Book DetailAuthor/Editor(s): Michela Massimi
Publication Date: October 18, 2014
Size: 3.34 MB
Format: pdf, epub
Book DescriptionWhat is the origin of our universe? What are dark matter and dark energy? What is our role in the universe as human beings capable of knowledge? What makes us intelligent cognitive agents seemingly endowed with consciousness? Scientific research across both the physical and cognitive sciences raises fascinating philosophical questions. Philosophy and the Sciences For Everyone introduces these questions and more. It begins by asking what good is philosophy for the sciences before examining the following questions:
- The origin of our universe
- Dark matter and dark energy
- Anthropic reasoning in philosophy and cosmology
- Evolutionary theory and the human mind
- What is consciousness?
- Intelligent machines and the human brain
- Embodied Cognition.
Each chapter includes an introduction, summary and study questions and there is a glossary of technical terms. Designed to be used on the corresponding Philosophy and the Sciences online course offered by the University of Edinburgh this book is also a superb introduction to central topics in philosophy of science and popular science.
I am using this book alongside the coursera online course to teach an introductory class made up of both philosophy and science students. We are partway through the course and so far I have found that this book is a great way to get students to start engaging with science from a philosophical point of view. Although it is designed around the online course of the same name (which so far has been excellent and a great resource for those coming to the topic without any background in philosophy of science) it also stands alone as a unique entrance to the topic. While the first chapter gives a brief introduction to the philosophy of science enabling the reader to situate the current debates, the book is unlike typical philosophy of science introductions as it then jumps straight in to engaging with cosmology and the cognitive sciences. The book is clearly written, and accessible to those without philosophical or scientific training while engaging with sufficiently challenging topics such that whatever your background, it is likely that there will be new and interesting material to engage with. The authors provide plenty of pointers to additional sources for the interested reader as well as questions at the end of each chapter to help the reader think through and remember the key points in the text. I am enjoying using the book and would recommend it for promoting interdisciplinary discussions in introductory philosophy of science classes.
--MLS, Amazon Customer Reviews