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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Thomas Huxley: Making the 'Man of Science' (Cambridge Science Biographies)

    Sert Kapak
    This book examines the persona of the "man of science" in the Victorian period as it was shaped by Thomas Huxley, the leading British naturalist and notorious popularizer of Darwinian theory. It demonstrates how the scientific practitioner was regarded as a moral and religious figure; simultaneously considered to be the epitome of the secular, professional scientist. Breaking with traditional biographies, this fascinating portrait treats Huxley as the consummate British "man of science" and reflects on the historical significance of scientific authority.
    41,27  TL158,74  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
  • Darwin Loves You: Natural Selection and the Re-enchantment of the World

    Karton Kapak
    Jesus and Darwin do battle on car bumpers across America. Medallions of fish symbolizing Jesus are answered by ones of amphibians stamped "Darwin," and stickers proclaiming "Jesus Loves You" are countered by "Darwin Loves You." The bumper sticker debate might be trivial and the pronouncement that "Darwin Loves You" may seem merely ironic, but George Levine insists that the message contains an unintended truth. In fact, he argues, we can read it straight. Darwin, Levine shows, saw a world from which his theory had banished transcendence as still lovable and enchanted, and we can see it like that too--if we look at his writings and life in a new way. Although Darwin could find sublimity even in ants or worms, the word "Darwinian" has largely been taken to signify a disenchanted world driven by chance and heartless competition. Countering the pervasive view that the facts of Darwin's world must lead to a disenchanting vision of it, Levine shows that Darwin's ideas and the language of his books offer an alternative form of enchantment, a world rich with meaning and value, and more wonderful and beautiful than ever before. Without minimizing or sentimentalizing the harsh qualities of life governed by natural selection, and without deifying Darwin, Levine makes a moving case for an enchanted secularism--a commitment to the value of the natural world and the human striving to understand it.
    20,94  TL56,59  TL
  • Philosophy of the Social Sciences: Philosophical Theory and Scientific Practice

    Karton Kapak
    This volume is a unique contribution to the philosophy of the social sciences, presenting the results of cutting-edge philosophers' research alongside critical discussions by practicing social scientists. The book is motivated by the view that the philosophy of the social sciences cannot ignore the specific scientific practices according to which social scientific work is being conducted, and that it will be valuable only if it evolves in constant interaction with theoretical developments in the social sciences. With its unique format guaranteeing a genuine discussion between philosophers and social scientists, this thought-provoking volume extends the frontiers of the field. It will appeal to all scholars and students interested in the interplay between philosophy and the social sciences.
    34,39  TL83,89  TL
  • Slow Cures and Bad Philosophers: Essays on Wittgenstein, Medicine, and Bioethics

    Karton Kapak
    Slow Cures and Bad Philosophers uses insights from the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein to rethink bioethics. Although Wittgenstein produced little formal writing on ethics, this volume shows that, in fact, ethical issues permeate the entirety of his work. The scholars whom Carl Elliott has assembled in this volume pay particular attention to Wittgenstein’s concern with the thick context of moral problems, his suspicion of theory, and his belief in description as the real aim of philosophy. Their aim is not to examine Wittgenstein’s personal moral convictions but rather to explore how a deep engagement with his work can illuminate some of the problems that medicine and biological science present. As Elliott explains in his introduction, Wittgenstein’s philosophy runs against the grain of most contemporary bioethics scholarship, which all too often ignores the context in which moral problems are situated and pays little attention to narrative, ethnography, and clinical case studies in rendering bioethical judgments. Such anonymous, impersonal, rule-writing directives in which health care workers are advised how to behave is what this volume intends to counteract. Instead, contributors stress the value of focusing on the concrete particulars of moral problems and write in the spirit of Wittgenstein’s belief that philosophy should be useful. Specific topics include the concept of “good dying,” the nature of clinical decision making, the treatment of neurologically damaged patients, the moral treatment of animals, and the challenges of moral particularism. Inspired by a philosopher who deplored “professional philosophy,” this work brings some startling insights and clarifications to contemporary ethical problems posed by the realities of modern medicine.Contributors. Larry Churchill, David DeGrazia, Cora Diamond, James Edwards, Carl Elliott, Grant Gillett, Paul Johnston, Margaret Olivia Little, James Lindemann Nelson, Knut Erik Tranoy
    14,87  TL49,57  TL
  • Bioethics as Practice (Studies in Social Medicine)

    Those who work in bioethics and the medical humanities come from many different backgrounds, such as health care, philosophy, law, the social sciences, and religious studies. The work they do also varies widely: consulting on ethical issues in patient care, working with legislatures, dealing with the media, teaching, speaking, writing, and more. Writing as a participant in this field, Judith Andre offers a model to unify its diversity. Using the term "bioethics" broadly, to include all the medical humanities, she articulates ideals for the field, identifies its temptations and moral pitfalls, and argues for the central importance of certain virtues. Perhaps the most original of these is the virtue of choosing projects well, which demands not only broadening the field's focus but also understanding the forces that have kept it too narrow. Andre offers an imaginative analysis of the special problems presented by interdisciplinary work and discusses the intellectual virtues necessary for its success. She calls attention to the kinds of professional communities that are necessary to support good work. The book draws from interviews with many people in the field and from the findings of social scientists. It includes the author's personal reflections, several extended allegories, and philosophical analysis.
    13,64  TL62,00  TL