History and Philosophy of Science
Featured Items
Things That Make Us Smart: Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine
Things That Make Us Smart
Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine
Paperback      ISBN: 0201626950

In Things That Make Us Smart, Donald A. Norman explores the complex interaction between human thought and the technology it creates, arguing for the development of machines that fit our minds, rather than minds that must conform to the machine.Humans have always worked with objects to extend our cognitive powers, from counting on our fingers to designing massive supercomputers. But advanced technology does more than merely assist with thought and memory--the machines we create begin to shape how we think and, at times, even what we value. Norman, in exploring this complex relationship between humans and machines, gives us the first steps towards demanding a person-centered redesign of the machines that surround our lives.

Alternative Science: Challenging the Myths of the Scientific Establishment
Alternative Science
Challenging the Myths of the Scientific Establishment
Paperback      ISBN: 0892816317

In this compelling tour through the world of anomalous research, Richard Milton makes clear what the scientific establishment takes pains to deny: plenty of hard experimental evidence already exists for such things as cold fusion, paranormal phenomena, bioenergy, and the effectiveness of alternative medicine. Because these subjects and those who dare to investigate them are continually denied legitimacy by what can only be called the "paradigm police," the public is led to believe that all claims made about such topics are completely groundless. With humor and an eye for the telling detail, the author describes many instances when the defenders of scientific orthodoxy acted with unscientific rigidity in the face of the evidence. Faraday, Roentgen, Edison, and even the Wright Brothers were thought to be charlatans by their contemporaries. Taking the broad view of the way science is done, Milton discusses the forces at work in the marginalization of unorthodox research, and makes the reader wonder if there is not something fundamentally wrong with the way that science is currently being practiced.

Einstein: The Life and Times
Einstein
The Life and Times
Paperback      ISBN: 038001159x

Ronald W. Clark's definitive biography of Einstein, the Promethean figure of our age, goes behind the phenomenal intellect to reveal the human side of the legendary absent-minded professor who confidently claimed that space and time were not what they seemed.

Here is the classic portrait of the scientist and the man: the boy growing up in the Swiss Alps, the young man caught in an unhappy first marriage, the passionate pacifist who agonized over making The Bomb, the indifferent Zionist asked to head the Israeli state, the physicist who believed in God.

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin: 1809-1882
The Autobiography of Charles Darwin
1809-1882
Paperback      ISBN: 0393310698

"No man can pretend to know Darwin who does not know his autobiography. Here, for the first time since his death, it is presented complete and unexpurgated, as it exists in the family archives. It will prove invaluable to biographers and cast new light on the personality of one of the world's greatest scientists. Nora Barlow, Darwin's granddaughter, has proved herself a superb editor. Her own annotations make fascinating reading."

The daring and restless mind, the integrity and simplicity of Darwin's character are revealed in this direct and personal account of his life--his family, his education, his explorations of the natural world, his religion and philosophy. The editor has provided page and line references to the more important restored passages, and previously unpublished notes and letters on family matters and on the controversy between Samuel Butler appear in an appendix.
A Tour of the Calculus
A Tour of the Calculus
Paperback      ISBN: 0679747885

Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite wall. Just how calculus makes these things possible and in doing so finds a correspondence between real numbers and the real world is the subject of this dazzling book by a writer of extraordinary clarity and stylistic brio. Even as he initiates us into the mysteries of real numbers, functions, and limits, Berlinski explores the furthest implications of his subject, revealing how the calculus reconciles the precision of numbers with the fluidity of the changing universe.


"An odd and tantalizing book by a writer who takes immense pleasure in this great mathematical tool, and tries to create it in others."--New York Times Book Review
The Making of the Atomic Bomb
The Making of the Atomic Bomb
Paperback      ISBN: 0684813785

The author recounts the story of how the atomic bomb was developed, from the discovery at the turn of century of the vast energy locked inside the atom, to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan during the Second World War.

Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
Consilience
The Unity of Knowledge
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0679450777

An expert on sociobiology and biodiversity argues for the fundamental unity of all knowledge in the face of the increasing fragmentation and specialization of knowledge over the past two centuries



Labyrinths of Reason: Paradox, Puzzles, and the Frailty of Knowledge
Labyrinths of Reason
Paradox, Puzzles, and the Frailty of Knowledge
Paperback      ISBN: 0385242719

This sharply intelligent, consistently provocative book takes the reader on an astonishing, thought-provoking voyage into the realm of delightful uncertainty--a world of paradox in which logical argument leads to contradiction and common sense is seemingly rendered irrelevant.

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
Longitude
The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
Paperback      ISBN: 0140258795

During the great ages of exploration "the longitude problem" was the greatest of scientific challenges. Lacking the ability to determine their longitude, sailors were literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Ships ran aground on rocky shores; those traveling welt-known routes were easy prey to pirates.

In 1714, England's Parliament offered a huge reward to anyone whose method of measuring longitude could be proven successful. The scientific establishment -- from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton -- had mapped the heavens in its certainty of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution -- a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had been able to do on land. And the race was on.

Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
Consilience
The Unity of Knowledge
Paperback      ISBN: 067976867x

"A dazzling journey across the sciences and humanities in search of deep laws to unite them." --The Wall Street Journal

One of our greatest living scientists--and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for On Human Nature and The Ants--gives us a work of visionary importance that may be the crowning achievement of his career. In Consilience (a word that originally meant "jumping together"), Edward O. Wilson renews the Enlightenment's search for a unified theory of knowledge in disciplines that range from physics to biology, the social sciences and the humanities.

Using the natural sciences as his model, Wilson forges dramatic links between fields. He explores the chemistry of the mind and the genetic bases of culture. He postulates the biological principles underlying works of art from cave-drawings to Lolita. Presenting the latest findings in prose of wonderful clarity and oratorical eloquence, and synthesizing it into a dazzling whole, Consilience is science in the path-clearing traditions of Newton, Einstein, and Richard Feynman.