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The Common Sense of Science (Harvard…
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The Common Sense of Science (Harvard Paperbacks) (Original 1951; 1978. Auflage)

von J. Bronowski

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J. Bronowski was both a distinguished mathematician and a poet, a philosopher of science and a literary critic who wrote a well-known study of William Blake. Dr. Bronowski's very career was founded on the premise of an intimate connection between science and the humanities, disciplines which are still generally thought to be worlds apart. The Common Sense of Science, a book which remains as topical today as it was when it first appeared twenty-five years ago, articulates and develops Bronowski's provocative idea that the sciences and the arts fundamentally share the same imaginative vision.… (mehr)
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Titel:The Common Sense of Science (Harvard Paperbacks)
Autoren:J. Bronowski
Info:Harvard University Press (1978), Paperback, 162 pages
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The Common Sense of Science von J. Bronowski (1951)

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In the first chapter, Bronowski suggests that science and the arts are very similar, although the last few generations of scientists and artists have fought against that idea. In his opinion, the only reason science does not seem accessible to most people (in the way the arts are accessible, for example) is because our society lacks a common language to communicate scientific ideas in. He goes on to explain his ideas through the history of scientific discovery: the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, Isaac Newton’s contribution to science, the idea of order in the eighteenth century, the idea of causes in the nineteenth century, and the idea of chance. He concludes the book with of discussion stemming from the creation and use of the atomic bomb: whether science is a creator or a destroyer.

After reading the first chapter, I was intrigued by the comparison of arts and science. The rest of the book was harder to get into, I think because Bronowski’s writing style was difficult. I was pleasantly surprised that even though the book was published in 1978, it didn’t seem dated until the last chapter. Overall, it was a decent read with a lot of interesting ideas that approached science from a different perspective, although I won’t be picking up anything else by this author.

I think the following quotes sum up the book as well as anything I could write about it:

“In a book about science, I have looked at the growth of its concepts: the machine and the model, order, cause and chance, prediction and the future, the fundamental concept of law and the particular concepts which range from waves to matter and the cell. But all these are expressions of the relation of man and his societies to the universal nature. None is achieved without man’s judgment of that order, what is like and what is unlike, what in it matters and what does not.”

“Science is a great many things, and I have called them a great many names; but in the end they all return to this: science is the acceptance of what works and the rejection of what does not. That needs more courage than we might think.”

“I believe that science can create values: and will create them precisely as literature does, by looking into the human personality; by discovering what divides it and what cements it.” ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
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J. Bronowski was both a distinguished mathematician and a poet, a philosopher of science and a literary critic who wrote a well-known study of William Blake. Dr. Bronowski's very career was founded on the premise of an intimate connection between science and the humanities, disciplines which are still generally thought to be worlds apart. The Common Sense of Science, a book which remains as topical today as it was when it first appeared twenty-five years ago, articulates and develops Bronowski's provocative idea that the sciences and the arts fundamentally share the same imaginative vision.

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