The New Humanists: Science at the Edge

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When John Brockman’s essay, “The New Humanists” appeared on his popular cutting-edge science website, EDGE (www.edge.org), he received a record number of responses from the intellectuals of the EDGE community. In his essay, Brockman noted that the American intellectual had become proudly or defiantly ignorant of major scientific accomplishments. According to Brockman, intellectual thought was becoming trapped in a “swelling spiral of commentary,” and often ignored the real world. Citing C.P. Snow’s theory of two ...
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New York, NY 2003 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 416 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

When John Brockman’s essay, “The New Humanists” appeared on his popular cutting-edge science website, EDGE (www.edge.org), he received a record number of responses from the intellectuals of the EDGE community. In his essay, Brockman noted that the American intellectual had become proudly or defiantly ignorant of major scientific accomplishments. According to Brockman, intellectual thought was becoming trapped in a “swelling spiral of commentary,” and often ignored the real world. Citing C.P. Snow’s theory of two cultures: the literary intellectual and the scientist, Brockman predicted an “emerging third culture” where scientists and other empirical thinkers, through their work and writing, would redefine who and what we are.

In The New Humanists: Science At the Edge, Brockman has assembled some of the top scientists of today: Jared Diamond, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Marvin Minsky, Lee Smolin, and others, and has them discuss the unique contributions each of them is making to the development of modern thought. Some of these thinkers are in sync, others in dissent, but what emerges in The New Humanists is a dialogue that serves as a support to Brockman’s theory and an introduction to some of the best scientific minds of the 21st century.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In academe, there is often believed to be two mutually exclusive "cultures," that of the humanities and that of the hard sciences. Brockman-a polymath whose r sum includes writer, editor, literary agent, and publisher of the e-zine The Edge-contends that a transcendent "third culture" is emerging, as concepts from the sciences increasingly influence art and philosophy. The 22 essays in this anthology illustrate this principle. Arranged in three sections ("Homo Sapiens," "Machina Sapiens?," and "And Beyond..."), the individual pieces are loosely related, and the parts do not build upon each other directly. However, the contributors are among the finest science writers and most innovative thinkers in their fields, including Jared Diamond, Daniel Dennett, Martin Rees, and others. In all, this book is as important a vehicle for articulating what the third culture means as it is for the specific or collective content of the essays. For all general science collections.-Gregg Sapp, Science Lib., SUNY at Albany Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760745298
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 8/18/2003
  • Pages: 416

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