Science and Literature: Bridging the Two Cultures
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BeschreibungIn this lively and provocative book, a scientist and a humanities scholar attempt to build a bridge between the two cultures in which they work. Addressing fundamental issues of human nature and the ability of science to understand it, and using texts from the biblical Genesis to Brave New World, they explore topics from ethics and social values to chaos theory.With an eye on keeping the science accessible to all, the book contains background chapters on concepts in science that feed into the analysis of literature. That discussion leads to expanded consideration of some of the most compelling contemporary issues, from new developments in the science of the brain and the nature of the mind to possible limitations on scientific knowledge in the natural and social sciences.The authors then explore the use of scientific concepts and ideas in particular literary works: they use Darwinian theories to extract insights from John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman; they use entropy, Maxwell's demon, and chaos theory to study Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49; and they confront the notion of scientific progress with artistic notions of patterns and cycles in W. B. Yeats's poetry.Supplementing the basic discussion, dialogues between the authors range over more controversial areas, such as the question of free will and postmodern views of power, knowledge, and language. Never allowing either of them to escape with trite or trivial statements, the debates illustrate the extent to which commonalities and differences exist between their fields. This entertaining and exceptionally timely book will enlighten both student and scholar, no matter what their discipline.
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: UNIV PR OF FLORIDA
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2001
Seitenanzahl: 272 Seiten