Facing Up

Facing Up

by Steven Weinberg
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674011201

ISBN-13: 9780674011205

Pub. Date: 04/30/2003

Publisher: Harvard University Press

The New York Times’s James Glanz has called Steven Weinberg “perhaps the world’s most authoritative proponent of the idea that physics is hurtling toward a ‘final theory,’ a complete explanation of nature’s particles and forces that will endure as the bedrock of all science forevermore. He is also a powerful writer of…  See more details below

Overview

The New York Times’s James Glanz has called Steven Weinberg “perhaps the world’s most authoritative proponent of the idea that physics is hurtling toward a ‘final theory,’ a complete explanation of nature’s particles and forces that will endure as the bedrock of all science forevermore. He is also a powerful writer of prose that can illuminate—and sting… He recently received the Lewis Thomas Prize, awarded to the researcher who best embodies ‘the scientist as poet.’” Both the brilliant scientist and the provocative writer are fully present in this book as Weinberg pursues his principal passions, theoretical physics and a deeper understanding of the culture, philosophy, history, and politics of science.
Each of these essays, which span fifteen years, struggles in one way or another with the necessity of facing up to the discovery that the laws of nature are impersonal, with no hint of a special status for human beings. Defending the spirit of science against its cultural adversaries, these essays express a viewpoint that is reductionist, realist, and devoutly secular. Each is preceded by a new introduction that explains its provenance and, if necessary, brings it up to date. Together, they afford the general reader the unique pleasure of experiencing the superb sense, understanding, and knowledge of one of the most interesting and forceful scientific minds of our era.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674011205
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
04/30/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
300
Sales rank:
1,445,312
Product dimensions:
0.63(w) x 6.14(h) x 9.21(d)

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • 1. Science as a Liberal Art
  • 2. Newtonianism, Reductionism, and the Art of Congressional Testimony
  • 3. Newton’s Dream
  • 4. Confronting O’Brien
  • 5. The Heritage of Galileo
  • 6. Nature Itself
  • 7. The Boundaries of Scientific Knowledge
  • 8. The Methods of Science…and Those by Which We Live
  • 9. Night Thoughts of a Quantum Physicist
  • 10. Reductionism Redux
  • 11. Physics and History
  • 12. Sokal’s Hoax
  • 13. Science and Sokal’s Hoax: An Exchange
  • 14. Before the Big Bang
  • 15. Zionism and Its Adversaries
  • 16. The Red Camaro
  • 17. The Non-Revolution of Thomas Kuhn
  • 18. T.S. Kuhn’s Non-Revolution: An Exchange
  • 19. The Great Reduction: Physics in the Twentieth Century
  • 20. A Designer Universe?
  • 21. “A Designer Universe?”: An Exchange
  • 22. Five and a Half Utopias
  • 23. Looking for Peace in the Science Wars
  • Sources
  • Index

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