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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Thought-provoking essays on science as an integral part of the culture of our age from a leader in the scientific humanism movement.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published March 14th by Harper Perennial first published December 1st More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. How does this book play out for you in light of the recent change in administration in the U. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews.
Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Men have asked for freedom, justice and respect precisely as the scientific spirit has spread among them. His family moved to Germany during the first world war, then to England when Jacob was twelve years old. Bronowski studied mathematics at Cambridge Jesus college , where he earned the senior wrangle … science has humanized our values. Bronowski studied mathematics at Cambridge Jesus college , where he earned the senior wrangler title for the class of He was active in operations research during World War II, developing mathematical approaches to bombing strategy for RAF Bomber Command, and was a strong chess player who submitted chess problems to the British Chess magazine through most of his life in Britain.
In the s he became one the founding directors of the Salk Institute. Bronowski is best remembered by people around my age who do remember him as the narrator of the television series The Ascent of Man , a BBC documentary about the rise of civilization and the development of science and the scientific method.
He scripted the series and wrote a book by the same name. In the Preface he says that only minor changes have been made to the lectures since he delivered them eleven years before. This dialogue does address the theme in an entertaining, if somewhat silly, manner. He wants to make no distinction between practical and theoretical science as he does this.
Yukawa received the Nobel Prize in physics. What we see, as we see it, is mere disorder. The discoverer or the artist presents in them two aspects of nature and fuses then into one. This is the act of creation … How slipshod by comparison is the notion that either art or science sets out to copy nature … if science were a copy of fact, then every theory would be either right or wrong, and would be so for ever … … There are no appearances to be photographed, no experiences to be copied, in which we do not take part.
Science, like art, is not a copy of nature but a re-creation of her … in the instant when the mind seizes this for itself, in art or in science, the heart misses a beat. A crucial question indeed. At the first step there are only the separate data of the senses … At the second step we put those together.
We see that it makes sense to treat them as one thing. And the thing is the coherence of its parts in our experience. Only then is it meaningful to ask whether what we think about the thing is true. That is, we can now deduce how the thing should behave, and see whether it does so. These schools, which he terms logical positivism view spoiler [B. Historically, concepts have commonly been set up as absolute and inborn notions, like the space and time which Kant believed to be ready-made in the mind.
The view that concepts are built up from experience, and have constantly to be tested and corrected in experience, in not classical. The classical view is that concepts are not accessible to empirical tests. The third essay is a bit longer than either of the first two, and is I think more ambitious and more interesting than either of those. To examine these questions in the context of a real society, Bronowski chooses the society formed by scientists themselves; hence will examine the values which guide the scientific enterprise, and the actions of individual scientists.
And, from the title of the series of lectures, one can foresee that he will conclude that the values of science, the values of scientists , and the values of humanity are basically one and the same. Bronowski is clearly remembered very fondly by certain readers because of Ascent of Man, and I realize that all this hand-wringing of mine could be saying much more about me than it does about him.
I guess the bottom line is this. I also believe that if one wants to call out Bronowski on these bias issues, the correct target is not the man but the social milieu of his day. The second section below is an addition to the original review. This is different it seems. So what are we to think? Did Bronowski believe that women were for the most part creatures incapable of making contributions to science? Of course I have no idea what the answer is. But I did find something that makes me want to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Thus began Jacob's or Bruno's — since everyone, including his children, called him that lifelong interest in Blake. When Bronowski died in the couple had finally dispatched their youngest daughter off to college and were empty-nesters.
The arc of the daughters careers I think makes it plain that they were not held back by any antiquated views about women that percolated in their home. Bronowski writes well, and these essays, especially the third one, provide a lot of food for thought.
He sometimes goes off the track a little bit, but this short book, less than a hundred pages long, will give you an appreciation for the scientific enterprise, or at the least enlighten you as to what that enterprise is.
At any rate, it appears to be lacking the Dialogue that my edition has no great loss. This is itself a testament to the enduring interest of the views which Bronowski expresses in the book. Next library review: What If? View all 21 comments. Science is commonly considered neutral, an endeavor concerned only with facts. Bronowski argues that science is based on observations, not facts; and observations are not neutral but creative—an active relation between subject and object, a search for unity in hidden likeness.
Thus science makes a claim on values, on what ought to be, not only what is. Science is the value that we ought to act so that what is true can be verified to be true; the ends of a goal must be judged by the means, which Science is commonly considered neutral, an endeavor concerned only with facts. Science is the value that we ought to act so that what is true can be verified to be true; the ends of a goal must be judged by the means, which cements the bonds of trust in society.
Even more, this value is not unique to the scientist, but is shared by the artist. Elegant work. Sep 11, Jeff Nicholas rated it it was amazing. Despite some lip service to bad philosophies like empiricism and inductivism, this is an admirable defense of Karl Popper's "open society" and of critical rationalism.
Good, at times brilliant thoughts which are unfortunately often hidden in rather opaque language. Dec 27, Michael Farfel rated it really liked it. Some outdated views. But the core message is nice. Apr 09, Drinkdrawers rated it it was amazing.
Lectures so-so, but the dialogue at the end is a nice way to think about science vs. Apr 18, Matthew rated it it was ok. A little to dry of a read for me. Jan 14, Ruba rated it liked it. Amazing series of lectures by Jacob Bronowski, despite the date I found this a wonderful timeless theme-- or at least, it has the ongoing spirit and celebration of the scientific revolution starting in the renaissance, which has driven more than just technological innovation but also artistic innovation and even shaped our contemporary sense of social justice, equality, and freedom.
Bronowski explores both science and the arts as deriving from the poetic element, "the uninhibited activity of expl Amazing series of lectures by Jacob Bronowski, despite the date I found this a wonderful timeless theme-- or at least, it has the ongoing spirit and celebration of the scientific revolution starting in the renaissance, which has driven more than just technological innovation but also artistic innovation and even shaped our contemporary sense of social justice, equality, and freedom.
Bronowski explores both science and the arts as deriving from the poetic element, "the uninhibited activity of exploring the medium for its own sake, and discovering as if in play what can be done".
Such a wonderful sentiment I find true whether painting, writing, or even in the seemingly strict confines of computer programming and computational mathematics. In all there is a playful exploration where we work with the media for its own sake.
Science & Human Values
Born in Poland, Jacob Bronowski moved to England at the age of He received a scholarship to study mathematics at Cambridge University, where he earned a Ph. At Cambridge, Bronowski edited a literary magazine and wrote verse. He served as lecturer at University College in Hull before joining the government service in He pioneered developments in operations research, which enhanced the effectiveness of Allied bombing raids.
Science and Human Values