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The Flight from Science and Reason (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences) Paperback – 8 May 1997

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: New York Academy of Sciences (8 May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801856760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801856761
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 15.2 x 3.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,249,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


""[This book] reflects the views of 40 scholars, scientists, adn other experts... Each author speaks strongly to critics of the scientific methods and to those who acquiesce to mystics, radical environmentalists, and creationists. They also issue a powerful exhonaration to turn back this trend and revert to reliance on reason and logic." -- Science News

Book Description

The authors of Higher Superstition and others take on critics of science from social constructivists to deconstructionists, from creationists and feminists to Afro-centrists.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found the book thoroughly fascinating. How strange that, so many years on, the scientific community still feels like an embattled clique. Or am I living in a uniquely New Age part of the world?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A scholarly collection of papers 14 Mar. 2000
By Arturo Magidin - Published on
Format: Paperback
Those looking for some more (well deserved) bashing of the postmodernist academic left, such as that found in Gross and Levitt's previous book "Higher Superstition" may be disappointed. This book is a collection of papers delivered at a conference held under the auspices of the New York Academy of Sciences, organized by the authors. The papers vary both in quality and in thrust depending on the author.
The book is divided into 11 sections, each containing three to five papers that fit into the general category. Categories include "The Public Image of Science", "The Foundations of Physics", "Health", "Environment", "Feminism", "Humanities", "Religion" and "Education", among others.
It being proceedings from a conference, few papers actually delve into particular examples of bad science. Notable exceptions are "Building bridges to Afrocentrism" by Ann Macy Roth and "Whatever happened to historical evidence?" by Mary Lefkowitz, both of which contain criticisms of many afrocentrist claims regarding the egyptians, among a handful of others. Other papers talk about the philosophical underpinnings of the postmodernist movement, or survey some of the literature, or encourage scientist to speak up in defense of science against the attacks by those championing the irrational. Many authors try not to get into discussions of validity in order to not be seen as "preaching to the choir", which can leave the lay reader looking for more postmodernist howlers feeling ill-served.
On the other hand, the articles contain a wealth of information in the form of references, and mark trends both of the anti-science academic left and her critics. Not recommended to non-scientist (read Gross and Levitt's other book instead), but those with a keen interest in the debates what what science "is" will find it an interesting and thought provoking read.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read book for all in the humanities and sciences 29 Nov. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
An absolutely stunning collection of essays on the current status of thinking (or rather lack there of) in some faculties of arts in universities, and so on. Touches upon all the different forms of irrationalism that are sweeping our societies. For those scientists who don't know that their very livelihood is threatened by some loudmouthed critics, this book will be an eye opener. For the humanities people, like myself (I am a student of the philosophy of science) it will serve well in understanding the current irrationalist vogue.
18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Necessary work, but overly academic 23 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
As a history major, and someone who is fed up with post-modernist nonesense at the university, this book was a must-read for me.
I only have two concerns with this otherwise solid title.
1) The text is too academic -- how about a short, readable book for the masses? I propose a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) format that would enable students and others to confront unargued post-modern dogma.
2) I would have loved an examination of the historical roots of post-modernism and other forms of irrationalism. For those who are interested, Wendy Kaminer's book 'Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials' is a good examination of American irrationalism.
Finally, if anyone else reading this review is a student (or teacher) at a university who is concerned with the stifling of free inquiry in education, please e-mail me and initiate a discussion. Thank you.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An important collection of lectures. 21 Jun. 2005
By S. Plowright - Published on
Format: Paperback
A broad but restrained look at various aspects of the irrationalist fad. The lectures put forward clear and calm arguments exposing the disturbing trends in academia that are hopefully losing popularity as their lack of substance is revealed. This was never meant to be a popular book, but for anyone with an interest or a stake in the pursuit of knowledge, or the standard of our education system, it is a useful reference.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable 21 Oct. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This collection provides a quite thorough overview of the postmodern attack on science and reason. Most of the authors demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the powers and limits of rationality and successfully manage to expose the flaws in the postmodernist arguments. Well done.
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