Facing Up: Science and Its Cultural Adversaries / Edition 1

Facing Up: Science and Its Cultural Adversaries / Edition 1

by Steven Weinberg
     
 

ISBN-10: 067400647X

ISBN-13: 9780674006478

Pub. Date: 10/28/2001

Publisher: Harvard University Press

In a recent New York Times profile, James Glanz remarked, "Steven Weinberg is 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

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Overview

In a recent New York Times profile, James Glanz remarked, "Steven Weinberg is 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:
9780674006478
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
10/28/2001
Pages:
306
Product dimensions:
6.39(w) x 9.49(h) x 1.09(d)

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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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