The Blind Spot: Science and the Crisis of Uncertainty

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9780691146843: The Blind Spot: Science and the Crisis of Uncertainty

In today's unpredictable and chaotic world, we look to science to provide certainty and answers--and often blame it when things go wrong. The Blind Spot reveals why our faith in scientific certainty is a dangerous illusion, and how only by embracing science's inherent ambiguities and paradoxes can we truly appreciate its beauty and harness its potential.


Crackling with insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas, from climate change to the global financial meltdown, this book challenges our most sacredly held beliefs about science, technology, and progress. At the same time, it shows how the secret to better science can be found where we least expect it--in the uncertain, the ambiguous, and the inevitably unpredictable. William Byers explains why the subjective element in scientific inquiry is in fact what makes it so dynamic, and deftly balances the need for certainty and rigor in science with the equally important need for creativity, freedom, and downright wonder. Drawing on an array of fascinating examples--from Wall Street's overreliance on algorithms to provide certainty in uncertain markets, to undecidable problems in mathematics and computer science, to Georg Cantor's paradoxical but true assertion about infinity--Byers demonstrates how we can and must learn from the existence of blind spots in our scientific and mathematical understanding.



The Blind Spot offers an entirely new way of thinking about science, one that highlights its strengths and limitations, its unrealized promise, and, above all, its unavoidable ambiguity. It also points to a more sophisticated approach to the most intractable problems of our time.

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From the Inside Flap:


"Byers has taken on a tremendously challenging task, one so daunting that it is hardly conceivable that it could be accomplished. The Blind Spot represents a serious advance, which in itself is very important and impressive."--Reuben Hersh, National Book Award-winning coauthor of The Mathematical Experience


"The myth of absolute predictability has polluted our society and led to a lack of flexibility and imagination. Byers takes on the difficult challenge of formulating a better worldview, in effect a new kind of philosophy of science and mathematics that emphasizes creativity and wonder. He sees more deeply than others into the profoundly and richly ambiguous nature of mathematical and scientific concepts."--Gregory J. Chaitin, author of Thinking about Gödel and Turing


"This is an extremely ambitious book. In addition to science and mathematics, Byers brings to bear insights from literature, philosophy, religion, history, anthropology, medicine, and psychology. The Blind Spot breaks new ground, and represents a major step forward in the philosophy of science. The book is also a page-turner, which is rare for this topic."--Joseph Auslander, professor emeritus, University of Maryland


About the Author:

William Byers is professor emeritus of mathematics and statistics at Concordia University in Montreal. He is the author of How Mathematicians Think: Using Ambiguity, Contradiction, and Paradox to Create Mathematics (Princeton).

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William Byers
Editorial: Princeton University Press, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 0691146845 ISBN 13: 9780691146843
Nuevos Tapa dura Cantidad: 1
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Descripción Princeton University Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In today s unpredictable and chaotic world, we look to science to provide certainty and answers--and often blame it when things go wrong. The Blind Spot reveals why our faith in scientific certainty is a dangerous illusion, and how only by embracing science s inherent ambiguities and paradoxes can we truly appreciate its beauty and harness its potential. Crackling with insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas, from climate change to the global financial meltdown, this book challenges our most sacredly held beliefs about science, technology, and progress. At the same time, it shows how the secret to better science can be found where we least expect it--in the uncertain, the ambiguous, and the inevitably unpredictable. William Byers explains why the subjective element in scientific inquiry is in fact what makes it so dynamic, and deftly balances the need for certainty and rigor in science with the equally important need for creativity, freedom, and downright wonder. Drawing on an array of fascinating examples--from Wall Street s overreliance on algorithms to provide certainty in uncertain markets, to undecidable problems in mathematics and computer science, to Georg Cantor s paradoxical but true assertion about infinity--Byers demonstrates how we can and must learn from the existence of blind spots in our scientific and mathematical understanding. The Blind Spot offers an entirely new way of thinking about science, one that highlights its strengths and limitations, its unrealized promise, and, above all, its unavoidable ambiguity. It also points to a more sophisticated approach to the most intractable problems of our time. Nº de ref. de la librería AAU9780691146843

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Byers, William
Editorial: Princeton University Press (2011)
ISBN 10: 0691146845 ISBN 13: 9780691146843
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Descripción Princeton University Press, 2011. Estado de conservación: New. Reveals why our faith in scientific certainty is a dangerous illusion, and how only by embracing science's inherent ambiguities and paradoxes can we truly appreciate its beauty and harness its potential. This book challenges our most sacredly held beliefs about science, technology, and progress. Num Pages: 240 pages, 2 halftones. 3 line illus. BIC Classification: PDA; PDX; PDZ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 233 x 164 x 20. Weight in Grams: 462. . 2011. Hardcover. . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780691146843

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William Byers
Editorial: Princeton University Press
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Descripción Princeton University Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780691146843

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William Byers
Editorial: Princeton University Press, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 0691146845 ISBN 13: 9780691146843
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Descripción Princeton University Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In today s unpredictable and chaotic world, we look to science to provide certainty and answers--and often blame it when things go wrong. The Blind Spot reveals why our faith in scientific certainty is a dangerous illusion, and how only by embracing science s inherent ambiguities and paradoxes can we truly appreciate its beauty and harness its potential. Crackling with insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas, from climate change to the global financial meltdown, this book challenges our most sacredly held beliefs about science, technology, and progress. At the same time, it shows how the secret to better science can be found where we least expect it--in the uncertain, the ambiguous, and the inevitably unpredictable. William Byers explains why the subjective element in scientific inquiry is in fact what makes it so dynamic, and deftly balances the need for certainty and rigor in science with the equally important need for creativity, freedom, and downright wonder. Drawing on an array of fascinating examples--from Wall Street s overreliance on algorithms to provide certainty in uncertain markets, to undecidable problems in mathematics and computer science, to Georg Cantor s paradoxical but true assertion about infinity--Byers demonstrates how we can and must learn from the existence of blind spots in our scientific and mathematical understanding. The Blind Spot offers an entirely new way of thinking about science, one that highlights its strengths and limitations, its unrealized promise, and, above all, its unavoidable ambiguity. It also points to a more sophisticated approach to the most intractable problems of our time. Nº de ref. de la librería AAU9780691146843

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Byers, William
Editorial: Princeton University Press
ISBN 10: 0691146845 ISBN 13: 9780691146843
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Descripción Princeton University Press. Estado de conservación: New. Reveals why our faith in scientific certainty is a dangerous illusion, and how only by embracing science's inherent ambiguities and paradoxes can we truly appreciate its beauty and harness its potential. This book challenges our most sacredly held beliefs about science, technology, and progress. Num Pages: 240 pages, 2 halftones. 3 line illus. BIC Classification: PDA; PDX; PDZ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 233 x 164 x 20. Weight in Grams: 462. . 2011. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9780691146843

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Descripción Princeton University Press, 2011. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería EH9780691146843

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Descripción Princeton University Press, 2011. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0691146845

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Descripción Princeton University Press, 2011. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería ria9780691146843_rkm

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William Byers
Editorial: Princeton University Press 2011-05-13, Princeton, N.J. |Woodstock (2011)
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Descripción Princeton University Press 2011-05-13, Princeton, N.J. |Woodstock, 2011. hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780691146843

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Descripción 2011. HRD. Estado de conservación: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería IB-9780691146843

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