The Knowledge Machine  How Irrationality Created Modern Science Book

The Knowledge Machine How Irrationality Created Modern Science

  • Author : Michael Strevens
  • Publisher : Liveright Publishing
  • Release Date : 2020-10-13
  • Genre: Science
  • Pages : 368
  • ISBN 10 : 9781631491382

The Knowledge Machine How Irrationality Created Modern Science Book Description :

“The Knowledge Machine is the most stunningly illuminating book of the last several decades regarding the all-important scientific enterprise.” —Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of Plato at the Googleplex A paradigm-shifting work, The Knowledge Machine revolutionizes our understanding of the origins and structure of science. • Why is science so powerful? • Why did it take so long—two thousand years after the invention of philosophy and mathematics—for the human race to start using science to learn the secrets of the universe? In a groundbreaking work that blends science, philosophy, and history, leading philosopher of science Michael Strevens answers these challenging questions, showing how science came about only once thinkers stumbled upon the astonishing idea that scientific breakthroughs could be accomplished by breaking the rules of logical argument. Like such classic works as Karl Popper’s The Logic of Scientific Discovery and Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, The Knowledge Machine grapples with the meaning and origins of science, using a plethora of vivid historical examples to demonstrate that scientists willfully ignore religion, theoretical beauty, and even philosophy to embrace a constricted code of argument whose very narrowness channels unprecedented energy into empirical observation and experimentation. Strevens calls this scientific code the iron rule of explanation, and reveals the way in which the rule, precisely because it is unreasonably close-minded, overcomes individual prejudices to lead humanity inexorably toward the secrets of nature. “With a mixture of philosophical and historical argument, and written in an engrossing style” (Alan Ryan), The Knowledge Machine provides captivating portraits of some of the greatest luminaries in science’s history, including Isaac Newton, the chief architect of modern science and its foundational theories of motion and gravitation; William Whewell, perhaps the gr

The Knowledge Machine Book

The Knowledge Machine

  • Author : Michael Strevens
  • Publisher : Penguin UK
  • Release Date : 2020-10-01
  • Genre: Science
  • Pages : 320
  • ISBN 10 : 9780241205792

The Knowledge Machine Book Description :

A groundbreaking and timely analysis of how science works and how we can preserve its power to grow our knowledge Over the last three centuries, huge leaps in our scientific understanding and, as a result, in our technology have completely transformed our way of life and our vision of the universe. Why is science so powerful? And why did we take so long to invent it - two thousand years after the invention of philosophy, mathematics and other disciplines that are the mark of civilization? The Knowledge Machine gives a radical answer, exploring how science calls on its practitioners to do something not supremely rational but rather apparently irrational: strip away all previous knowledge - such as theological or metaphysical beliefs - in order to channel unprecedented energy into observation and experiment. Rich with tales of discovery and misadventure, like Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens, Strevens's stimulating and highly original investigation reframes what we thought we knew about the origins of the modern world. 'Powerful, bracingly argued and important. There is something here for everyone -- for the expert, who will be challenged to rethink what science really is; for the layperson, who will rejoice in Strevens's deft and witty storytelling; and for the student, who will find a friendly and authoritative guide to Newton, Einstein, Popper, Kuhn, and all that' Jim Holt, author of Why Does the World Exist?

Tychomancy Book


  • Author : Michael Strevens
  • Publisher : Harvard University Press
  • Release Date : 2013-06-01
  • Genre: Science
  • Pages : 279
  • ISBN 10 : 9780674076020

Tychomancy Book Description :

Michael Strevens makes three claims about rules for inferring physical probability. They are reliable. They constitute a key part of the physical intuition that allows us to navigate the world safely in the absence of scientific knowledge. And they played a crucial role in scientific innovation, from statistical physics to natural selection.

Bigger than Chaos Book

Bigger than Chaos

  • Author : Michael Strevens
  • Publisher : Harvard University Press
  • Release Date : 2009-06-30
  • Genre: Science
  • Pages : 432
  • ISBN 10 : 9780674044067

Bigger than Chaos Book Description :

Depth Book


  • Author : Michael Strevens
  • Publisher : Harvard University Press
  • Release Date : 2008
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 516
  • ISBN 10 : 0674031830

Depth Book Description :

Strevens proposes a novel theory of scientific explanation and understanding that overhauls and augments the familiar causal approach to explanation. The result is an account of explanation that has especially significant consequences for the higher-level sciences: biology, psychology, economics, and other social sciences.

Making Modern Science Book
Score: 4
From 2 Ratings

Making Modern Science

  • Author : Peter J. Bowler
  • Publisher : University of Chicago Press
  • Release Date : 2010-02-24
  • Genre: Science
  • Pages : 538
  • ISBN 10 : 0226068625

Making Modern Science Book Description :

The development of science, according to respected scholars Peter J. Bowler and Iwan Rhys Morus, expands our knowledge and control of the world in ways that affect-but are also affected by-society and culture. In Making Modern Science, a text designed for introductory college courses in the history of science and as a single-volume introduction for the general reader, Bowler and Morus explore both the history of science itself and its influence on modern thought. Opening with an introduction that explains developments in the history of science over the last three decades and the controversies these initiatives have engendered, the book then proceeds in two parts. The first section considers key episodes in the development of modern science, including the Scientific Revolution and individual accomplishments in geology, physics, and biology. The second section is an analysis of the most important themes stemming from the social relations of science-the discoveries that force society to rethink its religious, moral, or philosophical values. Making Modern Science thus chronicles all major developments in scientific thinking, from the revolutionary ideas of the seventeenth century to the contemporary issues of evolutionism, genetics, nuclear physics, and modern cosmology. Written by seasoned historians, this book will encourage students to see the history of science not as a series of names and dates but as an interconnected and complex web of relationships between science and modern society. The first survey of its kind, Making Modern Science is a much-needed and accessible introduction to the history of science, engagingly written for undergraduates and curious readers alike.

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments Book
Score: 3.5
From 11 Ratings

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments

  • Author : George Johnson
  • Publisher : Vintage
  • Release Date : 2008-04-08
  • Genre: Science
  • Pages : 208
  • ISBN 10 : 0307268667

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments Book Description :

A dazzling, irresistible collection of the ten most groundbreaking and beautiful experiments in scientific history. With the attention to detail of a historian and the storytelling ability of a novelist, New York Times science writer George Johnson celebrates these groundbreaking experiments and re-creates a time when the world seemed filled with mysterious forces and scientists were in awe of light, electricity, and the human body. Here, we see Galileo staring down gravity, Newton breaking apart light, and Pavlov studying his now famous dogs. This is science in its most creative, hands-on form, when ingenuity of the mind is the most useful tool in the lab and the rewards of a well-considered experiment are on exquisite display.

Botanicum Medicinale Book

Botanicum Medicinale

  • Author : Catherine Whitlock
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date : 2020-10-20
  • Genre: Art
  • Pages : 200
  • ISBN 10 : 9780262044479

Botanicum Medicinale Book Description :

A beautifully illustrated, informative, and engaging guide to 100 plants used for medicinal purposes. Remedies derived from plants are the world's oldest medicines. Used extensively in China, India, and many African countries, herbal medicine has become increasingly popular in the West along with other holistic and alternative therapies. Botanicum Medicinale offers a modern guide to 100 medicinal plants, featuring beautiful, full-color botanical illustrations and informative, engaging text. Each entry describes the plant's classification and habitat, traditional and current medicinal uses, and an interesting fact or two. Readers will learn, for example, that absinthe, the highly alcoholic, vividly green potable, was traditionally flavored with bitter wormwood (Artemesia absinthium); that cannabis may have been used by Queen Victoria for menstrual pain; and that willow bark contains a chemical similar to aspirin. Detailed and striking artwork depicts each plant. The entries are arranged alphabetically--from Adonis vernalis (a perennial in the buttercup family) to Vinca minor (also known as the common periwinkle). The 100 plants featured in the book all have a long history of medicinal use or are the subject of new medical research. Many treat a range of conditions, from insomnia to indigestion. Some plants are lovely enough to be in a bridal bouquet; others are considered weeds. Cross-reference features at the end of the book connect specific medical conditions and the plants used to treat them.

DNA Demystified Book

DNA Demystified

  • Author : Alan McHughen
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press, USA
  • Release Date : 2020
  • Genre: Science
  • Pages : 392
  • ISBN 10 : 9780190092962

DNA Demystified Book Description :

""If you're mystified by DNA and genetics, relax. Settle into a comfy chair as we explain what DNA is and how it works its apparent magic, revealing it's not so magical after all. We'll also cover chromosomes, genes and genomics, and how they impact our daily lives. These initial pages provide a quick overview of some common questions folks have about DNA: what it is, what you should know about it, where it comes from. If it seems like we're glossing over your favorite topic, be patient, as we'll explore these and many other topics in greater depth in the subsequent chapters. For now, settle in! It's time to unpack some mysteries and explode some myths, while still marveling at the awesome star power of DNA. Like all celebrities, DNA carries a mystique, a compelling story combining remarkable skills with some manufactured hype. 'It's in our DNA' is now a standard refrain for marketers and individuals trumpeting some essential virtue: honesty, courage, integrity, permanence, the spirit of discovery1. The aura of DNA sells everything from colleges and companies to cars, electric fences, and even literary agents. The marketing hype is often misplaced, but DNA is undoubtedly a wondrous molecule. It's the only known molecule capable of reproducing itself, and is present in all living things. DNA is, indeed, the essence of life itself. Between the Presidential citations, popular television shows such as CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) and a multitude of gratuitous marketing clichés, almost everyone knows "DNA". Or, at least, they think they know about DeoxyriboNucleic Acid, aka "DNA". The New York Times index shows over 500 news articles on DNA in the first half of 2019 alone, an average of over two stories per day.2 Yet many otherwise well-informed readers don't know what DNA is or how it works.""--

The Scientific Method Book

The Scientific Method

  • Author : Henry M. Cowles
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date : 2020
  • Genre: Science
  • Pages : 384
  • ISBN 10 : 9780674976191

The Scientific Method Book Description :

The scientific method is just over a hundred years old. From debates about the evolution of the human mind to the rise of instrumental reasoning, Henry M. Cowles shows how the idea of a single "scientific method" emerged from a turn inward by psychologists that produced powerful epistemological and historical effects that are still with us today.

Knowing Our Limits Book

Knowing Our Limits

  • Author : Nathan Ballantyne
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press, USA
  • Release Date : 2019
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 344
  • ISBN 10 : 9780190847289

Knowing Our Limits Book Description :

Changing our minds isn't easy. Even when we recognize our views are disputed by intelligent and informed people, we rarely doubt our rightness. Why is this so? How can we become more open-minded, putting ourselves in a better position to tolerate conflict, advance collective inquiry, and learn from differing perspectives in a complex world? Nathan Ballantyne defends the indispensable role of epistemology in tackling these issues. For early modern philosophers, the point of reflecting on inquiry was to understand how our beliefs are often distorted by prejudice and self-interest, and to improve the foundations of human knowledge. Ballantyne seeks to recover and modernize this classical tradition by vigorously defending an interdisciplinary approach to epistemology, blending philosophical theorizing with insights from the social and cognitive sciences. Many of us need tools to help us think more circumspectly about our controversial views. Ballantyne develops a method for distinguishing between our reasonable and unreasonable opinions, in light of evidence about bias, information overload, and rival experts. This method guides us to greater intellectual openness--in the spirit of skeptics from Socrates to Montaigne to Bertrand Russell--making us more inclined to admit that sometimes we don't have the right answers. With vibrant prose and fascinating examples from science and history, Ballantyne shows how epistemology can help us know our limits.

Thinking Off Your Feet Book

Thinking Off Your Feet

  • Author : Michael Strevens
  • Publisher : Harvard University Press
  • Release Date : 2019-01-07
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 330
  • ISBN 10 : 9780674989702

Thinking Off Your Feet Book Description :

In an original defense of armchair philosophy, Michael Strevens seeks to restore philosophy to its traditional position as an essential part of the quest for knowledge, by reshaping debates about the nature of philosophical thinking. His approach explores experimental philosophy’s methodological implications and the cognitive science of concepts.

The Evolution of Knowledge Book

The Evolution of Knowledge

  • Author : Jürgen Renn
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Release Date : 2020-01-14
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 584
  • ISBN 10 : 9780691171982

The Evolution of Knowledge Book Description :

A fundamentally new approach to the history of science and technology This book presents a new way of thinking about the history of science and technology, one that offers a grand narrative of human history in which knowledge serves as a critical factor of cultural evolution. Jürgen Renn examines the role of knowledge in global transformations going back to the dawn of civilization while providing vital perspectives on the complex challenges confronting us today in the Anthropocene—this new geological epoch shaped by humankind. Renn reframes the history of science and technology within a much broader history of knowledge, analyzing key episodes such as the evolution of writing, the emergence of science in the ancient world, the Scientific Revolution of early modernity, the globalization of knowledge, industrialization, and the profound transformations wrought by modern science. He investigates the evolution of knowledge using an array of disciplines and methods, from cognitive science and experimental psychology to earth science and evolutionary biology. The result is an entirely new framework for understanding structural changes in systems of knowledge—and a bold new approach to the history and philosophy of science. Written by one of today's preeminent historians of science, The Evolution of Knowledge features discussions of historiographical themes, a glossary of key terms, and practical insights on global issues ranging from climate change to digital capitalism. This incisive book also serves as an invaluable introduction to the history of knowledge.

Plato at the Googleplex Book
Score: 4.5
From 10 Ratings

Plato at the Googleplex

  • Author : Rebecca Goldstein
  • Publisher : Vintage
  • Release Date : 2015-01-06
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 480
  • ISBN 10 : 9780307456724

Plato at the Googleplex Book Description :

Originally published in hardcover: New York: Pantheon, a division of Random House LLC, 2014.

What Science Is and How It Really Works Book

What Science Is and How It Really Works

  • Author : James C. Zimring
  • Publisher : Cambridge University Press
  • Release Date : 2019-07-31
  • Genre: Science
  • Pages : 408
  • ISBN 10 : 9781108476850

What Science Is and How It Really Works Book Description :

A timely and accessible synthesis of the strengths, weaknesses and reality of science through the eyes of a practicing scientist.

A Window on Intelligence Book

A Window on Intelligence

  • Author : Dennis Hackethal
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date : 2020-03-17
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 298
  • ISBN 10 : 1734696109

A Window on Intelligence Book Description :

The human mind is the single most powerful entity in the universe. Yet we have made no progress in our efforts to simulate it as artificial general intelligence. Why is that? In this groundbreaking book, software engineer and philosopher Dennis Hackethal explains the mistakes intelligence researchers have been making - and how to avoid them. Based out of Silicon Valley, he proposes a research program for building truly intelligent machines. He argues for a fundamental unification of software engineering and reason generally that will aid greatly in our goal to simulate intelligence. Taking you on a journey through several fields, including the theory of evolution, epistemology, psychotherapy, and astronomy, Hackethal provides insight into the unlimited potential of artificial general intelligence that may one day take us to the stars. A Window on Intelligence is your field guide to the exciting world of your mind.

Around the World in 80 Words Book
Score: 4.5
From 3 Ratings

Around the World in 80 Words

  • Author : Paul Anthony Jones
  • Publisher : University of Chicago Press
  • Release Date : 2020-09-01
  • Genre: History
  • Pages : 288
  • ISBN 10 : 9780226682792

Around the World in 80 Words Book Description :

What makes a place so memorable that it survives forever in a word? In this captivating round-the-world tour, Paul Anthony Jones acts as your guide through the intriguing stories of how eighty places became immortalized in the English language. You’ll discover why the origins of turkeys, limericks, Brazil nuts, and Panama hats aren’t quite as straightforward as you might presume. If you’ve never heard of the tiny Czech mining town of Jáchymov—or Joachimsthal, as it was known until the late 1800s—you’re not alone, which makes its claim to fame as the origin of the word “dollar” all the more extraordinary. The story of how the Great Dane isn’t all that Danish makes the list, as does the Jordanian mountain whose name has become a byword for a tantalizing glimpse. We’ll also find out what the Philippines has given to your office inbox, what Alaska has given to your liquor cabinet, and how a speech given by a bumbling North Carolinian gave us a word for impenetrable nonsense. Surprising, entertaining, and illuminating, this is essential reading for armchair travelers and word nerds. Our dictionaries are full of hidden histories, tales, and adventures from all over the world—if you know where to look.

The Murder of Professor Schlick Book

The Murder of Professor Schlick

  • Author : David Edmonds
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Release Date : 2020-10-13
  • Genre: History
  • Pages : 336
  • ISBN 10 : 9780691164908

The Murder of Professor Schlick Book Description :

"It is the morning of June 22, 1936. The professor of inductive logic at the University of Vienna, Moritz Schlick, is making his accustomed way up the wide stone stairs that lead into the University. It is 9:15 and a former student of Schlick's, Johann Nelböck, is loitering on the staircase, waiting for him. As Schlick approaches, Johann Nelböck lifts a pistol and fires four shots. A witness hears him shout, "Now you damned bastard, there you have it". Schlick dies immediately. His death spells the ending of the remarkable philosophical grouping of which he had been founder and moving force, the Vienna Circle. This extraordinary group of mathematicians, logicians, physicists, philosophers and social scientists has been holding regular meetings under Schlick's leadership since 1922. But in 1936 the political landscape in Austria is darkening, and exile for members of the Circle already beckons. It is not to be a happy experience for many of them-uprooted from Viennese culture, separated from old friends and intellectual soul-mates. The governing principle for which the Circle is best known, logical positivism, famously maintained that only two types of propositions were meaningful: those that could be verified through experience (e.g. water boils at 100 degrees centigrade) and those that were analytically true - true by virtue of the terms they employed (e.g. all bachelors are unmarried men). All other propositions were, literally, meaningless. These included propositions about God and certain propositions about aesthetics and morality (such as 'murder is wrong'). A list of names linked to the Circle reads like a Who's Who of 20th century philosophy, mathematics and science. In addition to Schlick, it includes Rudolf Carnap, Otto Neurath, Phillip Frank, Hans Hahn, Olga Hahn-Neurath, Karl Menger, Friedrich Waismann, Herbert Feigl, Kurt Gödel, Carl Hempel, W.V.O. Quine, A J Ayer, and also, indirectly but influentially, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper. For a peri

Newton the Alchemist Book

Newton the Alchemist

  • Author : William R. Newman
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Release Date : 2018-12-11
  • Genre: Science
  • Pages : 537
  • ISBN 10 : 9780691185033

Newton the Alchemist Book Description :

A book that finally demystifies Newton’s experiments in alchemy When Isaac Newton’s alchemical papers surfaced at a Sotheby’s auction in 1936, the quantity and seeming incoherence of the manuscripts were shocking. No longer the exemplar of Enlightenment rationality, the legendary physicist suddenly became “the last of the magicians.” Newton the Alchemist unlocks the secrets of Newton’s alchemical quest, providing a radically new understanding of the uncommon genius who probed nature at its deepest levels in pursuit of empirical knowledge. In this evocative and superbly written book, William Newman blends in-depth analysis of newly available texts with laboratory replications of Newton’s actual experiments in alchemy. He does not justify Newton’s alchemical research as part of a religious search for God in the physical world, nor does he argue that Newton studied alchemy to learn about gravitational attraction. Newman traces the evolution of Newton’s alchemical ideas and practices over a span of more than three decades, showing how they proved fruitful in diverse scientific fields. A precise experimenter in the realm of “chymistry,” Newton put the riddles of alchemy to the test in his lab. He also used ideas drawn from the alchemical texts to great effect in his optical experimentation. In his hands, alchemy was a tool for attaining the material benefits associated with the philosopher’s stone and an instrument for acquiring scientific knowledge of the most sophisticated kind. Newton the Alchemist provides rare insights into a man who was neither Enlightenment rationalist nor irrational magus, but rather an alchemist who sought through experiment and empiricism to alter nature at its very heart.

Deductive Irrationality Book

Deductive Irrationality

  • Author : Stephen McCarthy
  • Publisher : Lexington Books
  • Release Date : 2008
  • Genre: Business & Economics
  • Pages : 284
  • ISBN 10 : 0739116258

Deductive Irrationality Book Description :

Deductive Irrationality examines and critiques economic rationalism by assessing the work of influential political philosophers and economic theorists such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek, Gunnar Myrdal, and John F. Muth. It is one of the first serious attempts to investigate the dominant sub-fields in economic theory through the lens of political philosophy.