Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms [EPUB]
04 January 2015, 21:27
1999 | EPUB | 0.4MB
One of this century's most thoughtful and prolific naturalists, Harvard professor Stephen Jay Gould looks at the human twists on science in his eighth series of essays taken from Natural History magazine. As only he can, Gould finds questions where others have never looked, and answers where others have been blinded--by their professional rivalries, by their unacknowledged privilege in society, by the dominant world-view at their particular juncture in history. "All great science," he says in the title essay, "indeed all fruitful thinking, must occur in a social and intellectual context--and contexts are just as likely to promote insight as to constrain thought." Gould's gift is being able to identify context, and see patterns in diverse fields or people or moments in history in a way that Darwin saw patterns in living species.
This book is less about clams, worms, and Leonardo than about some evolutionary dead ends in human intellectual history. It's not an easy read. Those who are already Gould fans will find more tantalizing tidbits--no, thick stew--from this fruitful author. Those first-timers drawn by an intriguing title will scratch, frown, fall asleep, swear, and generally want to give up. But don't! Gould is one of those authors that takes some getting used to. With a little patience, his extravagant prose will edify rather than trip you, and his digressions will delight rather than distract.
What Is This Thing Called Science? [EPUB]
04 January 2015, 19:40
2013 | EPUB | 0.6MB
Since its first publication in 1976, Alan Chalmers's highly regarded and widely read work--translated into eighteen languages--has become a classic introduction to the scientific method, known for its accessibility to beginners and its value as a resource for advanced students and scholars.
In addition to overall improvements and updates inspired by Chalmers's experience as a teacher, comments from his readers, and recent developments in the field, this fourth edition features an extensive chapter-long postscript that draws on his research into the history of atomism to illustrate important themes in the philosophy of science. Identifying the qualitative difference between knowledge of atoms as it figures in contemporary science and metaphysical speculations about atoms common in philosophy since the time of Democritus offers a revealing and instructive way to address the question at the heart of this groundbreaking work: What is this thing called science?
I Have Landed: Ultimate Reflections in Natural History [EPUB]
03 January 2015, 06:49
2011 | EPUB | 3.24MB
In this collection of essays from "Natural History" magazine, Gould has once again applied biographical perspectives to the illumination of key scientific concepts and their history, ranging from the discovery of the new scourge of syphilis by Fracastoro in the 16th century and Isabelle Duncan's 19th-century attempt at reconciling scripture and paleontology to Freud's weird speculations about human phylogeny and recent creationist attacks on the study of evolution. The essays illuminate and elucidate the puzzles and paradoxes great and small that have fuelled the enterprise of science and opened our eyes to a world of unexpected wonders.