THE-PHILOSOPHICAL-BREAKFAST-CLUB

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The Philosophical Breakfast Club

Author : Laura J. Snyder
ISBN : 0307716171
Genre : Science
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“[A] fascinating book...about the way four geniuses at Cambridge University revolutionized modern science.“ —Newsweek The Philosophical Breakfast Club recounts the life and work of four men who met as students at Cambridge University: Charles Babbage, John Herschel, William Whewell, and Richard Jones. Recognizing that they shared a love of science (as well as good food and drink) they began to meet on Sunday mornings to talk about the state of science in Britain and the world at large. Inspired by the great 17th century scientific reformer and political figure Francis Bacon—another former student of Cambridge—the Philosophical Breakfast Club plotted to bring about a new scientific revolution. And to a remarkable extent, they succeeded, even in ways they never intended. Historian of science and philosopher Laura J. Snyder exposes the political passions, religious impulses, friendships, rivalries, and love of knowledge—and power—that drove these extraordinary men. Whewell (who not only invented the word “scientist,” but also founded the fields of crystallography, mathematical economics, and the science of tides), Babbage (a mathematical genius who invented the modern computer), Herschel (who mapped the skies of the Southern Hemisphere and contributed to the invention of photography), and Jones (a curate who shaped the science of economics) were at the vanguard of the modernization of science. This absorbing narrative of people, science and ideas chronicles the intellectual revolution inaugurated by these men, one that continues to mold our understanding of the world around us and of our place within it. Drawing upon the voluminous correspondence between the four men over the fifty years of their work, Laura J. Snyder shows how friendship worked to spur the men on to greater accomplishments, and how it enabled them to transform science and help create the modern world. "The lives and works of these men come across as fit for Masterpiece Theatre.” —Wall Street Journal "Snyder succeeds famously in evoking the excitement, variety and wide-open sense of possibility of the scientific life in 19th-century Britain...splendidly evoked in this engaging book.” —American Scientist "This fine book is as wide-ranging and anecdotal, as excited and exciting, as those long-ago Sunday morning conversations at Cambridge. The Philosophical Breakfast Club forms a natural successor to Jenny Uglow’s The Lunar Men...and Richard Holmes’s The Age of Wonder.” —Washington Post
Category: Science

Reforming Philosophy

Author : Laura J. Snyder
ISBN : 9780226767352
Genre : Science
File Size : 82.72 MB
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The Victorian period in Britain was an “age of reform.” It is therefore not surprising that two of the era’s most eminent intellects described themselves as reformers. Both William Whewell and John Stuart Mill believed that by reforming philosophy—including the philosophy of science—they could effect social and political change. But their divergent visions of this societal transformation led to a sustained and spirited controversy that covered morality, politics, science, and economics. Situating their debate within the larger context of Victorian society and its concerns, Reforming Philosophy shows how two very different men captured the intellectual spirit of the day and engaged the attention of other scientists and philosophers, including the young Charles Darwin. Mill—philosopher, political economist, and Parliamentarian—remains a canonical author of Anglo-American philosophy, while Whewell—Anglican cleric, scientist, and educator—is now often overlooked, though in his day he was renowned as an authority on science. Placing their teachings in their proper intellectual, cultural, and argumentative spheres, Laura Snyder revises the standard views of these two important Victorian figures, showing that both men’s concerns remain relevant today. A philosophically and historically sensitive account of the engagement of the major protagonists of Victorian British philosophy, Reforming Philosophy is the first book-length examination of the dispute between Mill and Whewell in its entirety. A rich and nuanced understanding of the intellectual spirit of Victorian Britain, it will be welcomed by philosophers and historians of science, scholars of Victorian studies, and students of the history of philosophy and political economy.
Category: Science

Creatively Undecided

Author : Menachem Fisch
ISBN : 9780226514659
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 53.51 MB
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Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper are believed by many who study science to be the two key thinkers of the twentieth century. Each addressed the question of how scientific theories change, but they came to different conclusions. By turning our attention to ambiguity and indecision in science, Menachem Fisch, in Creatively Undecided, offers a new way to look at how scientific understandings change. Following Kuhn, Fisch argues that scientific practice depends on the framework in which it is conducted, but he also shows that those frameworks can be understood as the possible outcomes of the rational deliberation that Popper viewed as central to theory change. How can a scientist subject her standards to rational appraisal if that very act requires the use of those standards? The way out, Fisch argues, is by looking at the incentives scientists have to create alternative frameworks in the first place. Fisch argues that while science can only be transformed from within, by people who have standing in the field, criticism from the outside is essential. We may not be able to be sufficiently self-critical on our own, but trusted criticism from outside, even if resisted, can begin to change our perspective—at which point transformative self-criticism becomes a real option.
Category: Philosophy

Philosophy Of Science The Key Thinkers

Author : James Robert Brown
ISBN : 9781441142009
Genre : Science
File Size : 72.68 MB
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A guide to the key figures in the Philosophy of Science from Plato and Aristotle through to Popper, Puttnam and Cartwright.
Category: Science

Eye Of The Beholder

Author : Laura J. Snyder
ISBN : 9781784970239
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 70.54 MB
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By the early 17th century the Scientific Revolution was well under way. Philosophers and scientists were throwing off the yoke of ancient authority to peer at nature and the cosmos through microscopes and telescopes. In October 1632, in the small town of Delft in the Dutch Republic, two geniuses were born who would bring about a seismic shift in the idea of what it meant to see the world. One was Johannes Vermeer, whose experiments with lenses and a camera obscura taught him how we see under different conditions of light and helped him create the most luminous works of art ever beheld. The other was Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, whose work with microscopes revealed a previously unimagined realm of minuscule creatures. By intertwining the biographies of these two men, Laura Snyder tells the story of a historical moment in both art and science that revolutionized how we see the world today.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Proceedings Of The Boston Colloquium For The Philosophy Of Science 1964 1966

Author : Robert S. Cohen
ISBN : 9789401035088
Genre : Science
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This third volume of Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science contains papers which are based upon Colloquia from 1964 to 1966. In most cases, they have been substantially modified subsequent to presentation and discussion. Once again we publish work which goes beyond technical analysis of scientific theories and explanations in order to include philo sophical reflections upon the history of science and also upon the still problematic interactions between metaphysics and science. The philo sophical history of scientific ideas has increasingly been recognized as part of the philosophy of science, and likewise the cultural context of the genesis of such ideas. There is no school or attitude to be taken as de fining the scope or criteria of our Colloquium, and so we seek to under stand both analytic and historical aspects of science. This volume, as the previous two, constitutes a substantial part of our final report to the U. S. National Science Foundation, which has continued its support of the Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science by a grant to Boston University. That report will be concluded by a subse quent volume of these Studies. It is a pleasure to record our thanks to the Foundation for its confidence and funds. We dedicate this book to the memory of Norwood Russell Hanson. During this academic year of 1966-67, this beloved and distinguished American philosopher participated in our Colloquium, and he did so before.
Category: Science

Talking Book Topics

Author :
ISBN : WISC:89121901839
Genre : Talking books
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Category: Talking books