Publisher description for The flight from science and reason / edited by Paul R. Gross, Norman Levitt, and Martin W. Lewis.


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"Evidence of a flight from reason is as old as human record-keeping: the fact of it certainly goes back an even longer way. Flight from science specifically, among the forms of rational inquiry, goes back as far as science itself... But rejection of reason is now a pattern to be found in most branches of scholarship and in all the learned professions."--from the introduction

In the widely acclaimed Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science, Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt offered a spirited response to the "science bashers", raising serious questions about the growing criticism of scientific practice from humanists and social scientists on the academic left. Now, in The Flight from Science and Reason, Gross and Levitt are joined by Martin W. Lewis to bring together a diverse and distinguished group of scholars, scientists, and experts to engage these questions from a wide variety of perspectives.

The authors take on critics of science whose views range from moderate to extreme, from social constructivists to deconstructionists, from creationists and feminists to Afro-centrists. They discuss the rise of "alternative medicine" and radical environmentalism (here skewered as "ecosentimentalism"). They explain why the "uncertainty principle" does not work as a metaphor for ambiguity, and why "chaos theory" cannot be invoked without an understanding of mathematics. Throughout, they grapple with the paradox inherent in arguing with opponents who contend that reason itself, and thus logic, is suspect.

Distributed for the New York Academy of Sciences



Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Science Philosophy Congresses, Science Social aspects Congresses, Women in science Congresses, Religion and science Congresses