- Paperback: 390 pages
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press (17 May 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226041824
- ISBN-13: 978-0226041827
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,808,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Quantum Dialogue: The Making Of A Revolution (Science & Its Conceptual Foundations) Paperback – 17 May 2001
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From the Inside Flap
Winner of the Morris D. Forkosch Prize of the "Journal of the History of Ideas" for Best Book on Intellectual History, 1999
"Science is rooted in conversations," wrote Werner Heisenberg, one of the twentieth century's great physicists; "Quantum Dialogue" shows us how often science is rooted not just in conversation but in disagreement, a culture that fuels scientific creativity. Using original correspondence, notebooks, and drafts of talks and published papers, Beller reveals how world-famous scientists promoted their views by dismissing their opponents as "unreasonable" and championing their own not-always-coherent positions as "inevitable." "Quantum Dialogue" provides a revision of the accepted history of the quantum revolution, proposes a new approach to the history and philosophy of science, and will surely fascinate anyone interested in how "scientific revolutions" are constructed and "scientific consensus" is achieved.
About the Author
Mara Beller is the Barbara Druss Dibner Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
At the end of the book, Beller takes a well aimed, and in my view quite justified, shot at the Thomas Kuhn work Stucture of Scientific Revolution which used the development of quantum mechanics as an expample to create the paradigm shift view of revolutionary change in scientific progress.
Finally, Beller proposes a dialogical philosophy and historiography of science which emphasis the communication of multiple individuals creating a synthesis by cooperation and conflict.
Yet at the end of the day, I found myself thinking - why did I read 325 pages of dense, though not unclear, academic prose to make what seems like a simple enough point that I would have believed from a much shorter essay? The answer is that this book was written in dialogue with other professionals in the history and philosophy of science and every reference had to be cited, every blind alley followed, and so on. Assuming that the professionals in this field do not go to Amazon to read reviews of a 14 year old book, I have to rate this book for the average layperson with an interest in science and some knowledge of what quantum mechanics is and how it developed. So the three stars means you may or may not really want to read this all the way through as I did but it does have a point of view that really should be carefully and thoughtfully considered especially since that view is not fully consistent with much of popular history on the subject.
This question is adressed by Mara Beller in "Quantum Dialogue", which can be seen as a new way to look at the problem of social change beyond Kuhn's "Structure". Indeed, it is well written, informative and, sometimes, technical. But I believe technicalities are at the heart of physics, so, it is necessary to grasp them.
I recommend this reading for all physicists, sociologists and anarchists.
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