Full Text

Introduction

W. H. NEWTON-SMITH


Subject Philosophy

Key-Topics science

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631230205.2001.00003.x


Extract

We think that science is special: its products - technological spin-offs - dominate our lives. Sometimes it enriches our lives; sometimes it impoverishes them or even takes them away. For better or for worse, no institution has had more impact on the character of our existence this millennium than science. Penicillin, computers, atomic bombs make modern life modern life. Science affects our lives profoundly in another way as well. These technological devices derive from sophisticated theories, some rudimentary understanding of which is the hallmark of the educated person. The theories - evolution, quantum mechanics, relativity, and so forth - tell us stories that are sometimes hard to believe or even to understand. But we do come to believe them. And in coming to believe them we form radically different pictures from our ancestors of ourselves, of the world, and of our place in it. The modern person is composed ultimately of subatomic particles with properties that defy comprehension. We trace our origins back to inanimate matter and live in a curved space-time created by a big bang. Nowhere is this hunger to know the scientific picture of the world more manifested than in the remarkable current demand for popular science writings. Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time (1988), on the list of best-selling books for well over a year, is but one of many attempts to paint the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top