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The Common Sense of Science [NOOK Book]

Overview


Jacob Bronowski was, with Kenneth Clarke, the greatest popularizer of serious ideas in Britain between the mid 1950s and the early 1970s. Trained as a mathematician, he was equally at home with painting and physics, and wrote a series of brilliant books that tried to break down the barriers between 'the two cultures'. He denounced 'the destructive modern prejudice that art and science are different and somehow incompatible interests'. He wrote a fine book on William Blake while...

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The Common Sense of Science

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Overview


Jacob Bronowski was, with Kenneth Clarke, the greatest popularizer of serious ideas in Britain between the mid 1950s and the early 1970s. Trained as a mathematician, he was equally at home with painting and physics, and wrote a series of brilliant books that tried to break down the barriers between 'the two cultures'. He denounced 'the destructive modern prejudice that art and science are different and somehow incompatible interests'. He wrote a fine book on William Blake while running the National Coal Board's research establishment.

The Common Sense of Science, first published in 1951, is a vivid attempt to explain in ordinary language how science is done and how scientists think. He isolates three creative ideas that have been central to science: the idea of order, the idea of causes and the idea of chance. For Bronowski, these were common-sense ideas that became immensely powerful and productive when applied to a vision of the world that broke with the medieval notion of a world of things ordered according to their ideal natures. Instead, Galileo, Huyghens and Newton and their contemporaries imagined 'a world of events running in a steady mechanism of before and after'. We are still living with the consequences of this search for order and causality within the facts that the world presents to us.

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Editorial Reviews

Scientific American
This sensitive, searching book is concerned with the nature of science and the relation of its central creative ideas to other human activities…[The Common Sense of Science], like a fine glass of brandy, is a rich and satisfying distillment.
The Humanist
[Dr.Bronowski] has packed more thought, more idealism, and more uncommon sense then have probably ever before appeared between book covers in anywhere near so small a compass. The Common Sense of Science is at once a brief history of science from the time of Isaac Newton to the time of Albert Einstein; a guide to the relation of science (pure as well as applied) to our thinking, our ordinary lives, and ourselves; and a moving appeal for mutual understanding between science and general culture.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780571286942
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber
  • Publication date: 12/15/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • File size: 235 KB

Table of Contents

1. Science and Sensibility

2. The Scientific Revolution and the Machine

3. Isaac Newton's Model

4. The Eighteenth Century and the Idea of Order

5. The Nineteenth Century and the Idea of Causes

6. The Idea of Chance

7. The Common Sense of Science

8. Truth and Value

9. Science, the Destroyer or Creator

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