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"An elegant read for anyone interested in understanding modern physics. Tavel has a genuine knack for making the difficult and obscure clear and exciting." --Joseph C. Pitt, author of Thinking about Technology "You will never look at scientific theories in the same way again." --John Hubiscz, North Carolina State University Introductory physics is not often a popular class among liberal arts majors. With its lively prose and analogies from the arts, humanities, and social sciences, however, Contemporary Physics and the Limits of Knowledge is guaranteed to enlighten and delight nonscience majors. Morton Tavel contends that every one of the six topics that he explores--symmetry, special and general relativity, statistical physics, quantum mechanics, and chaos--has played a role in telling us what we are unable to know about the physical world. He explains what each of the topics reveals about our attempts to pinpoint reality, and how each scientific revelation forces us to acknowledge a narrowing rather than a broadening of our knowledge. Chaos theory, for example, reveals a way to understand the randomness that seems so prevalent in natural phenomena such as weather. This development unifies our understanding of many phenomena that had been previously thought unrelated. Yet, chaos represents a significant diminution in what we can hope to predict about the course of natural events. It has increased our knowledge or understanding of a phenomena, but has seriously eroded our long-held, Newtonian vision of prediction and control. Tavel emphasizes the features of physics that make it a very human endeavor and serve to build bridges to all other intellectual disciplicnes. Morton Tavel is a professor of physics at Vassar College.
A concise survey of the field of physics, Grissom’s book offers students and professionals alike a unique perspective on what physicists do, how physics is done, and how physicists view the world.
Although early twentieth century physics produced two revolutionary new conceptions of the nature of the physical universe relativity theory and quantum theory more recent developments in the physical sciences have made it imperative for physicists to re-examine the older world view of physics and the assumptions upon which it was based. However, theorizing about the nature and status of reality has been the province of philosophers for centuries. Philosophers, trained in metaphysics, provided a different perspective for viewing and a unique method for solving some of these problems. Ideally, therefore, both philosophers and physicists should work together in dialogue fashion on this important issue. These two groups come together for the first time in this book to examine the questions: What is the world view of contemporary physics? Does it need a new metaphysics? If so, what kind of metaphysics does it need? Internationally known scholars, including Ilya Prigogine and Fritjof Capra, who are recognized as experts in this interdisciplinary field, address such related topics as the nature of the mind, our place in society, and the nature of ethics."
Why discovering the limits to science may be the most powerful discovery of all How much can we know about the world? In this book, physicist Marcelo Gleiser traces our search for answers to the most fundamental questions of existence, the origin of the universe, the nature of reality, and the limits of knowledge. In so doing, he reaches a provocative conclusion: science, like religion, is fundamentally limited as a tool for understanding the world. As science and its philosophical interpretations advance, we face the unsettling recognition of how much we don't know. Gleiser shows that by abandoning the dualistic model that divides reality into the known and the unknown, we can embark on a third way based on the acceptance of our limitations. Only then, he argues, will we be truly able to experience freedom; for to be free in an age of science we cannot turn science into a god. Gleiser ultimately offers an uplifting exploration of humanity's longing to conquer the unknown, and of science's power to transform and inspire.
Doing Educational Research explores a variety of important issues and methods in educational research. Contributors include some of the most important voices in educational research. In the handbook these scholars provide detailed insights into one dimension of the research process that engages both students as well as experienced researchers with key concepts and recent innovations in the domain. The editors and authors believe that there is a need for a handbook on educational research that is both practical as it introduces beginning scholars to the field and innovative as it pushes the boundaries of the conversation about educational research at this historical juncture. In this collection the editors and authors explore a variety of topics from methodologies such as ethnography, action research, hermeneutics, historiography, psychoanalysis, literary criticism to issues such as social theory, epistemology, and paradigms. Readers will be pleased with the way the book addresses complex topics in an accessible and readable manner.
The world is increasingly becoming . one. It is, at the same time, one endangered ecosystem and one thriving market place with material and spiritual goods on competitive display. And the good and evil things of life cannot easily be sorted out. The world is becoming one also in the sense that it is better understood today than it was in earlier times, that the material good and the spiritual good, though seemingly belonging to different realms of fact defined by their respective modes of existence, together constitute effectively one and the same reality: the modem world of science, technology, computerized administration and power, that calls upon humankind to struggle for a 'just, participatory and sustainable society' * , and to strive for a society of the future that will be the world over both long-lived and worth living. The Second European Conference on Science and Religion, held on 10-13th. March, 1988, on the campus of the Universiteit Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, was meant to be a modest market place, a forum, where standpoints and opinions could be presented and criticized. It was meant to offer an opportunity to meet and to make acquaintances in the expectation that the exchange of thoughts would lead to new conceptual horizons that would challenge what so far had been considered as hard fact or what until now had been looked upon as a distinctive feature of a well-established view either of the kingdom of the sciences or of the realm of religion.
It is widely believed that contemporary science has ruled out divine action in the world. Arguing that theology can and must respond to this challenge, Philip Clayton surveys the available biblical and philosophical resources. Recent work in cosmology, quantum physics, and the brain sciences offers exciting new openings for a theology of divine action. If Christian theism is to make use of these opportunities, says Clayton, it must place a greater stress on divine immanence. In response to this challenge, Clayton defends the doctrine of panentheism, the view that the world is in some sense "within" God although God also transcends the world. God and Contemporary Science offers the first book-length defense of panentheism as a viable option within traditional Christian theology. Clayton first defends a "postfoundationalist" model of theology that is concerned more with the coherence of Christian belief than with rational obligation or proof. He makes the case that the Old and New Testament theologies do not stand opposed to panentheism but actually support it at a number of points. He then outlines the philosophical strengths of a panentheistic view of God's relation to the world and God's activity in the world. The remainder of the book applies this theological position to recent scientific developments: theories of the origin of the universe; quantum mechanics, or the physics of the very small; the debate about miracles; and neuroscientific theories of human thought.

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