Series.
Technology and the Good Life?
Edited by Eric Higgs, Andrew Light, and David Strong University of Chicago Press, 2000 Library of Congress T14.T386 2000 | Dewey Decimal 303.483
Can we use technology in the pursuit of a good life, or are we doomed to having our lives organized and our priorities set by the demands of machines and systems? How can philosophy help us to make technology a servant rather than a master?
Technology and the Good Life? uses a careful collective analysis of Albert Borgmann's controversial and influential ideas as a jumping-off point from which to address questions such as these about the role and significance of technology in our lives. Contributors both sympathetic and critical examine Borgmann's work, especially his "device paradigm"; apply his theories to new areas such as film, agriculture, design, and ecological restoration; and consider the place of his thought within philosophy and technology studies more generally.
Because this collection carefully investigates the issues at the heart of how we can take charge of life with technology, it will be a landmark work not just for philosophers of technology but for students and scholars in the many disciplines concerned with science and technology studies.
This broad-ranging anthology provides a condensed overview of technology in Western civilization. Its twenty-one carefully selected articles and overview essays demonstrate the complex relationship between technological and social change from antiquity to the present. Specific topics include the origins of contemporary social and political institutions in the irrigation civilizations of antiquity, technology and the military, popular perceptions of the early industrial revolution in Europe, the difference between invention and innovation, the role of government in the development of technology, the nature of technical expertise, and nuclear power and the environment.
General readers and students will find this collection accessible and engaging.
In modern life, technology is everywhere. Yet as a concept, technology is a mess. In popular discourse, technology is little more than the latest digital innovations. Scholars do little better, offering up competing definitions that include everything from steelmaking to singing. In Technology: Critical History of a Concept, Eric Schatzberg explains why technology is so difficult to define by examining its three thousand year history, one shaped by persistent tensions between scholars and technical practitioners. Since the time of the ancient Greeks, scholars have tended to hold technicians in low esteem, defining technical practices as mere means toward ends defined by others. Technicians, in contrast, have repeatedly pushed back against this characterization, insisting on the dignity, creativity, and cultural worth of their work.
The tension between scholars and technicians continued from Aristotle through Francis Bacon and into the nineteenth century. It was only in the twentieth century that modern meanings of technology arose: technology as the industrial arts, technology as applied science, and technology as technique. Schatzberg traces these three meanings to the present day, when discourse about technology has become pervasive, but confusion among the three principal meanings of technology remains common. He shows that only through a humanistic concept of technology can we understand the complex human choices embedded in our modern world.
Technology, Law, and the Working Environment provides a thorough discussion of the legal issues relevant to technology-related workplace problems. It includes detailed chapters that examine occupational health and safety, toxic substance regulations, technology bargaining, and the law as it applies to the work environment. The authors explore the scope of right-to-know requirements and other worker rights, and examine the legal consequences of injury and disease for both workers and firms.After discussing the evolution of technology, work, and health since the turn of the century, the authors explore the economic and political forces that spurred the development of a variety of legal responses.Among the topics considered are: costs of occupational disease and injury market alternatives to regulating health and safety the role of economic considerations in setting standards the usefulness of economic analysis in regulatory decisionmaking the relationship between environmental regulation and workplace regulation Throughout, the text is supplemented with excerpts from key judicial decisions and selected expert commentaries that provide valuable insights into how to use the law to best effect in the workplace.
What is it like to be a scientist at the end of the twentieth century? How have shifts in power and in assumptions about knowledge affected scientific practice? Who are the people behind the new technologies, and how do they address the difficult moral and professional issues during a time of global change? Techno-Scientific Imaginaries explores these and other important questions at the approach of the new millennium.
In these penetrating essays, twenty-four distinguished contributors from a broad range of fields present the voices of the scientists themselves—through interviews, conversations, and memoirs. We hear from Lithuanian physicists who discuss science after Communism and their own fantasies about what Western science is; a Japanese-American woman struggling with her ambivalence over designing nuclear weapons; political activists in India who examine relations among science, environmental politics, and government ideology in the aftermath of the Bhopal disaster; and many others, including biologists, physicians, corporate researchers, and scientists working with virtual reality and other cutting-edge technologies.
The contributors to this volume are Mario Biagioli, Maria E. Carson, Gary Lee Downey, Joseph Dumit, Michael M. J. Fischer, Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, Hugh Gusterson, Diana L. L. Hill, James Holston, Herbert C. Hoover, Jr., Gudrun Klein, Leszek Koczanowicz, Irene Kuter, Kim Laughlin, Rita Linggood, George E. Marcus, Kathryn Milun, Livia Polanyi, Christopher Pound, Simon Powell, Paul Rabinow, Kathleen Stewart, Allucquere Rosanne Stone, and Sharon Traweek.
Publication of Galileo's Starry Messenger in 1610, detailing startling observations with the newly invented telescope, sparked immediate furor among the astronomers and philosophers of the day. The discovery of the "Medicean stars" (the satellites of Jupiter) was pronounced a hoax, an optical illusion, a logical and theological impossibility. Stillman Drake, one of the world's foremost Galileo scholars, recreates in Telescopes, Tides, and Tactics the fascinating aftermath of the publication of the Starry Messenger. Drawing on Galileo's scientific working papers and the letters and notebooks of his colleagues, Drake presents an imaginative Galilean dialogue using the text of the Starry Messenger as a departure point for discussions of appropriate scientific method, new discoveries, and the emergence of a new world view at this early stage of the Scientific Revolution.
Drake has revised his earlier abridged translation of the Starry Messenger, and for the first time the entire work is presented here in modern English. No other edition or translation of this famous work has analyzed Galileo's recorded observations in detail, compared them with modern calculations, or explained the later use he made of them. In the accompanying fictional dialogue, Salviati, Sagredo, and Sarpi reread the Starry Messenger in 1613 and discuss events and issues raised in the three years since its publication. Much of the dialogue is based on archival materials not previously cited in English. Drake has unearthed a wealth of information that will interest the lay reader as well as the historian and the scientist—descriptions of the various and occasionally bizarre critics of Galileo, a reconstruction of Galileo's promised book on the system of the world, his tables of observations and calculations of satellite motions, and evidence for an early tide theory. It was this theory explaining tides by motions of the earth, rather than the influence of Platonic metaphysics, Drake argues that played a major role in Galileo's acceptance of Copernican astronomy.
Telescopes, Tides, and Tactics is a thorough portrait of Galileo as a working astronomer. Offering much more than a commentary on the Starry Messenger, Drake has written a novel and absorbing contribution to the history of physics and astronomy and the study of the Scientific Revolution.
Caldwell, John T Rutgers University Press, 1995 Library of Congress PN1992.6.C22 1995 | Dewey Decimal 302.2345
“Holling is tormented by Koyaanisqatsi dreams until he goes out and does the wild thing with a young stag . . . . ”––Synopsis from production company “Bible,” Northern Exposure, March 30, 1992
The collision of auteurism and rap––couched by primetime producers in the Northern Exposure script––was actually rather commonplace by the early 1990s. Series, and even news broadcasts, regularly engineered their narratives around highly coded aesthetic and cultural fragments, with a kind of ensemble iconography. Televisuality interrogates the nature of such performances as an historical phenomenon, an aesthetic and industrial practice, and as a socially symbolic act. This book suggests that postmodernism does not fully explain television's stylistic exhibitionism and that a reexamination of “high theory” is in order. Caldwell’s unique approach successfully integrates production practice with theory in a way that will enlighten both critical theory and cultural studies.
While tropical rainforests have received much conservation attention and support for their protection, temperate and boreal rainforests have been largely overlooked. Yet these ecosystems are also unique, supporting rainforest communities rich in plants and wildlife and containing some of the most massive trees on Earth.
Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World brings together leading scientists from around the world to describe the ecology and conservation of these lesser-known rainforests in an attempt to place them on par with tropical rainforests in conservation efforts. The book
summarizes major scientific findings
presents new computer models that were used to standardize rainforest definitions
identifies regions previously not widely recognized as rainforest
provides the latest estimates on rainforest extent and degree of protection
explores conservation strategies
The book ends with a summary of the key ecological findings and outlines an ambitious vision of how we can conserve and manage the planet's remaining temperate and boreal rainforests in a truly ecological way that is better for nature, the climate, and ultimately our own welfare.
Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World is a call to action for an accord to protect the world's rainforests. It offers a global vision rooted in ecological science but written in common language useful for governments, decision makers, and conservation groups concerned about the plight of these remarkable forests.
Our attempts to understand the world around us are greatly advanced by scientific research, which holds nearly unlimited potential to address our questions of what? and how? Some scientific fields, however, seem to take a hands-off approach to the big question of why? Why does the universe work the way it does? Why do our brains make us think certain thoughts or feel certain sensations? Why did we evolve the way we did? Some fundamental scientific understanding is necessary before one can venture too deeply into these types of inquiries, which almost inevitably involve larger philosophical and theological implications. The Templeton Science and Religion Reader invites readers to explore some of these fascinating questions and offers them the kind of knowledge they’ll need in order to seriously consider possible answers.
In the Templeton Science and Religion Series, scientific experts from a wide range of fields have distilled their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. The series was launched in 2008 with the publication of the inaugural volume, Medicine, Religion, and Health. Since that time, the series editors J. Wentzel van Huyssteen and Khalil Chamcham have expanded it to nine titles covering everything from paleontology to neuroscience to technology. Now, in The Templeton Science and Religion Reader, the editors have gathered together the very best chapters from these volumes into a single edited collection.
These chapters presuppose no scientific background and are designed to be accessible to the general reader. Each section may have a different focus—a quantum, a star in a galaxy, a bee, or the seat of human intelligence, which some may call the soul—but the editors have done a great service to the reader by juxtaposing these subjects in a way that suggests how each one relates to other entities, including both its own kind and the wider global environment. The end result is a truly cohesive collection that will both broaden and deepen our understanding of these interconnected relations and, in turn, the world around us.
Contributors include Denis R. Alexander, Justin L. Barrett, R. J. Berry, Warren S. Brown, Noreen Herzfeld, Malcom Jeeves, Harold G. Koenig, Javier Leach, Joseph Silk, and Ian Tattersall.
In The Tenets of Cognitive Existentialism, Dimitri Ginev draws on developments in hermeneutic phenomenology and other programs in hermeneutic philosophy to inform an interpretative approach to scientific practices. At stake is the question of whether it is possible to integrate forms of reflection upon the ontological difference in the cognitive structure of scientific research. A positive answer would have implied a proof that (pace Heidegger) “science is able to think.” This book is an extended version of such a proof. Against those who claim that modern science is doomed to be exclusively committed to the nexus of objectivism and instrumental rationality, the interpretative theory of scientific practices reveals science’s potentiality of hermeneutic self-reflection. Scientific research that takes into consideration the ontological difference has resources to enter into a dialogue with Nature.
Ginev offers a critique of postmodern tendencies in the philosophy of science, and sets out arguments for a feminist hermeneutics of scientific research.
If you have watched a Grand Slam tennis tournament in the past decade, you are probably aware that the game is dominated by just a few international powerhouses. At the conclusion of each tournament, it is likely that you will see Serena Williams atop the women’s podium and a member of the Big Four—Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray—hoisting the trophy for the men. And while there is not a lot of variety in the outcome of these matches, the game of tennis itself has changed drastically over the decades, as developments in technology and conditioning regimens, among other factors, have altered the style of play. Underpinning many of these developments is science, and this book explains the scientific wonders that take the ball from racket to racket and back again.
Each chapter explores a different facet of the game—learning, technique, game analysis, the mental edge, physical development, nutrition for performance and recovery, staying healthy, and equipment—and is organized around a series of questions. How do we learn the ins and outs of hitting the ball in and not out? What are the main technological developments and software programs that can be used to assist in performance and notational analysis in tennis? What role does sports psychology play in developing a tennis player? What is the role of fluid replacement for the recreational, junior, and professional player? What rule changes have been made with respect to the racket, ball, and ball-court interaction to maintain the integrity of the game in the face of technological change? Each question is examined with the aid of explanatory diagrams and illustrations, and the book can be used to search for particular topics, or read straight through for a comprehensive overview of how player and equipment work together.
Whether you prefer the grass courts of Wimbledon, the clay courts of the French Open, or the hard courts of the US and Australian Opens, Tennis Science is a must-have for anyone interested in the science behind a winning game.
In the late fifteenth century, clocks acquired minute hands. A century later, second hands appeared. But it wasn’t until the 1850s that instruments could recognize a tenth of a second, and, once they did, the impact on modern science and society was profound. Revealing the history behind this infinitesimal interval, A Tenth of a Second sheds new light on modernity and illuminates the work of important thinkers of the last two centuries.
Tracing debates about the nature of time, causality, and free will, as well as the introduction of modern technologies—telegraphy, photography, cinematography—Jimena Canales locates the reverberations of this “perceptual moment” throughout culture. Once scientists associated the tenth of a second with the speed of thought, they developed reaction time experiments with lasting implications for experimental psychology, physiology, and optics. Astronomers and physicists struggled to control the profound consequences of results that were a tenth of a second off. And references to the interval were part of a general inquiry into time, consciousness, and sensory experience that involved rethinking the contributions of Descartes and Kant.
Considering its impact on much longer time periods and featuring appearances by Henri Bergson, Walter Benjamin, and Albert Einstein, among others, A Tenth of a Second is ultimately an important contribution to history and a novel perspective on modernity.
From the age of antiquity to the Middle Ages, scholars argued about the existence of places, and perhaps peoples, beyond the world known to Europeans. But to allow for the possibility of such lands and races raised troubling questions: Was it truly impossible to reach the underside of the earth? And, if so, how could its inhabitants receive the word of God?
In Terra Incognita, Alfred Hiatt draws on sources both literary and visual to understand the appeal of the antipodes. Examining maps and diagrams, as well as evidence contained in geographical and historical works, poetry, travel narratives, and legal documents, he challenges long-standing characterizations of medieval spatiality as exclusively symbolic and religious. Instead, Hiatt finds, the idea of people on the other side of the Earth provided a potent and malleable symbol for political theorists, satirists, scholars, and poets—as well as for map makers. Terra Incognita is, in the end, the history of a non-place, of lands conjured by the scientific imagination, which nevertheless drove exploration, and which continued to shape the world map, even as they slowly vanished from it.
Breathtaking in scope, this is the first survey of the entire
ecological history of life on land—from the earliest traces
of terrestrial organisms over 400 million years ago to the
beginning of human agriculture. By providing myriad insights
into the unique ecological information contained in the
fossil record, it establishes a new and ambitious basis for
the study of evolutionary paleoecology of land ecosystems.
A joint undertaking of the Evolution of Terrestrial
Ecosystems Consortium at the National Museum of Natural
History, Smithsonian Institution, and twenty-six additional
researchers, this book begins with four chapters that lay out
the theoretical background and methodology of the science of
evolutionary paleoecology. Included are a comprehensive
review of the taphonomy and paleoenvironmental settings of
fossil deposits as well as guidelines for developing
ecological characterizations of extinct organisms and the
communities in which they lived. The remaining three
chapters treat the history of terrestrial ecosystems through
geological time, emphasizing how ecological interactions have
changed, the rate and tempo of ecosystem change, the role of
exogenous "forcing factors" in generating ecological change,
and the effect of ecological factors on the evolution of
The six principal authors of this volume are all associated
with the Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems program at the
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
Why and how do debates about the form and disposition of our Earth shape enlightened subjectivity and secular worldliness in colonial modernity? Sumathi Ramaswamy explores this question for British India with the aid of the terrestrial globe, which since the sixteenth century has circulated as a worldly symbol, a scientific instrument, and not least an educational tool for inculcating planetary consciousness.
In Terrestrial Lessons, Ramaswamy provides the first in-depth analysis of the globe’s history in and impact on the Indian subcontinent during the colonial era and its aftermath. Drawing on a wide array of archival sources, she delineates its transformation from a thing of distinction possessed by elite men into that mass-produced commodity used in classrooms worldwide—the humble school globe. Traversing the length and breadth of British India, Terrestrial Lessons is an unconventional history of this master object of pedagogical modernity that will fascinate historians of cartography, science, and Asian studies.
In Territories of Difference, Arturo Escobar, author of the widely debated book Encountering Development, analyzes the politics of difference enacted by specific place-based ethnic and environmental movements in the context of neoliberal globalization. His analysis is based on his many years of engagement with a group of Afro-Colombian activists of Colombia’s Pacific rainforest region, the Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN). Escobar offers a detailed ethnographic account of PCN’s visions, strategies, and practices, and he chronicles and analyzes the movement’s struggles for autonomy, territory, justice, and cultural recognition. Yet he also does much more. Consistently emphasizing the value of local activist knowledge for both understanding and social action and drawing on multiple strands of critical scholarship, Escobar proposes new ways for scholars and activists to examine and apprehend the momentous, complex processes engulfing regions such as the Colombian Pacific today.
Escobar illuminates many interrelated dynamics, including the Colombian government’s policies of development and pluralism that created conditions for the emergence of black and indigenous social movements and those movements’ efforts to steer the region in particular directions. He examines attempts by capitalists to appropriate the rainforest and extract resources, by developers to set the region on the path of modernist progress, and by biologists and others to defend this incredibly rich biodiversity “hot-spot” from the most predatory activities of capitalists and developers. He also looks at the attempts of academics, activists, and intellectuals to understand all of these complicated processes. Territories of Difference is Escobar’s effort to think with Afro-Colombian intellectual-activists who aim to move beyond the limits of Eurocentric paradigms as they confront the ravages of neoliberal globalization and seek to defend their place-based cultures and territories.
The conflict between science and religion seems indelible, even eternal. Surely two such divergent views of the universe have always been in fierce opposition? Actually, that’s not the case, says Peter Harrison: our very concepts of science and religion are relatively recent, emerging only in the past three hundred years, and it is those very categories, rather than their underlying concepts, that constrain our understanding of how the formal study of nature relates to the religious life.
In The Territories of Science and Religion, Harrison dismantles what we think we know about the two categories, then puts it all back together again in a provocative, productive new way. By tracing the history of these concepts for the first time in parallel, he illuminates alternative boundaries and little-known relations between them—thereby making it possible for us to learn from their true history, and see other possible ways that scientific study and the religious life might relate to, influence, and mutually enrich each other.
A tour de force by a distinguished scholar working at the height of his powers, The Territories of Science and Religion promises to forever alter the way we think about these fundamental pillars of human life and experience.
Tertiary History of the Grand Cañon District
Clarence E. Dutton; Introduction by Wallace Stegner; Foreword by Stephen J. Pyne University of Arizona Press, 2001 Library of Congress QE691.D86 2001 | Dewey Decimal 551.780979132
Originally published in 1882, Clarence Dutton’s Tertiary History of the Grand Cañon District has become one of the definitive books on the Grand Canyon. Commissioned as a study of the region’s geology and issued by the fledgling U.S. Geological Survey, it is as much admired today for its literary as its scientific merits. With its beautiful illustrations by Thomas Moran and William Henry Holmes, it is a seminal work on the Canyon that has never been surpassed for its eloquence and authority.
This new edition of Dutton’s magnum opus makes that work available once again. Visitors to the Canyon will gain a new appreciation of its majesty as Dutton takes readers on several excursions among its castellated and cathedral-like peaks and ridges. Along the way, he explains the peculiar characteristics of different rocks, the water-sculpturing process, volcanic cones and outflows, the extent of the river’s erosion, and other geological features.
Dutton’s Tertiary History remains arguably the most evocative and compelling geological writing ever done on the Grand Canyon region. As Stephen J. Pyne observes in his foreword, Dutton “recast a rocky peninsula into geo-poetry, reshaped an amorphous panorama of Time into narrative History, and transformed an American scene into a universal symbol.” No one who has thrilled to the majesty of the Grand Canyon will fail to be moved by this timeless work.
Testing Scientific Theories
John Earman, Editor University of Minnesota Press, 1984 Library of Congress Q175.M64 vol. 10 | Dewey Decimal 501
Testing Scientific Theories was first published in 1984. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Since much of a scientist's work consists of constructing arguments to show how experiments and observation bear on a particular theory, the methodologies of theory testing and their philosophical underpinnings are of vital concern to philosophers of science. Confirmation of scientific theories is the topic of Clark Glymour's important book Theory and Evidence,published in 1980. His negative thesis is that the two most widely discussed accounts of the methodology of theory testing - hypothetico-deductivism and Bayesianism - are flawed. The issues Glymour raises and his alternative "bootstrapping" method provided the focus for a conference sponsored by the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science and for this book. As editor John Earman says in his preface, the papers presented in Testing Scientific Theories germinate so many new ideas that philosophers of science will reap the harvest for years to come.
Topics covered include a discussion of Glymour's bootstrapping theory of confirmation, the Bayesian perspective and the problems of old evidence, evidence and explanation, historical case studies, alternative views on testing theories, and testing particular theories, including psychoanalytic hypotheses and hypotheses about the completeness of the fossil record.
Testosterone is neither the biological essence of manliness nor even the “male sex hormone.” It doesn’t predict competitiveness or aggressiveness, strength or sex drive. Rebecca Jordan-Young and Katrina Karkazis pry testosterone loose from more than a century of misconceptions that undermine science while making social fables seem scientific.
What do we mean when we say, "I made the time pass more quickly," or, "I’m creating some ‘me’ time"? InThe Textures of Time, Michael Flaherty examines how we alter or customize our experience of time. His detailed analysis reveals different strategies we use to try to manipulate time, further describing and defining those strategies within six discrete time categories: Duration, Frequency, Sequence, Timing, Allocation, and Taking Time.
Using in-depth interviews and analyzing responses through a sociological lens, Flaherty unearths folk theories and practices, which he calls "time work," that construct circumstances in order to provoke desired forms of temporal experience. As such, time is not justinflicted on us; rather, its various textures result from our intervention, and/or from our efforts to create different forms of temporal experience. These first-person accounts also highlight ongoing tensions between agency and determinism in social groups. Ultimately, in keeping with his central thesis, Flaherty's lucid prose make this book a quick read, and the strategies he describes reveal the profound and inventive ways we "manage the clock."
Everything is subject to a lifecycle. In the field of energy, the obvious question is, “Where are we in the lifecycle of fossil fuels?” Competitive technology for sourcing renewable energy, marketplace readiness, and pressures from climate change all signal that the fossil fuel era is coming to an end. This book explains the alternatives and suggests when and how change will occur. Employing a global perspective and detailed analysis, it provides recommendations on policies and strategies to make a smooth and wholesale transition to renewables before the continued use of fossil fuels becomes economically and socially disruptive.
Gregory Meehan’s overview eschews politics in favor of comprehensive coverage and logical explanation. He addresses economic, environmental, and security concerns and does not shy away from illuminating limitations and problems with various energy sources. Meehan’s dogged pursuit of the current state of knowledge and energy practices around the world shows that different answers are proving viable for different social and environmental contexts. This is the most wide-ranging and thorough introduction to the world’s energy issues and choices to date.
Lecture and exercise guides available upon request.
Every year, millions of Americans visit planetariums and are captivated by their strikingly realistic portrayal of the night sky. Today, it is indeed difficult to imagine astronomy education without these magnificent celestial theaters. But projection planetariums, first developed in Germany, have been a part of American museum pedagogy only since the early twentieth century and were not widespread until the 1960s.
In this unique social history,former planetarium director and historian of science Jordan D. Marché II offers the first complete account of the community of individuals and institutions that, during the period between 1930 and 1970, made planetariums the popular teaching aids they are today. Marché addresses issues such as the role of gender and social developments within the planetarium community, institutional patronage, and the popularization of science. He reveals how, at different times, various groups, including financial donors, amateur scientists, and government officials, viewed the planetarium as an instrument through which they could shape public understanding and perceptions of astronomy and space science.
Offering an insightful, wide-ranging look into the origins of an institution that has fascinated millions, Theaters of Timeand Space brings new perspectives to how one educational community changed the cultural complexion of science, helped shape public attitudes toward the U.S. space program, and even contributed to policy decisions regarding allocations for future space research.
"This is a remarkable book: a symposium proceedings volume that will also function as a graduate-level text. Dedicated to the great theorist S. Chandrasekhar, the book consists of ten well-written chapters that cover the essential tools of theoretical astrophysics. The first half of the volume is concerned with the theory of how stars work (structure, stability, rotation, magnetism, dynamics) and the latter half is mainly a survey of relativistic astrophysics. . . . Read it for a broad-brush view of what theorists are up to now and how they solve problems."—Journal of the British Astronomical Association
"The book as a whole should be a gift from every research supervisor to every new graduate student in theoretical astronomy."—D. W. Sciama, Science
Kepler's successful solution to the problem of vision early in the seventeenth century was a theoretical triumph as significant as many of the more celebrated developments of the scientific revolution. Yet the full import of Kepler's arguments can be grasped only when they are viewed against the background of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance visual theory. David C. Lindberg provides this background, and in doing so he fills the gap in historical scholarship and constructs a model for tracing the development of scientific ideas.
David C. Lindberg is professor and chairman of the department of the history of science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Theory and Method in the Neurosciences surveys the nature and structure of theories in contemporary neuroscience, exploring many of its methodological techniques and problems. The essays explore basic questions about how to relate theories of neuroscience and cognition, the multilevel character of such theories, and their experimental bases. Philosophers and scientists (and some who are both) examine the topics of explanation and mechanisms, simulation and computation, imaging and animal models that raise questions about the forefront of research in cognitive neuroscience. Their work will stimulate new thinking in anyone interested in the mind or brain and in recent theories of their connections.
How does science work? Does it tell us what the world is "really" like? What makes it different from other ways of understanding the universe? In Theory and Reality, Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the reader on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science. The result is a completely accessible introduction to the main themes of the philosophy of science.
Intended for undergraduates and general readers with no prior background in philosophy, Theory and Reality covers logical positivism; the problems of induction and confirmation; Karl Popper's theory of science; Thomas Kuhn and "scientific revolutions"; the views of Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan, and Paul Feyerabend; and challenges to the field from sociology of science, feminism, and science studies. The book then looks in more detail at some specific problems and theories, including scientific realism, the theory-ladeness of observation, scientific explanation, and Bayesianism. Finally, Godfrey-Smith defends a form of philosophical naturalism as the best way to solve the main problems in the field.
Throughout the text he points out connections between philosophical debates and wider discussions about science in recent decades, such as the infamous "science wars." Examples and asides engage the beginning student; a glossary of terms explains key concepts; and suggestions for further reading are included at the end of each chapter. However, this is a textbook that doesn't feel like a textbook because it captures the historical drama of changes in how science has been conceived over the last one hundred years.
Like no other text in this field, Theory and Reality combines a survey of recent history of the philosophy of science with current key debates in language that any beginning scholar or critical reader can follow.
The Theory of Ecology
Edited by Samuel M. Scheiner and Michael R. Willig University of Chicago Press, 2011 Library of Congress QH540.5.T47 2011 | Dewey Decimal 577.01
Despite claims to the contrary, the science of ecology has a long history of building theories. Many ecological theories are mathematical, computational, or statistical, though, and rarely have attempts been made to organize or extrapolate these models into broader theories. The Theory of Ecology brings together some of the most respected and creative theoretical ecologists of this era to advance a comprehensive, conceptual articulation of ecological theories. The contributors cover a wide range of topics, from ecological niche theory to population dynamic theory to island biogeography theory. Collectively, the chapters ably demonstrate how theory in ecology accounts for observations about the natural world and how models provide predictive understandings. It organizes these models into constitutive domains that highlight the strengths and weaknesses of ecological understanding. This book is a milestone in ecological theory and is certain to motivate future empirical and theoretical work in one of the most exciting and active domains of the life sciences.
Darwin’s nineteenth-century writings laid the foundations for modern studies of evolution, and theoretical developments in the mid-twentieth century fostered the Modern Synthesis. Since that time, a great deal of new biological knowledge has been generated, including details of the genetic code, lateral gene transfer, and developmental constraints. Our improved understanding of these and many other phenomena have been working their way into evolutionary theory, changing it and improving its correspondence with evolution in nature. And while the study of evolution is thriving both as a basic science to understand the world and in its applications in agriculture, medicine, and public health, the broad scope of evolution—operating across genes, whole organisms, clades, and ecosystems—presents a significant challenge for researchers seeking to integrate abundant new data and content into a general theory of evolution.
This book gives us that framework and synthesis for the twenty-first century. The Theory of Evolution presents a series of chapters by experts seeking this integration by addressing the current state of affairs across numerous fields within evolutionary biology, ranging from biogeography to multilevel selection, speciation, and macroevolutionary theory. By presenting current syntheses of evolution’s theoretical foundations and their growth in light of new datasets and analyses, this collection will enhance future research and understanding.
An incomparable reference for astrophysicists studying pulsars and other kinds of neutron stars, Theory of Neutron Star Magnetospheres sums up two decades of astrophysical research. It provides in one volume the most important findings to date on this topic, essential to astrophysicists faced with a huge and widely scattered literature.
F. Curtis Michel, who was among the first theorists to propose a neutron star model for radio pulsars, analyzes competing models of pulsars, radio emission models, winds and jets from pulsars, pulsating X-ray sources, gamma-ray burst sources, and other neutron-star driven phenomena. Although the book places primary emphasis on theoretical essentials, it also provides a considerable introduction to the observational data and its organization. Michel emphasizes the problems and uncertainties that have arisen in the research as well as the considerable progress that has been made to date.
When asked to compare the practice of medicine today to that of a hundred years ago, most people will respond with a story of therapeutic revolution: Back then we had few effective remedies, but now we have more (and more powerful) tools to fight disease, from antibiotics to psychotropics to steroids to anticancer agents.
This collection challenges the historical accuracy of this revolutionary narrative and offers instead a more nuanced account of the process of therapeutic innovation and the relationships between the development of medicines and social change. These assembled histories and ethnographies span three continents and use the lived experiences of physicians and patients, consumers and providers, and marketers and regulators to reveal the tensions between universal claims of therapeutic knowledge and the actual ways these claims have been used and understood in specific sites, from postwar West Germany pharmacies to twenty-first century Nigerian street markets. By asking us to rethink a story we thought we knew, Therapeutic Revolutions offers invaluable insights to historians, anthropologists, and social scientists of medicine.
"The book is a treasure trove of tidbits describing how the world around us came about. . . . Things Maps Don't Tell Us actually communicates a great deal about the things maps can tell us if we care to look carefully underneath the printed symbols."—James E. Young, Cartographic Perspectives
Emerging as a hot topic in the mid-twentieth century, causality is one of the most frequently discussed issues in contemporary philosophy. Causality has been a central concept in philosophy as well as in the sciences, especially the natural sciences, dating back to its beginning in Greek thought. David Hume famously claimed that causality is the cement of the universe. In general terms, it links eventualities, predicts the consequences of action, and is the cognitive basis for the acquisition and the use of categories and concepts in the child. Indeed, how could one answer why-questions, around which early rational thought begins to revolve, without hitting on the relationships between reason and consequence, cause and effect, or without drawing these distinctions? But a comprehensive definition of causality has been notoriously hard to provide, and virtually every aspect of causation has been subject to much debate and analysis.
Thinking about Causes brings together top philosophers from the United States and Europe to focus on causality as a major force in philosophical and scientific thought. Topics addressed include: ancient Stoicism and moral philosophy; the case of sacramental causality; traditional causal concepts in Descartes; Kant on transcendental laws; the influence of J. S. Mill's politics on his concept of causation; plurality in causality; causality in modern physics; causality in economics; and the concept of free will.
Taken together, the essays in this collection provide the best current thinking about causality, especially as it relates to the philosophy of science.
People form enduring emotional bonds with other animal species, such as dogs, cats, and horses. For the most part, these are domesticated animals, with one notable exception: many people form close and supportive relationships with parrots, even though these amusing and curious birds remain thoroughly wild creatures. What enables this unique group of animals to form social bonds with people, and what does this mean for their survival?
In Thinking like a Parrot, Alan B. Bond and Judy Diamond look beyond much of the standard work on captive parrots to the mischievous, inquisitive, and astonishingly vocal parrots of the wild. Focusing on the psychology and ecology of wild parrots, Bond and Diamond document their distinctive social behavior, sophisticated cognition, and extraordinary vocal abilities. Also included are short vignettes—field notes on the natural history and behavior of both rare and widely distributed species, from the neotropical crimson-fronted parakeet to New Zealand’s flightless, ground-dwelling kākāpō. This composite approach makes clear that the behavior of captive parrots is grounded in the birds’ wild ecology and evolution, revealing that parrots’ ability to bond with people is an evolutionary accident, a by-product of the intense sociality and flexible behavior that characterize their lives.
Despite their adaptability and intelligence, however, nearly all large parrot species are rare, threatened, or endangered. To successfully manage and restore these wild populations, Bond and Diamond argue, we must develop a fuller understanding of their biology and the complex set of ecological and behavioral traits that has led to their vulnerability. Spanning the global distribution of parrot species, Thinking like a Parrot is rich with surprising insights into parrot intelligence, flexibility, and—even in the face of threats—resilience.
Everybody can be a thinking person when it comes to climate change, and this book is a perfect roadmap. Start a web search for “climate change” and the first three suggestions are “facts,” “news,” and “hoax.” The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change is rooted in the first, up to date on the second, and anything but the last. Produced by one of the most venerable atmospheric science organizations, it is a must-read for anyone looking for the full story on climate change.
Using global research and written with nonscientists in mind, the Guide breaks down the issues into straightforward categories: “Symptoms” covers signs such as melting ice and extreme weather, while “Science” lays out what we know and how we figured it out. “Debates” tackles the controversy and politics, while “Solutions” and “Actions” discuss what we can do as individuals and communities to create the best possible future. Full-color illustrations offer explanations of everything from how the greenhouse effect traps heat to which activities in everyday life emit the most carbon. Special-feature boxes zoom in on locations across the globe already experiencing the effects of a shifting climate.
The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change combines years of data with recent research, including conclusions from the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This reference provides the most comprehensive, yet accessible, overview of where climate science stands today, acknowledging controversies but standing strong in its stance that the climate is changing— and something needs to be done.
The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change is a full update and revision of Robert Henson’s The Rough Guide to Climate Change and is now published through the American Meteorological Society, with distribution through University of Chicago Press.
Everybody can be a thinking person when it comes to climate change, and this book is a perfect roadmap. Start a web search for “climate change” and the first three suggestions are “facts,” “news,” and “hoax.” The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change is rooted in the first, up to date on the second, and anything but the last. Produced by one of the most venerable atmospheric science organizations, it is a must-read for anyone looking for the full story on climate change.
Using global research and written with nonscientists in mind, the Guide breaks down the issues into straightforward categories: “Symptoms” covers signs such as melting ice and extreme weather, while “Science” lays out what we know and how we figured it out. “Debates” tackles the controversy and politics, while “Solutions” and “Actions” discuss what we can do as individuals and communities to create the best possible future. Full-color illustrations offer explanations of everything from how the greenhouse effect traps heat to which activities in everyday life emit the most carbon. Special-feature boxes zoom in on locations across the globe already experiencing the effects of a shifting climate.
The new edition of The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change has been thoroughly updated, including content on new global record highs, new research across the spectrum, and the Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse gases. This reference provides the most comprehensive, yet accessible, overview of where climate science stands today, acknowledging controversies but standing strong in its stance that the climate is changing—and something needs to be done.
Does science aim at providing an account of the world that is literally true or objectively true? Understanding the difference requires paying close attention to metaphor and its role in science. In The Third Lens, Andrew S. Reynolds argues that metaphors, like microscopes and other instruments, are a vital tool in the construction of scientific knowledge and explanations of how the world works. More than just rhetorical devices for conveying difficult ideas, metaphors provide the conceptual means with which scientists interpret and intervene in the world.
Reynolds here investigates the role of metaphors in the creation of scientific concepts, theories, and explanations, using cell theory as his primary case study. He explores the history of key metaphors that have informed the field and the experimental, philosophical, and social circumstances under which they have emerged, risen in popularity, and in some cases faded from view. How we think of cells—as chambers, organisms, or even machines—makes a difference to scientific practice. Consequently, an accurate picture of how scientific knowledge is made requires us to understand how the metaphors scientists use—and the social values that often surreptitiously accompany them—influence our understanding of the world, and, ultimately, of ourselves.
The influence of metaphor isn’t limited to how we think about cells or proteins: in some cases they can even lead to real material change in the very nature of the thing in question, as scientists use technology to alter the reality to fit the metaphor. Drawing out the implications of science’s reliance upon metaphor, The Third Lens will be of interest to anyone working in the areas of history and philosophy of science, science studies, cell and molecular biology, science education and communication, and metaphor in general.
Steven Weinberg Harvard University Press, 2018 Library of Congress Q171.W418 2018 | Dewey Decimal 500
One of the world’s most captivating scientists challenges us to think about nature’s foundations and the entanglement of science and society. Steven Weinberg, author of The First Three Minutes, offers his views on fascinating aspects of physics and the universe, but does not seclude science behind disciplinary walls, or shy away from politics.
Thus far, the dominant paradigms through which modern scientists have viewed nature have been structured primarily around Newtonian and Darwinian approaches. As theoretical ecologist Robert E. Ulanowicz observes in his new work, A Third Window, neither of these models is sufficient for explaining how real change—in the form of creative advance or emergence—takes place in nature.
The metaphysical foundations laid by these great thinkers centuries ago are ill suited to sustain today's search for a comprehensive description of complex living systems. Ecosystem dynamics, for example, violate each and every one of the Newtonian presuppositions. Hence, Ulanowicz offers his titular "third window"—a new way of understanding evolution and other natural processes beyond the common mechanistic or materialistic philosophies of nature. Drawing on the writings of Walter Elsasser, Karl Popper, Gregory Bateson, Robert Rosen, and Alfred North Whitehead, as well as his own experience as a theoretical ecologist, Ulanowicz offers a new set of axioms for how nature behaves. Chance and disarray in natural processes are shown to be necessary conditions for real change. Randomness is shown to contribute richness and autonomy to the natural world.
The metaphysical implications of these new axioms will lend A Third Window a wide appeal not only among scientists, but also among philosophers, theologians, and general readers who follow the science and religion dialogue. Ulanowicz's fresh perspective adds a new voice to the discussion.
Field biology is enjoying a resurgence due to several factors, the most important being the realization that there is no ecology, no conservation, and no ecosystem restoration without an understanding of the basic relationships between species and their environments—an understanding gleaned only through field-based natural history. With this resurgence, modern field biologists find themselves asking fundamental existential questions such as: Where did we come from? What is our story? Are we part of a larger legacy? In This Land Is Your Land, seasoned field biologist Michael J. Lannoo answers these questions and more in a tale rooted in the people and institutions of the Midwest. It is a story told from the ground up, a rubber boot–based natural history of field biology in America.
Lannoo illuminates characters such as John Wesley Powell, William Temple Hornaday, and Olaus and Adolph Murie—homegrown midwestern field biologists who either headed east to populate major research centers or went west to conduct their fieldwork along the frontier. From the pioneering work of Victor Shelford, Henry Chandler Cowles, and Aldo Leopold to contemporary insights from biologists such as Jim Furnish and historians such as William Cronon, Lannoo’s unearthing of American—and particularly midwestern—field biologists reveals how these scientists influenced American ecology, conservation biology, and restoration ecology, and in turn drove global conservation efforts through environmental legislation and land set-asides. This Land Is Your Land reveals the little-known legacy of midwestern field biologists, whose ethos and discoveries have enabled us to preserve and understand not just their land, but all lands.
“The American people sees itself advance across the wilderness, draining swamps, straightening rivers, peopling the solitude, and subduing nature,” wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in 1835. That’s largely how we still think of nineteenth-century America today: a country expanding unstoppably, bending the continent’s natural bounty to the national will, heedless of consequence. A country of slavery and of Indian wars. There’s much truth in that vision.
But if you know where to look, you can uncover a different history, one of vibrant resistance, one that’s been mostly forgotten. This Radical Land recovers that story. Daegan Miller is our guide on a beautifully written, revelatory trip across the continent during which we encounter radical thinkers, settlers, and artists who grounded their ideas of freedom, justice, and progress in the very landscapes around them, even as the runaway engine of capitalism sought to steamroll everything in its path. Here we meet Thoreau, the expert surveyor, drawing anticapitalist property maps. We visit a black antislavery community in the Adirondack wilderness of upstate New York. We discover how seemingly commercial photographs of the transcontinental railroad secretly sent subversive messages, and how a band of utopian anarchists among California’s sequoias imagined a greener, freer future. At every turn, everyday radicals looked to landscape for the language of their dissent—drawing crucial early links between the environment and social justice, links we’re still struggling to strengthen today.
Working in a tradition that stretches from Thoreau to Rebecca Solnit, Miller offers nothing less than a new way of seeing the American past—and of understanding what it can offer us for the present . . . and the future.
Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is one of the best known and most influential books of the twentieth century. Whether they adore or revile him, critics and fans alike have tended to agree on one thing: Kuhn's ideas were revolutionary. But were they?
Steve Fuller argues that Kuhn actually held a profoundly conservative view of science and how one ought to study its history. Early on, Kuhn came under the influence of Harvard President James Bryant Conant (to whom Structure is dedicated), who had developed an educational program intended to help deflect Cold War unease over science's uncertain future by focusing on its illustrious past. Fuller argues that this rhetoric made its way into Structure, which Fuller sees as preserving and reinforcing the old view that science really is just a steady accumulation of truths about the world (once "paradigm shifts" are resolved).
Fuller suggests that Kuhn, deliberately or not, shared the tendency in Western culture to conceal possible negative effects of new knowledge from the general public. Because it insists on a difference between a history of science for scientists and one suited to historians, Fuller charges that Structure created the awkward divide that has led directly to the "Science Wars" and has stifled much innovative research. In conclusion, Fuller offers a way forward that rejects Kuhn's fixation on paradigms in favor of a conception of science as a social movement designed to empower society's traditionally disenfranchised elements.
Certain to be controversial, Thomas Kuhn must be read by anyone who has adopted, challenged, or otherwise engaged with The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
"Structure will never look quite the same again after Fuller. In that sense, he has achieved one of the main aims of his ambitious and impressively executed project."—Jon Turney, Times Higher Education Supplement
"Philosophies like Kuhn's narrow the possible futures of inquiry by politically methodizing and taming them. More republican philosophies will leave the future open. Mr. Fuller has amply succeeded in his program of distinguishing the one from the other."—William R. Everdell, Washington Times
David R. Foster Harvard University Press, 1999 Library of Congress PS3053.F66 1999 | Dewey Decimal 818.309
In 1977 David Foster took to the woods of New England to build a cabin with his own hands. Along with a few tools he brought a copy of the journals of Henry David Thoreau. Foster was struck by how different the forested landscape around him was from the one Thoreau described more than a century earlier. The sights and sounds that Thoreau experienced on his daily walks through nineteenth-century Concord were those of rolling farmland, small woodlands, and farmers endlessly working the land. As Foster explored the New England landscape, he discovered ancient ruins of cellar holes, stone walls, and abandoned cartways--all remnants of this earlier land now largely covered by forest. How had Thoreau's open countryside, shaped by ax and plough, divided by fences and laneways, become a forested landscape?
Part ecological and historical puzzle, this book brings a vanished countryside to life in all its dimensions, human and natural, offering a rich record of human imprint upon the land. Extensive excerpts from the journals show us, through the vividly recorded details of daily life, a Thoreau intimately acquainted with the ways in which he and his neighbors were changing and remaking the New England landscape. Foster adds the perspective of a modern forest ecologist and landscape historian, using the journals to trace themes of historical and social change.
Thoreau's journals evoke not a wilderness retreat but the emotions and natural history that come from an old and humanized landscape. It is with a new understanding of the human role in shaping that landscape, Foster argues, that we can best prepare ourselves to appreciate and conserve it today.
From the journal:
"I have collected and split up now quite a pile of driftwood--rails and riders and stems and stumps of trees--perhaps half or three quarters of a tree...Each stick I deal with has a history, and I read it as I am handling it, and, last of all, I remember my adventures in getting it, while it is burning in the winter evening. That is the most interesting part of its history. It has made part of a fence or a bridge, perchance, or has been rooted out of a clearing and bears the marks of fire on it...Thus one half of the value of my wood is enjoyed before it is housed, and the other half is equal to the whole value of an equal quantity of the wood which I buy."
--October 20, 1855
One of America’s most influential social critics, Thorstein Veblen authored works deeply rooted in evolutionary biology and American philosophical naturalism—both of which help explain his institutional economics and radical sociology. Now, one of today’s preeminent Veblen scholars ranges widely over the man’s writings to show how evolutionary naturalism underlies his social theory and criticism, shapes his satire, and binds his work together.
Rick Tilman’s study focuses on the intersections of social theory and social psychology, political economy and political theory, and modern philosophy and intellectual history in Veblen’s thinking. It links evolutionary naturalism for the first time to Veblen’s aesthetics, secular humanism, sociology of control, sociobiology, and sociology of knowledge, and it makes groundbreaking observations regarding the relationship of Veblen’s own life to his thinking; his place as a cultural lag theorist; and his analysis of sports, gambling, and religion.
Drawing on textual exegesis of Veblen’s work, unpublished correspondence, and selected archives, Tilman argues that only evolutionary naturalism could provide the philosophical foundations of Veblen’s thought. He also emphasizes Veblen’s role in the enhancement and embellishment of the social sciences and cultural studies, as well as his insights into the processes of change in the sociopolitical order.
Veblen’s evolutionary naturalism, with its unflattering evaluation of America’s self-selected special place in the international arena, casts doubt on today’s foreign interventions, and it also provides a much-needed antidote to the resurgence of creationist thought in American culture. Tilman shows that Veblen’s ideas are still valuable to contemporary social scientists—indeed, that his method of analysis and values are sorely needed to help us avoid wasteful consumption, predation, and the persistence of religious superstition. This work offers readers a new appreciation of Veblen and the many issues he addressed, and of Tilman’s own masterful facility in bringing them to light.
What does a chessmaster think when he prepartes his next move? How are his thoughts organized? Which methods and strategies does he use by solving his problem of choice? To answer these questions, the author did an experimental study in 1938, to which famous chessmasters participated (Alekhine, Max Euwe and Flohr). This book is still usefull for everybody who studies cognition and artificial intelligence.
How should we think about the “shape” of human history since the birth of cities, and where are we headed? Sociologist and historian John Torpey proposes that the “Axial Age” of the first millennium BCE, when some of the world’s major religious and intellectual developments first emerged, was only one of three such decisive periods that can be used to directly affect present social problems, from economic inequality to ecological destruction.
Torpey’s argument advances the idea that there are in fact three “Axial Ages,” instead of one original Axial Age and several subsequent, smaller developments. Each of the three ages contributed decisively to how humanity lives, and the difficulties it faces. The earliest, or original, Axial Age was a moral one; the second was material, and revolved around the creation and use of physical objects; and the third is chiefly mental, and focused on the technological. While there are profound risks and challenges, Torpey shows how a worldview that combines the strengths of all three ages has the potential to usher in a period of exceptional human freedom and possibility.
If scientists can’t touch the Sun, how do they know what it’s made of? And if we can’t see black holes, how can we be confident they exist? Gravitational physicist David Garfinkle and his brother, science fiction writer Richard Garfinkle, tackle these questions and more in Three Steps to the Universe, a tour through some of the most complex phenomena in the cosmos and an accessible exploration of how scientists acquire knowledge about the universe through observation, indirect detection, and theory.
The authors begin by inviting readers to step away from the Earth and reconsider our Sun. What we can directly observe of this star is limited to its surface, but with the advent of telescopes and spectroscopy, scientists know more than ever about its physical characteristics, origins, and projected lifetime. From the Sun, the authors journey further out into space to explore black holes. The Garfinkle brothers explain that our understanding of these astronomical oddities began in theory, and growing mathematical and physical evidence has unexpectedly supported it. From black holes, the authors lead us further into the unknown, to the dark matter and energy that pervade our universe, where science teeters on the edge of theory and discovery. Returning from the depths of space, the final section of the book brings the reader back down to Earth for a final look at the practice of science, ending with a practical guide to discerning real science from pseudoscience among the cacophony of print and online scientific sources.
Three Steps to the Universe will reward anyone interested in learning more about the universe around us and shows how scientists uncover its mysteries.
If the twentieth century saw the rise of “Big Science,” then the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were surely an age of thrift. As Simon Werrett’s new history shows, frugal early modern experimenters transformed their homes into laboratories as they recycled, repurposed, repaired, and reused their material possessions to learn about the natural world.
Thrifty Science explores this distinctive culture of experiment and demonstrates how the values of the household helped to shape an array of experimental inquiries, ranging from esoteric investigations of glowworms and sour beer to famous experiments such as Benjamin Franklin’s use of a kite to show lightning was electrical and Isaac Newton’s investigations of color using prisms. Tracing the diverse ways that men and women put their material possessions into the service of experiment, Werrett offers a history of practices of recycling and repurposing that are often assumed to be more recent in origin. This thriving domestic culture of inquiry was eclipsed by new forms of experimental culture in the nineteenth century, however, culminating in the resource-hungry science of the twentieth. Could thrifty science be making a comeback today, as scientists grapple with the need to make their research more environmentally sustainable?
Tibetan Buddhism and Modern Physics: Toward a Union of Love and Knowledge addresses the complex issues of dialogue and collaboration between Buddhism and science, revealing connections and differences between the two. While assuming no technical background in Buddhism or physics, this book strongly responds to the Dalai Lama’s “heartfelt plea” for genuine collaboration between science and Buddhism. The Dalai Lama has written a foreword to the book and the Office of His Holiness will translate it into both Chinese and Tibetan.
In a clear and engaging way, this book shows how the principle of emptiness, the philosophic heart of Tibetan Buddhism, connects intimately to quantum nonlocality and other foundational features of quantum mechanics. Detailed connections between emptiness, modern relativity, and the nature of time are also explored. For Tibetan Buddhists, the profound interconnectedness implied by emptiness demands the practice of universal compassion. Because of the powerful connections between emptiness and modern physics, the book argues that the interconnected worldview of modern physics also encourages universal compassion. Along with these harmonies, the book explores a significant conflict between quantum mechanics and Tibetan Buddhism concerning the role of causality.
The book concludes with a response to the question: "How does this expedition through the heart of modern physics and Tibetan Buddhism—from quantum mechanics, relativity, and cosmology, to emptiness, compassion, and disintegratedness—apply to today's painfully polarized world?" Despite differences and questions raised, the book's central message is that there is a solid basis for uniting these worldviews. From this basis, the message of universal compassion can accompany the spread of the scientific worldview, stimulating compassionate action in the light of deep understanding—a true union of love and knowledge.
Tibetan Buddhism and Modern Physics will appeal to a broad audience that includes general readers and undergraduate and graduate students in science and religion courses.
Many coastal tidal marshes have been significantly degraded by roadways and other projects that restrict tidal flows, limiting their ability to provide vital ecosystem services including support of fish and wildlife populations, flood protection, water quality maintenance, and open space.
Tidal Marsh Restoration provides the scientific foundation and practical guidance necessary for coastal zone stewards to initiate salt marsh tidal restoration programs. The book compiles, synthesizes, and interprets the current state of knowledge on the science and practice of salt marsh restoration, bringing together leaders across a range of disciplines in the sciences (hydrology, soils, vegetation, zoology), engineering (hydraulics, modeling), and public policy, with coastal managers who offer an abundance of practical insight and guidance on the development of programs.
The work presents in-depth information from New England and Atlantic Canada, where the practice of restoring tidal flow to salt marshes has been ongoing for decades, and shows how that experience can inform restoration efforts around the world. Students and researchers involved in restoration science will find the technical syntheses, presentation of new concepts, and identification of research needs to be especially useful as they formulate research and monitoring questions, and interpret research findings.
Tidal Marsh Restoration is an essential work for managers, planners, regulators, environmental and engineering consultants, and others engaged in planning, designing, and implementing projects or programs aimed at restoring tidal flow to tide-restricted or diked salt marshes.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, the British sought to master the physical properties of the oceans; in the second half, they lorded over large portions of the oceans’ outer rim. The dominance of Her Majesty’s navy was due in no small part to collaboration between the British Admiralty, the maritime community, and the scientific elite. Together, they transformed the vast emptiness of the ocean into an ordered and bounded grid. In the process, the modern scientist emerged. Science itself expanded from a limited and local undertaking receiving parsimonious state support to worldwide and relatively well financed research involving a hierarchy of practitioners.
Analyzing the economic, political, social, and scientific changes on which the British sailed to power, Tides of History shows how the British Admiralty collaborated closely not only with scholars, such as William Whewell, but also with the maritime community —sailors, local tide table makers, dockyard officials, and harbormasters—in order to systematize knowledge of the world’s oceans, coasts, ports, and estuaries. As Michael S. Reidy points out, Britain’s security and prosperity as a maritime nation depended on its ability to maneuver through the oceans and dominate coasts and channels. The practice of science and the rise of the scientist became inextricably linked to the process of European expansion.
In parts of Korea and China, moon bears, black but for the crescent-shaped patch of white on their chests, are captured in the wild and brought to "bear farms" where they are imprisoned in squeeze cages, and a steel catheter is inserted into their gall bladders. The dripping bile is collected as a cure for ailments ranging from an upset stomach to skin burns. The bear may live as long as fifteen years in this state. Rhinos are being illegally poached for their horns, as are tigers for their bones, thought to improve virility. Booming economies and growing wealth in parts of Asia are increasing demand for these precious medicinals. Already endangered species are being sacrificed for temporary treatments for nausea and erectile dysfunction.
Richard Ellis, one of the world's foremost experts in wildlife extinction, brings his alarm to the pages of Tiger Bone & Rhino Horn, in the hope that through an exposure of this drug trade, something can be done to save the animals most direly threatened. Trade in animal parts for traditional Chinese medicine is a leading cause of species endangerment in Asia, and poaching is increasing at an alarming rate. Most of traditional Chinese medicine relies on herbs and other plants, and is not a cause for concern. Ellis illuminates those aspects of traditional medicine, but as wildlife habitats are shrinking for the hunted large species, the situation is becoming ever more critical.
One hundred years ago, there were probably 100,000 tigers in India, South China, Sumatra, Bali, Java, and the Russian Far East. The South Chinese, Caspian, Balinese, and Javan species are extinct. There are now fewer than 5,000 tigers in all of India, and the numbers are dropping fast. There are five species of rhinoceros--three in Asia and two in Africa--and all have been hunted to near extinction so their horns can be ground into powder, not for aphrodisiacs, as commonly thought, but for ailments ranging from arthritis to depression. In 1930, there were 80,000 black rhinos in Africa. Now there are fewer than 2,500.
Tigers, bears, and rhinos are not the only animals pursued for the sake of alleviating human ills--the list includes musk deer, sharks, saiga antelope, seahorses, porcupines, monkeys, beavers, and sea lions--but the dwindling numbers of those rare species call us to attention. Ellis tells us what has been done successfully, and contemplates what can and must be done to save these animals or, sadly, our children will witness the extinction of tigers, rhinos, and moon bears in their lifetime.
Today, small populations of timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) quietly inhabit parts of Rutland County in Vermont, and Warren, Washington, and Essex counties in New York. Because the species is endangered, the exact locations of established dens in this area are a closely guarded secret. Insider, naturalist, and author Jon Furman has devoted years to the study of the snake’s past and present range, its habitat and biology, the period in Vermont and upstate New York history during which timber rattlesnakes were ruthlessly hunted for a bounty, and the outlook for this severely threatened species in both states. Soundly anchored in the latest scientific data, Furman proffers an accessible and engaging account of contemporary fieldwork and first-person interviews with herpetologists and old-time bounty hunters. For expert and lay readers interested in snakes and reptiles, northeastern fauna and natural history, conservation, and endangered species, this volume clearly explicates the timber rattlesnake’s biology as well as what happens and what to do when one bites. It also explores the troubling decline of the northeastern population caused by bounty hunting between the 1890s and the early 1970s, other past and present threats to the species’ survival, and what measures are being taken—and additional ones that must be taken—to ensure that timber rattlesnakes survive and thrive in the northeast. Historical and contemporary illustrations bring these reptiles and their world to life. Timber Rattlesnakes in Vermont & New York shines a new light on a maligned and misunderstood species.
What is time? Is there a link between objective knowledge about time and subjective experience of time? And what is eternity? Does religion have the answer? Does science?
Internationally known scholar Antje Jackelén investigates the problem and concept of time. Her study draws on her experiences in the Continental-European science and religion dialogue, with a particular focus on the German, Scandinavian, and Anglo-American dialogues. Her analysis of the subject includes:
•The notion of time and eternity as it is narrated through Christian hymn books stemming from Germany, Sweden, and the English-speaking world, with insights into changes of the concept and understanding of time in Christian spirituality over the past few decades
•Theological approaches to time and eternity, as well as a look at Trinitarian theology and its relation to time
•The discussion of scientific theories of time, including Newtonian, relativistic, quantum, and chaos theories
•The formulation of a "theology of time," a theological-mathematical model incorporating relational thinking oriented toward the future, the doctrine of trinity, and the notion of eschatology
Time and Chance
David Z. ALBERT Harvard University Press, 2000 Library of Congress QC173.59.T53A43 2000 | Dewey Decimal 530.11
This book is an attempt to get to the bottom of an acute and perennial tension between our best scientific pictures of the fundamental physical structure of the world and our everyday empirical experience of it. The trouble is about the direction of time. The situation (very briefly) is that it is a consequence of almost every one of those fundamental scientific pictures--and that it is at the same time radically at odds with our common sense--that whatever can happen can just as naturally happen backwards.
Albert provides an unprecedentedly clear, lively, and systematic new account--in the context of a Newtonian-Mechanical picture of the world--of the ultimate origins of the statistical regularities we see around us, of the temporal irreversibility of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, of the asymmetries in our epistemic access to the past and the future, and of our conviction that by acting now we can affect the future but not the past. Then, in the final section of the book, he generalizes the Newtonian picture to the quantum-mechanical case and (most interestingly) suggests a very deep potential connection between the problem of the direction of time and the quantum-mechanical measurement problem.
The book aims to be both an original contribution to the present scientific and philosophical understanding of these matters at the most advanced level, and something in the nature of an elementary textbook on the subject accessible to interested high-school students.
Table of Contents:
1. Time-Reversal Invariance 2. Thermodynamics 3. Statistical Mechanics 4. The Reversibility Objections and the Past-Hypothesis 5. The Scope of Thermodynamics 6. The Asymmetries of Knowledge and Intervention 7. Quantum Mechanics Appendix: Gedankenexperiments with Heat Engines
Reviews of this book: The foundations of statistical mechanisms are often presented in physics textbooks in a rather obscure and confused way. By challenging common ways of thinking about this subject, Time and Chance can do quite a lot to improve this situation. --Jean Bricmont, Science
Albert is perfecting a style of foundational analysis that is uniquely his own...It has a surgical precision...and it is ruthless with pretensions. The foundations of thermodynamics is a topic that has accumulated a good deal of dead wood; this is a fire that will burn and burn. --Simon W. Saunders, Oxford University
As usual with Albert's work, the exposition is brisk and to the point, and exceptionally clear...The book will be an extremely valuable contribution to the literature on the subject of philosophical issues in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, a literature which has been thin on the ground but is now growing as it deserves to. --Lawrence Sklar, University of Michigan
Under Seleucid rule, time no longer restarted with each new monarch. Instead, progressively numbered years, identical to the system we use today, became the measure of historical duration. Paul Kosmin shows how this invention of a new kind of time—and resistance to it—transformed the way we organize our thoughts about the past, present, and future.
The U.S. Citizens Network prepared this guidebook to help American citizens and organizations understand and participate effectively in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), an unprecedented "Earth Summit," at which heads of state, individuals, and groups from around the world considered how to balance development pressures with an increasingly imperiled global environment.
"Time Maps extends beyond all of the old clichés about linear, circular, and spiral patterns of historical process and provides us with models of the actual legends used to map history. It is a brilliant and elegant exercise in model building that provides new insights into some of the old questions about philosophy of history, historical narrative, and what is called straight history."-Hayden White, University of California, Santa Cruz
Who were the first people to inhabit North America? Does the West Bank belong to the Arabs or the Jews? Why are racists so obsessed with origins? Is a seventh cousin still a cousin? Why do some societies name their children after dead ancestors?
As Eviatar Zerubavel demonstrates in Time Maps, we cannot answer burning questions such as these without a deeper understanding of how we envision the past. In a pioneering attempt to map the structure of our collective memory, Zerubavel considers the cognitive patterns we use to organize the past in our minds and the mental strategies that help us string together unrelated events into coherent and meaningful narratives, as well as the social grammar of battles over conflicting interpretations of history. Drawing on fascinating examples that range from Hiroshima to the Holocaust, from Columbus to Lucy, and from ancient Egypt to the former Yugoslavia, Zerubavel shows how we construct historical origins; how we tie discontinuous events together into stories; how we link families and entire nations through genealogies; and how we separate distinct historical periods from one another through watersheds, such as the invention of fire or the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Most people think the Roman Empire ended in 476, even though it lasted another 977 years in Byzantium. Challenging such conventional wisdom, Time Maps will be must reading for anyone interested in how the history of our world takes shape.
To see video demonstrations of key concepts from the book, please visit this website: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/sites/timewarp/
Sci-fi makes it look so easy. Receive a distress call from Alpha Centauri? No problem: punch the warp drive and you're there in minutes. Facing a catastrophe that can't be averted? Just pop back in the timestream and stop it before it starts. But for those of us not lucky enough to live in a science-fictional universe, are these ideas merely flights of fancy—or could it really be possible to travel through time or take shortcuts between stars?
Cutting-edge physics may not be able to answer those questions yet, but it does offer up some tantalizing possibilities. In Time Travel and Warp Drives, Allen Everett and Thomas A. Roman take readers on a clear, concise tour of our current understanding of the nature of time and space—and whether or not we might be able to bend them to our will. Using no math beyond high school algebra, the authors lay out an approachable explanation of Einstein's special relativity, then move through the fundamental differences between traveling forward and backward in time and the surprising theoretical connection between going back in time and traveling faster than the speed of light. They survey a variety of possible time machines and warp drives, including wormholes and warp bubbles, and, in a dizzyingly creative chapter, imagine the paradoxes that could plague a world where time travel was possible—killing your own grandfather is only one of them!
Written with a light touch and an irrepressible love of the fun of sci-fi scenarios—but firmly rooted in the most up-to-date science, Time Travel and Warp Drives will be a delightful discovery for any science buff or armchair chrononaut.
The Victorians, perhaps more than any Britons before them, were diggers and sifters of the past. Though they were not the first to be fascinated by history, the intensity and range of Victorian preoccupations with the past was unprecedented and of lasting importance. They paved the way for many of our modern disciplines, discovered the primeval monsters we now call the dinosaurs, and built many of Britain’s most important national museums and galleries. To a large degree, they created the perceptual frameworks through which we continue to understand the past.
Out of their discoveries, new histories emerged, giving rise to new debates, while seemingly well-known pasts were thrown into confusion by new tools and methods of scrutiny. If in the eighteenth century the study of the past had been the province of a handful of elites, new technologies and economic development in the nineteenth century meant that the past, in all its brilliant detail, was for the first time the property of the many, not the few. Time Travelers is a book about the myriad ways in which Victorians approached the past, offering a vivid new picture of the Victorian world and its historical obsessions.
Time Warps, String Edits and Macromolecules is a young classic in computational science. The computational perspective is that of sequence processing, in particular the problem of recognizing related sequences. The book is the first, and still best compilation of papers explaining how to measure distance between sequences, and how to compute that measure effectively. This is called string distance, Levenshtein distance, or edit distance. The book contains lucid explanations of the basic techniques; well-annotated examples of applications; mathematical analysis of its computational (algorithmic) complexity; and extensive discussion of the variants needed for weighted measures, timed sequences (songs), applications to continuous data, comparison of multiple sequences and extensions to tree-structures. This theory finds applications in molecular biology, speech recognition, analysis of bird song and error correcting in computer software.
The Tinkerer's Accomplice
J. Scott Turner Harvard University Press, 2007 Library of Congress QH375.T87 2007 | Dewey Decimal 576.82
Physiologist Scott Turner argues eloquently that the apparent design we see in the living world only makes sense when we add to Darwin's towering achievement the dimension that much modern molecular biology has left on the gene-splicing floor: the dynamic interaction between living organisms and their environment. Only when we add environmental physiology to natural selection can we begin to understand the beautiful fit between the form life takes and the way life works.
Controversial megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll proclaimed from a conference stage in 2013, “I know who made the environment and he’s coming back and going to burn it all up. So yes, I drive an SUV.” The comment, which Driscoll later explained away as a joke, highlights what has been a long history of religious anti-environmentalism. Given how firmly entrenched this sentiment has been, surprising inroads have been made by a new movement with few financial resources, which is deeply committed to promoting green religious traditions and creating a new environmental ethic.
To Care for Creation chronicles this movement and explains how it has emerged despite institutional and cultural barriers, as well as the hurdles posed by logic and practices that set religious environmental organizations apart from the secular movement. Ellingson takes a deep dive into the ways entrepreneurial activists tap into and improvise on a variety of theological, ethical, and symbolic traditions in order to issue a compelling call to arms that mobilizes religious audiences. Drawing on interviews with the leaders of more than sixty of these organizations, Ellingson deftly illustrates how activists borrow and rework resources from various traditions to create new meanings for religion, nature, and the religious person’s duty to the natural world.
When the national park system was first established in 1916, the goal "to conserve unimpaired" seemed straightforward. But Robert Keiter argues that parks have always served a variety of competing purposes, from wildlife protection and scientific discovery to tourism and commercial development. In this trenchant analysis, he explains how parks must be managed more effectively to meet increasing demands in the face of climate, environmental, and demographic changes.
Taking a topical approach, Keiter traces the history of the national park idea from its inception to its uncertain future. Thematic chapters explore our changing conceptions of the parks as wilderness sanctuaries, playgrounds, educational facilities, and more. He also examines key controversies that have shaped the parks and our perception of them.
Ultimately, Keiter demonstrates that parks cannot be treated as special islands, but must be managed as the critical cores of larger ecosystems. Only when the National Park Service works with surrounding areas can the parks meet critical habitat, large-scale connectivity, clean air and water needs, and also provide sanctuaries where people can experience nature. Today's mandate must remain to conserve unimpaired—but Keiter shows how the national park idea can and must go much farther.
Professionals, students, and scholars with an interest in environmental history, national parks, and federal land management, as well as scientists and managers working on adaptation to climate change should find the book useful and inspiring.
To Forgive Design
Henry Petroski Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress TA169.5.P48 2012 | Dewey Decimal 620.00452
When planes crash, bridges collapse, and automobile gas tanks explode, we are quick to blame poor design. But Petroski, known for his masterly explanations of engineering successes and failures, says we must look beyond design to the interdependency of people and machines within complex socioeconomic systems undreamt of by designers.
"A welcome contribution to the history of science in the South during the period since the Civil War. . . . By considering the academies in the larger context of scientific professionalism, South and North, Midgette has produced a surprisingly wide-ranging and informative study. This is overall a judicious and carefully researched work. The writing is straightforward and admirably clear, while the topic is effectively organized and presented. The book is a commendably original addition to local and regional history as well as history of American Science."
—Journal of American History
"Midgette’s study is thorough and well organized and should be consulted by anyone interested in American science and American higher education."
—Florida Historical Quarterly
Duhem's 1908 essay questions the relation between physical theory and metaphysics and, more specifically, between astronomy and physics–an issue still of importance today. He critiques the answers given by Greek thought, Arabic science, medieval Christian scholasticism, and, finally, the astronomers of the Renaissance.
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • Winner of The New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award
A new classic of science reporting.”—The New York Times
The true story of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution, Toms River won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize and has been hailed by The New York Times as "a new classic of science reporting." Now available in paperback with a new afterword by acclaimed author Dan Fagin, the book masterfully blends hard-hitting investigative journalism, scientific discovery, and unforgettable characters.
One of New Jersey’s seemingly innumerable quiet seaside towns, Toms River became the unlikely setting for a decades-long drama that culminated in 2001 with one of the largest environmental legal settlements in history. For years, large chemical companies had been using Toms River as their private dumping ground, burying tens of thousands of leaky drums in open pits and discharging billions of gallons of acid-laced wastewater into the town’s namesake river. The result was a notorious cluster of childhood cancers scientifically linked to local air and water pollution.
Fagin recounts the sixty-year saga of rampant pollution and inadequate oversight that made Toms River a cautionary tale. He brings to life the pioneering scientists and physicians who first identified pollutants as a cause of cancer and the everyday people in Toms River who struggled for justice: a young boy whose cherubic smile belied the fast-growing tumors that had decimated his body from birth; a nurse who fought to bring the alarming incidence of childhood cancers to the attention of authorities who didn’t want to listen; and a mother whose love for her stricken child transformed her into a tenacious advocate for change.
Rooted in a centuries-old scientific quest, Toms River is an epic of dumpers at midnight and deceptions in broad daylight, of corporate avarice and government neglect, and of a few brave individuals who refused to keep silent until the truth was exposed.
In Topics in the Foundations of General Relativity and Newtonian Gravitation Theory, David B. Malament presents the basic logical-mathematical structure of general relativity and considers a number of special topics concerning the foundations of general relativity and its relation to Newtonian gravitation theory. These special topics include the geometrized formulation of Newtonian theory (also known as Newton-Cartan theory), the concept of rotation in general relativity, and Gödel spacetime. One of the highlights of the book is a no-go theorem that can be understood to show that there is no criterion of orbital rotation in general relativity that fully answers to our classical intuitions. Topics is intended for both students and researchers in mathematical physics and philosophy of science.