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Science Matters: Humanities as Complex Systems

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All earnest and honest human quests for knowledge are efforts to understand Nature, which includes both human and nonhuman systems, the objects of study in science. Thus, broadly speaking, all these quests are in the science domain. The methods and tools used may be diferent; for example, the literary people use mainly their bodily sensors and their brain as the information processor, while natural scientists may use, in addition, measuring instruments and computers. Yet, all these activities could be viewed in a unified perspective-they are scientific developments at varying stages of maturity and have a lot to learn from each other.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789812835932
  • Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/25/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface v

1 Science Matters: A Unified Perspective Lui Lam 1

1.1 Introduction 2

1.2 What Is Science? 3

1.3 The Origin and Nature of the Two Cultures 5

1.3.1 Emergence of the Two Cultures 6

1.3.2 The Gap Today 8

1.4 Demarcation According to Human and Nonhuman Systems 11

1.5 Simple and Complex Systems 16

1.5.1 What It Means to be Complex 16

1.5.2 Complex Systems 18

1.6 Science Matters 21

1.6.1 Motivation 22

1.6.2 Concept 22

1.6.3 An Example: Histophysics 23

1.7 Implications of Science Matters 25

1.7.1 Clearing up Confusion in Terminology 25

1.7.2 The Science Matters Standard 27

1.7.3 There Is Always the Reality Check 29

1.7.4 The Needham Question 31

1.8 Discussion and Conclusion 32

References 36

Part I Art and Culture

2 Culture Through Science: A New World of Images and Stories Paul Caro 41

2.1 The Science/Society Dialogue 41

2.2 The Media in between Science and Society 42

2.3 Lessons from History 47

References 50

3 Physiognomy in Science and Art: Properties of a Natural Body Inferred from Its Appearance Brigitte Hoppe 52

3.1 What Physiognomy Means and Its Methodological Aims 52

3.2 Works of Fine Art Based on a Physiognomic Interpretation 53

3.3 Physiognomy in Science 54

3.3.1 Early Roots of Physiognomic Practice 54

3.3.2 The Fundamental Treatise of Aristotle and Its Legacy 55

3.3.3 The Impact of Aristotelian Physiognomy in Natural Science 57

3.3.4 The Renewal of Physiognomy for Characterizing a Human Being 65

3.3.5 The Physiognomy of Vegetation Characterizing a Landscape 68

3.4 Conclusion 70

References 72

4 Has Neuroscience Any Theological Consequence? Alfredo Dinis 74

4.1 Neurotheology74

4.1.1 Religious Experience Is Individual and Private 78

4.1.2 Religious Experiences Are Basically Connected to Out-of-This-World Entities 80

4.1.3 Religious Experiences Are Basically Emotional and Positive 82

4.1.4 Causation and Correlation 83

4.2 Self, Soul and Human Immortality 84

4.3 Theological Consequences 85

References 87

5 SciComm, PopSci and The Real World Lui Lam 89

5.1 Introduction 89

5.2 Science Communication 90

5.3 A New Concept for Science Museums 99

5.3.1 Possible Misconceptions Imparted to the Visitors 100

5.3.2 A Simple Remedy 101

5.4 Science Popularization in China 101

5.4.1 The Importance of Popular-Science Books 102

5.4.2 Popular-Science Book Authors in China 103

5.4.3 Recommendations 104

5.5 Education Reform: A Personal Journey 106

5.6 The Real World 109

5.6.1 Course Description 109

5.6.2 The Outcome 113

5.7 Conclusion 114

Appendix 5.1 Popular-Science Books Selected in Classes 115

References 116

Part II Philosophy and History of Science

6 The Tripod of Science: Communication, Philosophy and Education Nigel Sanitt 121

6.1 Introduction 121

6.2 Change Is Part of Science 123

6.3 Apathy and Antipathy 125

6.4 Demarcation 126

6.5 Science Research 128

6.6 Black Holes 129

6.7 Communication 131

6.7.1 Language 131

6.7.2 Metaphor 132

6.7.3 Getting the Message Across 133

6.8 Conclusion 133

References 134

7 History and Philosophy of Science: Towards a New Epistemology Maria Burguete 136

7.1 Introduction 136

7.2 Perspectives of Science 138

7.3 History of Contemporary Chemistry 139

7.4 Paradigm Replacement 141

7.5 Philosophy of Chemistry 142

7.5.1 Transformation Reinforcement Provided by Improved Molecular Representation in Three Dimensions 143

7.5.2 Methodologies of Computational Chemistry Provided by Computer-Aided Ligand Design 144

7.6 A Case Study: Functional Selectivity 147

7.7 Philosophy of Science and Epistemology 151

7.8 Conclusion 152

References 154

8 Philosophy of Science and Chinese Sciences: The Multicultural View of Science and a Unified Ontological Perspective Bing Liu 155

8.1 Recent Debates on "Chinese Sciences" in China 155

8.2 The Multicultural View of Science 156

8.3 Lessons from the Study of Art and Science 158

8.4 An Ontological Perspective on the Multiple View of Science 160

References 164

9 Evolution of the Concept of Science Communication in China Da-Guang Li 165

9.1 Introduction 165

9.2 Late Qing Dynasty and the New Culture Movement Period (Late 19th Century to Early 20th Century) 166

9.3 Science Popularization by Science Organizations (1914-1949) 167

9.3.1 The Early Period 168

9.3.2 The Late Period 170

9.4 Science Popularization under the New Government of Modern China (1949-1994) 172

9.5 Boom of Science Popularization (1994-2006) 174

9.6 Conclusion 175

References 176

10 History of Science in Globalizing Time Dun Liu 177

10.1 Globalization Today and Globalization in History 177

10.2 History of Science as a Discipline and History of Science as Knowledge 179

10.3 History of Science in China 181

10.4 The Needham Question 185

10.5 The Snow Thesis and Conclusion 188

References 189

Part III Raising Scientific Level

11 Why Markets Are Moral Michael Shermer 193

11.1 The Neurochemistry of Trust 193

11.2 Gaming the Market 195

11.3 Trust and Trade 199

11.4 The Evolution of Trust and Trade 202

11.5 The Evolution of Fairness, or Why We Are Moral 204

References 205

12 Towards the Understanding of Human Dynamics Tao Zhou, Xiao-Pu Han and Bing-Hong Wang 207

12.1 Introduction 207

12.2 Non-Poisson Statistics of Human Dynamics 209

12.3 The Task-Driven Model 217

12.4 The Interest-Driven Model and Beyond 223

12.5 Discussion and Conclusion 228

References 230

13 Human History: A Science Matter Lui Lam 234

13.1 What Is History? 234

13.2 Methods to Study History 236

13.2.1 Statistical Analysis 237

13.2.2 Computer Modeling 239

13.2.3 Computer Simulation 243

13.2.4 The Zipf Plot 244

13.3 History in the Future 247

13.4 Conclusion 251

References 252

Contributors 255

Index 261

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