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Jonathan M. Links
Bobby Matherne

Stephen Edelglass,Georg Maier and Hans Gebert

The Marriage of Sense and Thought

Reductionism is a powerful force in the development of science. In The Marriage of Sense and Thought: Imaginitive Participation in Science the authors claim that it is driving science in the wrong direction, and what is more that it is leading to a lack of meaning in our lives. For instance the claim in the first chapter is that smiles are being robbed of their meaning by scientists describing them in reductionist terms. So how do the authors justify this claim. Well, I have to say: not very well - they seem to take it as read in their discussions, whereas I would see it as something which requires a lot of supporting argument in order to be taken seriously.

That's not to say that none of the discussion in the book is of value. In the second chapter looks at how we use our senses to make sense of the world. This leads on to a look at the development of scientific thinking, and at the difference between how we see a situation and its description in terms of reductionist science. In particular the authors look at light and the way we describe colours and reflections, as distinct from trying to describe the light itself in scientific terms. The final chapter argues that science shouldn't be so tied to reductionist models - that each discipline should be able to describe things in its own terms. I thought that there were some interesting points made in this book, but that in the end there was too much that was claimed but not justified.

Note: I read the first edition entitled Matter and Mind info
Paperback 160 pages  
ISBN: 0940262827
Salesrank: 4549887
Published: 1997 Lindisfarne Books
Marketplace:New from $13.97:Used from $2.79
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Paperback 148 pages  
ISBN: 0940262827
Salesrank: 8227531
Weight:0.5 lbs
Published: 1995 Lindisfarne Books
Marketplace:New from £23.22:Used from £0.01
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Paperback 136 pages  
ISBN: 0940262452
Weight:0.45 lbs
Published: 1991 Lindisfarne Pr
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 121.68:Used from CDN$ 35.82
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Product Description
Few would question the fact that sense experience originally provided a firm basis for empirical natural science. Yet contemporary science has reduced the world to particles and forces that lie well beyond the reach of our human senses. The extraordinary -- and alienating -- fact is that human experience no longer has a place within our scientific worldview.

The authors of this book, a revised edition of Matter and Mind, have begun to unravel this paradox. They show that the concepts of modern physics such as mass, force, or velocity are deeply rooted in the experience of specific senses. Each of our senses is a gateway into a different aspect of the world. This insight throws a new light on the dilemmas of contemporary science, such as the wave-particle duality in quantum mechanics.

By recognizing the essential role of sense perception in scientific knowledge, this highly readable book lays the foundations for a science that, while maintaining its rigorous methodology, can begin to incorporate the fullness of human experience into its domain.