Reason in Revolt: Dialectical Philosophy and Modern Science

Overview

The dialectical materialism of Marx is not only a useful philosophical method for understanding the processes of society, but is also a powerful tool for the assessment of the scientific method, according to Marxists Grant and Woods. . . . They explain the philosophical basis of dialectical materialism and defend its practice using examples from current work in formal logic and physics. They suggest that just as science provides confirmation of dialectical materialism, so dialectical materialism helps demonstrate...
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Overview

The dialectical materialism of Marx is not only a useful philosophical method for understanding the processes of society, but is also a powerful tool for the assessment of the scientific method, according to Marxists Grant and Woods. . . . They explain the philosophical basis of dialectical materialism and defend its practice using examples from current work in formal logic and physics. They suggest that just as science provides confirmation of dialectical materialism, so dialectical materialism helps demonstrate where science has lost its way. They are especially critical of the injection of mysticism into current works of theoretical physics.Book News
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780875861586
  • Publisher: Algora Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Author's Preface to the North American Edition 1
Marxism and the United States 1
The Importance of Dialectics 2
Marxism and Religion 4
The Big Bang 5
Marxism and the Future 7
Authors' Foreword 11
Engels' Role 12
Part 1 Reason and Unreason 15
1. Introduction 15
Lag in Consciousness 16
"Reason Becomes Unreason" 19
Science and the Crisis of Society 22
2. Philosophy and Religion 25
Do We Need Philosophy? 25
Role of Religion 27
Division of Labor 32
Materialism and Idealism 35
3. Dialectical Materialism 39
What is Dialectics? 39
"Everything Flows" 41
Quantity and Quality 43
Mendeleyev's Periodic Table 46
Phase Transitions 49
The Electromagnetic Spectrum 51
Order Out of Chaos 51
Whole and Part 54
Complex Organisms 56
The Molecular Process of Revolution 59
The Unity and Interpenetration of Opposites 61
Positive and Negative 63
Nuclear Fission 65
Polar Opposites? 66
Attraction and Repulsion 68
The Dialectics of Capital 73
4. Formal Logic and Dialectics 77
What is a Syllogism? 81
Does Logic Teach How to Think? 84
Limits of the Law of Identity 85
Logic and the Subatomic World 91
Modern Logic 93
Notes Part One 97
Part 2 Time, Space and Motion 99
5. Revolution in Physics 99
Waves or Particles? 100
Quantum Mechanics 102
Disappearance of Matter? 103
"Bricks of Matter"? 105
6. Uncertainty and Idealism 107
The Uncertainty Principle 107
Objectivity Versus Subjectivism 111
Causality and Chance 114
Mechanism 117
The 19th Century 119
Is Prediction Possible? 123
Hegel on Necessity and Accident 125
Determinism and Chaos 129
Marxism and Freedom 132
7. Relativity Theory 134
What is Time? 134
Time and Philosophy 138
Newton and Hegel 140
Relativity 143
The General Theory of Relativity 146
Relations Between Things 149
The Measurement of Time 152
Problem Not Resolved 155
Idealist Interpretations 157
Mach and Positivism 160
Boltzmann and Time 163
Relativity and Black Holes 167
8. The Arrow of Time 170
The Second Law of Thermodynamics 170
Order Out of Chaos 173
9. The Big Bang 177
Cosmology 177
The Doppler Effect 179
How the Theory Evolved 180
The "Inflation" Theory 183
Dark Matter? 184
The Neutrino to the Rescue! 187
Constant Headaches, or Hubble Trouble 191
This is the End 195
A "Plasma Universe"? 196
Einstein and the Big Bang 199
Neutron Stars 200
Stephen Hawking 203
Do Singularities Exist? 207
An Empty Abstraction 211
Thoughts in a Vacuum 215
The Origins of the Solar System 219
Notes Part Two 223
Appendix I 225
What the Human Genome Means for Socialists 225
An Epoch-making Discovery 225
The Puzzle of the Missing Genes 226
"Race Has No Meaning in Science" 230
Creationism Exploded 232
Science and Dialectics 233
The Human Genome and Big Business 236
Limitless Possibilities 239
Appendix II 245
A Tribute to a Great Scientist, Stephen Jay Gould, Who Died on May 20, 2002 245
Bibliography 249
Glossary of Terms 253
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