History & Philosophy

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  • Charles Darwin: The Beagle Letters

    Sert Kapak
    This fascinating collection of letters written and received by Charles Darwin during the voyage of the HMS Beagle provides a first-hand account of a voyage of discovery that was as much personal as intellectual. Original watercolours by the ship's artist Conrad Martens vividly bring to life Darwin's descriptions.
    17,28  TL86,40  TL
  • Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code (rough edge)

    Karton Kapak
    Francis Crick, who died at the age of eighty-eight in 2004, will be bracketed with Galileo, Darwin, and Einstein as one of the great scientists of all time. Between 1953 and 1966 he made and led a revolution in biology by discovering, quite literally, the secret of life: the digital cipher at the heart of heredity that distinguishes living from non-living things -- the genetic code. His own discoveries -- though he always worked with one other partner and did much of his thinking in conversation -- include not only the double helix but the whole mechanism of protein synthesis, the three-letter nature of the code, and much of the code itself.Matt Ridley's biography traces Crick's life from middle-class mediocrity in the English Midlands, through a lackluster education and six years designing magnetic mines for the Royal Navy, to his leap into biology at the age of thirty-one. While at Cambridge, he suddenly began to display the unique visual imagination and intense tenacity of thought that would allow him to see the solutions to several great scientific conundrums -- and to see them long before most biologists had even conceived of the problems. Having set out to determine what makes living creatures alive and having succeeded, he immigrated at age sixty to California and turned his attention to the second question that had fascinated him since his youth: What makes conscious creatures conscious? Time ran out before he could find the answer.
    13,63  TL47,00  TL
  • How Nature Speaks: The Dynamics of the Human Ecological Condition (New Ecologies for the Twenty-First Century)

    Karton Kapak
    How Nature Speaks illustrates the convergence of complexity theory in the biophysical and social sciences and the implications of the science of complexity for environmental politics and practice. This collection of essays focuses on uncertainty, surprise, and positionality—situated rather than absolute knowledge—in studies of nature by people embedded within the very thing they purport to study from the outside. The contributors address the complicated relationship between scientists and nature as part of a broader reassessment of how we conceive of ourselves, knowledge, and the world that we both inhabit and shape.Exploring ways of conceiving the complexity and multiplicity of humans’ many interactive relationships with the environment, the contributors provide in-depth case studies of the interweaving of culture and nature in socio-historical processes. The case studies focus on the origin of environmental movements, the politicization of environmental issues in city politics, the development of a local energy production system, and the convergence of forest management practices toward a dominant scheme. They are supported by explorations of big-picture issues: recurring themes in studies of social and environmental dynamics, the difficulties of deliberative democracy, and the potential gains for socio-ecological research offered by developmental systems theory and Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of intentionality.How Nature Speaks includes a helpful primer, “On Thinking Dynamically about the Human Ecological Condition,” which explains the basic principles of complexity and nonlinear thinking.Contributors. Chuck Dyke, Yrjö Haila, Ari Jokinen, Ville Lähde, Markus Laine, Iordanis Marcoulatos, John O’Neill, Susan Oyama, Taru Peltola, Lasse Peltonen, John Shotter, Peter Taylor
    15,89  TL58,85  TL
  • Pure Society: From Darwin to Hitler

    Sert Kapak
    Amid the eulogies and celebrations commemorating the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth, the darker side of evolutionary theory should not be forgotten. In The Pure Society, André Pichot, one of France’s foremost specialists in the history of science, excavates the underside of the Darwinian legacy, where the notions of ‘race’ and heredity became powerful tools of malign political agendas and instruments of social oppression.Pichot examines the relationship between science, politics and ideology through an analysis of specific cases: from Nazism and the concentration camps to the various eugenicist research programmes launched or financed by eminent scientific organizations.Racist eugenic ideas were once prevalent among the scientific community, despite a patent lack of supporting evidence. As today’s scientists and writers applaud the advance of science, the egregious mistakes made along the way are too often forgotten. Now, with the mapping of the human genome and rapid advances in gene therapies, Pichot warns that biologists are increasingly emboldened to venture into the realms of public policy and politics. If moral philosophers abandon these fields, it is all too possible that the lights of a misguided science will resurrect the dream of a ‘pure society’.
    22,65  TL75,49  TL
  • The Voyage of the Beagle (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature)

    Karton Kapak
    Charles Darwin's travels around the world as an independent naturalist on HMS Beagle between 1831 and 1836 impressed upon him a sense of the natural world's beauty and sublimity which language could barely capture. Words, he said, were inadequate to convey to those who have not visited the inter-tropical regions, the sensation of delight which the mind experiences'. Yet in a travel journal which takes the reader from the coasts and interiors of South America to South Sea Islands, Darwin's descriptive powers are constantly challenged, but never once overcome. In addition, The Voyage of the Beagle displays Darwin's powerful, speculative mind at work, posing searching questions about the complex relation between the Earth's structure, animal forms, anthropology and the origins of life itself.
    13,65  TL39,00  TL
  • The Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth-Century Science (Dibner Institute Studies in the History of Science and Technology)

    The contributions of Kantian thought to modern mathematics, mathematical logic, and the foundations of mathematics are now widely acknowledged by scholars. As the essays in this volume show, the general development of modern scientific thought--including the physical sciences, the life sciences, and mathematics--can be viewed as an evolution from Kant through Poincaré to Einstein and the logical positivists and beyond. Focusing on nineteenth-century science, the essays--by historians of philosophy, science, and mathematics--trace the multiple intellectual transformations that have led from Kant's original scientific situation to the scientific problems of the twentieth century.The book examines Kant's influence on five strands of nineteenth-century scientific thought: Naturphilosophie and the effect of German Romanticism (especially Goethe) on biology; Fries's philosophy of science; Helmholtz's rejection of Naturphilosophie and Romanticism; neo-Kantianism and its return to "methodological" concerns in natural science and academic philosophy; and Poincaré and his reflections on scientific epistemology. The essays give a nuanced picture of Kant's legacy to nineteenth-century thinkers and of the rich interaction between philosophical ideas and discoveries in the natural and mathematical sciences during this period. They point to the ways that the scientific developments of the nineteenth century link Kant's thought to the science of the twentieth century.Contributors:Frederick Beiser, Robert DiSalle, Janet Folina, Michael Friedman, Jeremy Gray, Frederick Gregory, Michael Heidelberger, Timothy Lenoir, Jesper Lützen, Alfred Nordmann, Helmut Pulte, Robert Richards, Alan Richardson
    43,87  TL107,00  TL
  • Science as Public Culture: Chemistry and Enlightenment in Britain, 1760-1820

    Karton Kapak
    Science as Public Culture joins a growing number of recent studies examining science as a practical activity in specific social settings. Professor Golinski considers the development of chemistry in Britain in the period from 1760 to 1820, and relates it to the rise and subsequent eclipse of forms of civic life characteristic of the European Enlightenment. Within this framework the careers of prominent chemists such as William Cullen, Joseph Black, Joseph Priestly, Thomas Beddoes, and Humphry Davy are interpreted in a new light. The major discoveries of the time, including nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and the electrical decomposition of water, are set against the background of alternative ways of constructing science as a public enterprise. The book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the relations between scientific activity and processes of social and political change in a period of great transformations in chemistry and in the conditions of public life.
    24,77  TL79,90  TL
  • Essays on Giordano Bruno

    Karton Kapak
    This book gathers wide-ranging essays on the Italian Renaissance philosopher and cosmologist Giordano Bruno by one of the world's leading authorities on his work and life. Many of these essays were originally written in Italian and appear here in English for the first time. Bruno (1548-1600) is principally famous as a proponent of heliocentrism, the infinity of the universe, and the plurality of worlds. But his work spanned the sciences and humanities, sometimes touching the borders of the occult, and Hilary Gatti's essays richly reflect this diversity. The book is divided into sections that address three broad subjects: the relationship between Bruno and the new science, the history of his reception in English culture, and the principal characteristics of his natural philosophy. A final essay examines why this advocate of a "tranquil universal philosophy" ended up being burned at the stake as a heretic by the Roman Inquisition. While the essays take many different approaches, they are united by a number of assumptions: that, although well versed in magic, Bruno cannot be defined primarily as a Renaissance Magus; that his aim was to articulate a new philosophy of nature; and that his thought, while based on ancient and medieval sources, represented a radical rupture with the philosophical schools of the past, helping forge a path toward a new modernity.
    43,61  TL89,00  TL
  • The End of Discovery: Are We Approaching the Boundaries of the Knowable?

    Sert Kapak
    Many scientists make extravagant claims as to the scope and power of scientific thinking, claiming that ultimately it will provide a complete understanding of everything. But Russell Stannard, himself an eminent high-energy physicist, strongly disagrees with this grandiose claim. Indeed, in The End of Discovery, Stannard argues that eventually--perhaps in a few decades, perhaps in a few centuries--fundamental science will reach the limit of what it can explain. On that day, the scientific age, like the stone age and the iron age before it, will come to an end. To highlight the boundaries of scientific understanding, Stannard takes readers on an engaging tour of some of the deepest questions facing science today--questions to do with consciousness, free will, the nature of space, time, and matter, the existence of extraterrestrial life, and much more. For instance, from his own research field, he points out that to understand the subatomic world, scientists depend of particle accelerators, but to understand the very smallest units of nature, it has been calculated that we would need an accelerator the size of a galaxy. Clearly, unless a new approach comes along, we might never understand fully the most basic building blocks of the universe. As a scientist, Stannard remains hopeful that several of the questions addressed will one day be answered. But other puzzles will remain for all time--and we may never even realize it when we have hit an insuperable barrier in those directions. He assures us that there will always be new uses of scientific knowledge. Technology will continue. But fundamental science itself--the making of fresh discoveries as to how the world works--must ultimately grind to a halt.
    20,94  TL56,59  TL
  • Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life: How Evolutionary Theory Undermines Everything You Thought You Knew

    Sert Kapak
    If you accept evolutionary theory, can you also believe in God? Are human beings superior to other animals, or is this just a human prejudice? Does Darwin have implications for heated issues like euthanasia and animal rights? Does evolution tell us the purpose of life, or does it imply that life has no ultimate purpose? Does evolution tell us what is morally right and wrong, or does it imply that ultimately nothing is right or wrong? In this fascinating and intriguing book, Steve Stewart-Williams addresses these and other fundamental philosophical questions raised by evolutionary theory and the exciting new field of evolutionary psychology. Drawing on biology, psychology and philosophy, he argues that Darwinian science supports a view of a godless universe devoid of ultimate purpose or moral structure, but that we can still live a good life and a happy life within the confines of this view.
    36,72  TL99,25  TL
  • Eureka Man: The Life and Legacy of Archimedes

    Sert Kapak
    The extraordinary genius of Archimedes—scientist, mathematician, engineer, and showman. Many of us know little about Archimedes other than his “Eureka” exclamation upon discovering that he could immerse an object in a full tub of water and measure the spillage to determine the object’s volume. That simple observation helped establish the key principles of buoyancy that govern the flotation of hot-air balloons, boats, and denizens of the sea.  Archimedes had a profound impact on the development of mathematics and science: from square roots to the stability of ships; number systems to levers; the value of pi to the size of the universe. Yet this same cerebral man developed machines of war that held at bay the greatest army of antiquity. Ironically, Archimedes’ reputation swelled to mythic proportions in the ancient world for his feats of engineering: the hand-cranked irrigation device—commonly known as “Archimedes’ screw”—and his ingenuous use of levers, pulleys, and ropes to launch, single-handedly, a fully laden ship! His rediscovered treatises guided nascent thinkers out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance. Indeed, Archimedes’ cumulative record of achievement places him among the exalted ranks of Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein. Eureka Man brings to life for general readers the genius of Archimedes, offering succinct and understandable explanations of some of his amazing discoveries and innovations.
    19,22  TL62,00  TL
  • Nature and Mortality: Recollections of a Philosopher in Public Life

    Karton Kapak
    Mary Warnock, a professional philosopher, gives a frank account of where we stand today on such disturbing matters as human embryology, genetic engineering, euthanasia, and abortion. Governments of both parties have long regarded Warnock as an expert on a wide range of issues on the border between ethics and law and she is considered an ideal person to guide and assist experts. Although Warnock's views may be shocking to some, her contribution to the debate is always stimulating. Here, her views on weighty ethical issues are set in the context of her own experience of writing reports on them. The framework of her book is autobiographical and therefore highly personal. Nature and Mortality is Warnock at her most perceptive, wise, and entertaining.
    24,52  TL98,08  TL
  • Descartes's Changing Mind

    Descartes's works are often treated as a unified, unchanging whole. But in Descartes's Changing Mind, Peter Machamer and J. E. McGuire argue that the philosopher's views, particularly in natural philosophy, actually change radically between his early and later works--and that any interpretation of Descartes must take account of these changes. The first comprehensive study of the most significant of these shifts, this book also provides a new picture of the development of Cartesian science, epistemology, and metaphysics. No changes in Descartes's thought are more significant than those that occur between the major works The World (1633) and Principles of Philosophy (1644). Often seen as two versions of the same natural philosophy, these works are in fact profoundly different, containing distinct conceptions of causality and epistemology. Machamer and McGuire trace the implications of these changes and others that follow from them, including Descartes's rejection of the method of abstraction as a means of acquiring knowledge, his insistence on the infinitude of God's power, and his claim that human knowledge is limited to that which enables us to grasp the workings of the world and develop scientific theories.
    35,31  TL107,00  TL
  • Grounded Consequence for Defeasible Logic

    This is a title on the foundations of defeasible logic, which explores the formal properties of everyday reasoning patterns whereby people jump to conclusions, reserving the right to retract them in the light of further information. Although technical in nature the book contains sections that outline basic issues by means of intuitive and simple examples. This book is primarily targeted at philosophers interested in the foundations of defeasible logic, logicians, and specialists in artificial intelligence and theoretical computer science.
    30,94  TL140,62  TL
  • Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method (Transformations: Studies in the History of Science and Technology)

    Historians of mathematics have devoted considerable attention to Isaac Newton's work on algebra, series, fluxions, quadratures, and geometry. In Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method, Niccolò Guicciardini examines a critical aspect of Newton's work that has not been tightly connected to Newton's actual practice: his philosophy of mathematics. Newton aimed to inject certainty into natural philosophy by deploying mathematical reasoning (titling his main work The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy most probably to highlight a stark contrast to Descartes's Principles of Philosophy). To that end he paid concerted attention to method, particularly in relation to the issue of certainty, participating in contemporary debates on the subject and elaborating his own answers. Guicciardini shows how Newton carefully positioned himself against two giants in the "common" and "new" analysis, Descartes and Leibniz. Although his work was in many ways disconnected from the traditions of Greek geometry, Newton portrayed himself as antiquity's legitimate heir, thereby distancing himself from the moderns. Guicciardini reconstructs Newton's own method by extracting it from his concrete practice and not solely by examining his broader statements about such matters. He examines the full range of Newton's works, from his early treatises on series and fluxions to the late writings, which were produced in direct opposition to Leibniz. The complex interactions between Newton's understanding of method and his mathematical work then reveal themselves through Guicciardini's careful analysis of selected examples. Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method uncovers what mathematics was for Newton, and what being a mathematician meant to him.
    55,02  TL131,00  TL
  • Velvet Revolution at the Synchrotron: Biology, Physics, and Change in Science (Inside Technology)

    Sert Kapak
    After World War II, particle physics became a dominant research discipline in American academia. At many universities, alumni of the Manhattan Project and of Los Alamos were granted resources to start (or strengthen) programs of high-energy physics built around the promise of a new and more powerful particle accelerator, the synchrotron. The synchrotron was also a source of very intense X-rays, useful for research in solid states physics and in biology. As synchrotron X-ray science grew, the experimental practice of protein crystallography (used to determine the atomic structures of proteins and viruses), garnered funding, prestige, and acclaim. In Velvet Revolution at the Synchrotron, Park Doing examines the change in scientific practice at a synchrotron laboratory as biology rose to dominance over physics. He draws on his own observations and experiences at the Cornell University synchrotron, and considers the implications of that change for the status of scientific claims. Velvet Revolution at the Synchrotron is one of the few recent works in the sociology of science that engages specific scientific and technical claims through participant observation--recorded evocatively and engagingly--to address issues in the philosophy of science. Doing argues that bureaucratic change in science is neither "top-down" nor "bottom-up" but rather performed in and realized through recursively related forums of technical assertion and resistance. He considers the relationship of this change to the content of science, and the implications of this relationship for the project of laboratory studies begun in the late 1970s.
    26,04  TL63,50  TL