Wondrous Truths: The Improbable Triumph of Modern Science

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9780199385072: Wondrous Truths: The Improbable Triumph of Modern Science

A fresh, daring, and genuine alternative to the traditional story of scientific progress

Explaining the world around us, and the life within it, is one of the most uniquely human drives, and the most celebrated activity of science. Good explanations are what provide accurate causal accounts of the things we wonder at, but explanation's earthly origins haven't grounded it: we have used it to account for the grandest and most wondrous mysteries in the natural world. Explanations give us a sense of understanding, but an explanation that feels right doesn't mean it is true. For every true explanation, there is a false one that feels just as good. A good theory's explanations, though, have a much easier path to truth. This push for good explanations elevated science from medieval alchemy to electro-chemistry, or a pre-inertial physics to the forces underlying nanoparticles. And though the attempt to explain has existed as long as we have been able to wonder, a science timeline from pre-history to the present will reveal a steep curve of theoretical discovery that explodes around 1600, primarily in the West.

Ranging over neuroscience, psychology, history, and policy, Wondrous Truths answers two fundamental questions-Why did science progress in the West? And why so quickly? J.D. Trout's answers are surprising. His central idea is that Western science rose above all others because it hit upon successive theories that were approximately true through an awkward assortment of accident and luck, geography and personal idiosyncrasy. Of course, intellectual ingenuity partially accounts for this persistent drive forward. But so too does the persistence of the objects of wonder. Wondrous Truths recovers the majesty of science, and provides a startling new look at the grand sweep of its biggest ideas.

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About the Author :


J.D. Trout is Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at Loyola University in Chicago. His previous books include Measuring the Intentional World, Epistemology and the Psychology of Human Judgment (with Michael A Bishop), and The Empathy Gap. He has been interviewed in The New York Times, on Latino USA, and Martha Stewart Radio, and has written for the Chicago Tribune and Psychology Today.

Review :


"J.D. Trout proposes a fascinating, controversial, brilliant explanation for why modern science took off in the seventeenth century and never looked back. The Scientific Revolution was due, in his telling, not to the discovery of an amazing new methodological rule or form of social organization but rather to simple good luck: it was a matter of the right people probing the right ideas in the right way. Essential reading for historians and philosophers of science and highly recommended to anyone interested in the rise of modern science." -- Michael Strevens, New York University


"The principal idea of this short but entertaining popular book is that the standard narrative about how science arose across Europe, the one that tells us progress in scientific discovery during the seventeenth century was the result of the inevitable march of scientific method, is incorrect. Rather than being the result of sustained and diligent application of method, successful science is a consequence of hitting upon correct theories through a mixture of accident, luck, geography, and personal idiosyncrasy.... this is a very nice book advocating an original approach to how science got from there to here. I strongly recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in history and/or philosophy of science." -- Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews


"[I]n in the general motivation and aim of this book, I think Trout gets it entirely correct. Trout is at pains to articulate how precarious our epistemic position really is. By emphasizing the contingency of scientific theorizing, Trout points out how hard-won our theoretical knowledge is and consequently how precious it is. The epistemic location in which we now find ourselves was not inevitable, and we should take seriously the luck and serendipity that delivered us here. Understood this way, and understood as directed at those not already familiar with the idea that science is as much a product of contingency as of insight, the book offers an important and helpful viewpoint." -- Metascience


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J. D. Trout
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ISBN 10 : 0199385076 ISBN 13 : 9780199385072
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Description du livre Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A fresh, daring, and genuine alternative to the traditional story of scientific progress. Explaining the world around us, and the life within it, is one of the most uniquely human drives, and the most celebrated activity of science. Good explanations are what provide accurate causal accounts of the things we wonder at, but explanation s earthly origins haven t grounded it: we have used it to account for the grandest and most wondrous mysteries in the natural world. Explanations give us a sense of understanding, but an explanation that feels right doesn t mean it is true. For every true explanation, there is a false one that feels just as good. A good theory s explanations, though, have a much easier path to truth. This push for good explanations elevated science from medieval alchemy to electro-chemistry, or a pre-inertial physics to the forces underlying nanoparticles. And though the attempt to explain has existed as long as we have been able to wonder, a science timeline from pre-history to the present will reveal a steep curve of theoretical discovery that explodes around 1600, primarily in the West.Ranging over neuroscience, psychology, history, and policy, Wondrous Truths answers two fundamental questions - Why did science progress in the West? And why so quickly? J.D. Trout s answers are surprising. His central idea is that Western science rose above all others because it hit upon successive theories that were approximately true through an awkward assortment of accident and luck, geography and personal idiosyncrasy. Of course, intellectual ingenuity partially accounts for this persistent drive forward. But so too does the persistence of the objects of wonder. Wondrous Truths recovers the majesty of science, and provides a startling new look at the grand sweep of its biggest ideas. N° de réf. du libraire AOP9780199385072

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J. D. Trout
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Description du livre Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A fresh, daring, and genuine alternative to the traditional story of scientific progress. Explaining the world around us, and the life within it, is one of the most uniquely human drives, and the most celebrated activity of science. Good explanations are what provide accurate causal accounts of the things we wonder at, but explanation s earthly origins haven t grounded it: we have used it to account for the grandest and most wondrous mysteries in the natural world. Explanations give us a sense of understanding, but an explanation that feels right doesn t mean it is true. For every true explanation, there is a false one that feels just as good. A good theory s explanations, though, have a much easier path to truth. This push for good explanations elevated science from medieval alchemy to electro-chemistry, or a pre-inertial physics to the forces underlying nanoparticles. And though the attempt to explain has existed as long as we have been able to wonder, a science timeline from pre-history to the present will reveal a steep curve of theoretical discovery that explodes around 1600, primarily in the West.Ranging over neuroscience, psychology, history, and policy, Wondrous Truths answers two fundamental questions - Why did science progress in the West? And why so quickly? J.D. Trout s answers are surprising. His central idea is that Western science rose above all others because it hit upon successive theories that were approximately true through an awkward assortment of accident and luck, geography and personal idiosyncrasy. Of course, intellectual ingenuity partially accounts for this persistent drive forward. But so too does the persistence of the objects of wonder. Wondrous Truths recovers the majesty of science, and provides a startling new look at the grand sweep of its biggest ideas. N° de réf. du libraire AOP9780199385072

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Description du livre Oxford University Press. Hardback. État : new. BRAND NEW, Wondrous Truths: The Improbable Triumph of Modern Science, J. D. Trout, Explaining the world around us, and the life within, is one of the most uniquely human drives, and the most celebrated activities of science. Good explanations are accurate causal accounts of the things we wonder at. We explain our children's recalcitrance, the secrets of happiness, or the best route to health. But explanation's earthy origins haven't grounded it; we have used it to account for the grandest of mysteries of the natural world. Why does lightning produce a thunderclap? Why do some cancers respond better to chemotherapy? Why is there a red shift in light coming from cosmologically remote objects? Why do some children with the same level of hearing loss respond differently to cochlear implants? These explanations give us a sense of understanding. But this sense is not a psychological signaling system for the truth. For every true explanation ("), there is a false one that feels just as good ("). But a good theory's explanations have a much easier path to truth. This push for good explanations elevated science from medieval alchemy to polymer or electro-chemistry, or a pre-Newtonian ballistic physics to the forces underlying nanoparticles. In fact, the long science timeline from pre-history to the present describes a steep curve of theoretical discovery that explodes around 1600, primarily in the West. So Wondrous Truths answers these two questions - why in the West and why so quickly - by touring the findings of neuroscience, psychology, history, and policy. And the answers are surprising. The central idea of this book is that Western science rose above all others, because it hit upon successive theories that were approximately true through an awkward assortment of accident and luck, geography and personal idiosyncrasy. The sensible conceptual blend of psychological fluency, historical contingency, and theoretical accuracy found in Wondrous Truths provides a fresh, daring, and genuine alternative to established views of scientific progress. Wondrous Truths recovers the majesty of science, and welcomes the grand sweep of big ideas. N° de réf. du libraire B9780199385072

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Description du livre Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. État : New. 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. A fresh, daring, and genuine alternative to the traditional story of scientific progress. Explaining the world around us, and the life within it, is one of the most uniquely human drives, and the most celebrated activity of science. Good explanations are what provide accurate causal accounts of the things we wonder at, but explanation s earthly origins haven t grounded it: we have used it to account for the grandest and most wondrous mysteries in the natural world. Explanations give us a sense of understanding, but an explanation that feels right doesn t mean it is true. For every true explanation, there is a false one that feels just as good. A good theory s explanations, though, have a much easier path to truth. This push for good explanations elevated science from medieval alchemy to electro-chemistry, or a pre-inertial physics to the forces underlying nanoparticles. And though the attempt to explain has existed as long as we have been able to wonder, a science timeline from pre-history to the present will reveal a steep curve of theoretical discovery that explodes around 1600, primarily in the West.Ranging over neuroscience, psychology, history, and policy, Wondrous Truths answers two fundamental questions - Why did science progress in the West? And why so quickly? J.D. Trout s answers are surprising. His central idea is that Western science rose above all others because it hit upon successive theories that were approximately true through an awkward assortment of accident and luck, geography and personal idiosyncrasy. Of course, intellectual ingenuity partially accounts for this persistent drive forward. But so too does the persistence of the objects of wonder. Wondrous Truths recovers the majesty of science, and provides a startling new look at the grand sweep of its biggest ideas. N° de réf. du libraire BTE9780199385072

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