Beauty and Revolution in Science

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9780801486258: Beauty and Revolution in Science

Explaining why he embraced the theory of relativity, the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist P. A. M. Dirac stated, "It is the essential beauty of the theory which I feel is the real reason for believing in it." How reasonable and rational can science be when its practitioners speak of "revolutions" in their thinking and extol certain theories for their "beauty"? James W. McAllister addresses this question with the first systematic study of the aesthetic evaluations that scientists pass on their theories.

Using a wealth of other examples, McAllister explains how scientists' aesthetic preferences are influenced by the empirical track record of theories, describes the origin and development of aesthetic styles of theorizing, and reconsiders whether simplicity is an empirical or an aesthetic virtue of theories. McAllister then advances an innovative model of scientific revolutions, in opposition to that of Thomas S. Kuhn.

Three detailed studies demonstrate the interconnection of empirical performance, beauty, and revolution. One examines the impact of new construction materials on the history of architecture. Another reexamines the transition from the Ptolemaic system to Kepler's theory in planetary astronomy, and the third documents the rise of relativity and quantum theory in the twentieth century.

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About the Author:

James W. McAllister is Associate Professor at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Leiden, and the editor of the journal, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science.

From Library Journal:

McAllister (philosophy, Univ. of Leiden) critically explores the influences that aesthetic judgments have on deciding which theories best account for natural phenomena. Given his own rationalist image of scientific practice, he gives priority to objective empirical adequacy over both subjective aesthetic evaluations and traditional metaphysical preferences. Accordingly, he argues that theoretical innovations have aesthetic constraints. McAllister contends that neither Copernicus nor Einstein brought about a true revolution in astronomy or physics, respectively, because each retained the established aesthetic of theory choice. In sharp contrast, introducing ellipses over circles into mathematical astronomy and indeterminism over determinism in quantum physics represent two genuine revolutionary episodes in the history of science. Empirical success and subsequent aesthetic induction result in new norms for the scientific evaluation of future theories. This scholarly analysis of aesthetic predilections and paradigm switchings in scientific communities is recommended for all academic libraries.?H. James Birx, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, N.Y.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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James W. McAllister
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James W. McAllister
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Descripción Cornell University Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 1st New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Explaining why he embraced the theory of relativity, the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist P. A. M. Dirac stated, It is the essential beauty of the theory which I feel is the real reason for believing in it. How reasonable and rational can science be when its practitioners speak of revolutions in their thinking and extol certain theories for their beauty ? James W. McAllister addresses this question with the first systematic study of the aesthetic evaluations that scientists pass on their theories. Using a wealth of other examples, McAllister explains how scientists aesthetic preferences are influenced by the empirical track record of theories, describes the origin and development of aesthetic styles of theorizing, and reconsiders whether simplicity is an empirical or an aesthetic virtue of theories. McAllister then advances an innovative model of scientific revolutions, in opposition to that of Thomas S. Kuhn. Three detailed studies demonstrate the interconnection of empirical performance, beauty, and revolution. One examines the impact of new construction materials on the history of architecture. Another reexamines the transition from the Ptolemaic system to Kepler s theory in planetary astronomy, and the third documents the rise of relativity and quantum theory in the twentieth century. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780801486258

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James W. McAllister
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Descripción Cornell University Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Explaining why he embraced the theory of relativity, the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist P. A. M. Dirac stated, It is the essential beauty of the theory which I feel is the real reason for believing in it. How reasonable and rational can science be when its practitioners speak of revolutions in their thinking and extol certain theories for their beauty ? James W. McAllister addresses this question with the first systematic study of the aesthetic evaluations that scientists pass on their theories. Using a wealth of other examples, McAllister explains how scientists aesthetic preferences are influenced by the empirical track record of theories, describes the origin and development of aesthetic styles of theorizing, and reconsiders whether simplicity is an empirical or an aesthetic virtue of theories. McAllister then advances an innovative model of scientific revolutions, in opposition to that of Thomas S. Kuhn. Three detailed studies demonstrate the interconnection of empirical performance, beauty, and revolution. One examines the impact of new construction materials on the history of architecture. Another reexamines the transition from the Ptolemaic system to Kepler s theory in planetary astronomy, and the third documents the rise of relativity and quantum theory in the twentieth century. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780801486258

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Descripción Cornell University Press. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Paperback. 248 pages. Dimensions: 9.1in. x 6.2in. x 0.8in.Explaining why he embraced the theory of relativity, the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist P. A. M. Dirac stated, It is the essential beauty of the theory which I feel is the real reason for believing in it. How reasonable and rational can science be when its practitioners speak of revolutions in their thinking and extol certain theories for their beauty James W. McAllister addresses this question with the first systematic study of the aesthetic evaluations that scientists pass on their theories. Using a wealth of other examples, McAllister explains how scientists aesthetic preferences are influenced by the empirical track record of theories, describes the origin and development of aesthetic styles of theorizing, and reconsiders whether simplicity is an empirical or an aesthetic virtue of theories. McAllister then advances an innovative model of scientific revolutions, in opposition to that of Thomas S. Kuhn. Three detailed studies demonstrate the interconnection of empirical performance, beauty, and revolution. One examines the impact of new construction materials on the history of architecture. Another reexamines the transition from the Ptolemaic system to Keplers theory in planetary astronomy, and the third documents the rise of relativity and quantum theory in the twentieth century. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780801486258

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James W. McAllister
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Descripción Cornell University Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New edition. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Explaining why he embraced the theory of relativity, the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist P. A. M. Dirac stated, It is the essential beauty of the theory which I feel is the real reason for believing in it. How reasonable and rational can science be when its practitioners speak of revolutions in their thinking and extol certain theories for their beauty ? James W. McAllister addresses this question with the first systematic study of the aesthetic evaluations that scientists pass on their theories. Using a wealth of other examples, McAllister explains how scientists aesthetic preferences are influenced by the empirical track record of theories, describes the origin and development of aesthetic styles of theorizing, and reconsiders whether simplicity is an empirical or an aesthetic virtue of theories. McAllister then advances an innovative model of scientific revolutions, in opposition to that of Thomas S. Kuhn. Three detailed studies demonstrate the interconnection of empirical performance, beauty, and revolution. One examines the impact of new construction materials on the history of architecture. Another reexamines the transition from the Ptolemaic system to Kepler s theory in planetary astronomy, and the third documents the rise of relativity and quantum theory in the twentieth century. Nº de ref. de la librería LIE9780801486258

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