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The edge of reason : a rational skeptic in an irrational world
Baggini, Julian, author
New Haven : Yale University Press, 2016
"Reason, long held as the highest human achievement, is under siege. According to Aristotle, the capacity for reason sets us apart from other animals, yet today it has ceased to be a universally admired faculty. Rationality and reason have become political, disputed concepts, subject to easy dismissal. Julian Baggini argues eloquently that we must recover our reason and reassess its proper place, neither too highly exalted nor completely maligned. Rationality does not require a sterile, scientistic worldview, it simply involves the application of critical thinking wherever thinking is needed. Addressing such major areas of debate as religion, science, politics, psychology, and economics, the author calls for commitment to the notion of a "community of reason," where disagreements are settled by debate and discussion, not brute force or political power. His insightful book celebrates the power of reason, our best hope--indeed our only hope--for dealing with the intractable quagmires of our time"--
Baker Berry BC177 .B18925 2016
Modern logic 1850-1950, East and West
Francine F. Abeles, Mark E. Fuller, editors
Switzerland : Birkhäuser, 
Baker Berry Cook BC38 .M63 2016
Oppositions and paradoxes : philosophical perplexities in science and mathematics
Bell, J. L. author
Peterborough, Ontario : Broadview Press, 
Acknowledgements -- What is this book about? 1 The continuous and the discrete : Continuity and discreteness -- The Pythagorean school and incommensurable magnitudes -- Atomism -- The stoics and the continuum theory of matter -- Zeno's paradoxes -- Contemporary versions of Zeno's paradoxes: supertasks -- Infinitesimals. 2 Oppositions and paradoxes in mathematics: set theory and the infinite : Set theory and the one/many opposition -- Paradoxes of the infinite -- Uncountable infinities -- Set-theoretic antinomies -- The axiom of choice. 3 The strange universe of non-Euclidean geometry : Hyperbolic geometry -- Riemannian geometry. 4 Puzzles and paradoxes of time travel : Time travel into the past: branching timelines -- Temporal loops -- Time travel into the future -- The future time viewer -- Two-dimensional time -- Temporal interdicts -- Time travel as a physical possibility. 5 Puzzles and paradoxes of relativity theory : Special relativity -- Spacetime -- Faster-than-light particles in special relativity: tachyons -- General relativity: the principle of equivalence -- Black holes. 6 Puzzles and paradoxes in quantum physics : Waves vs. particles -- Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and Bohr's principle of complementarity -- Quantum tunneling -- The riddle of polarization -- Schrödinger's cat paradox -- Interpretations of quantum theory -- The EPR paradox and nonlocality. 7 Cosmic enigmas : The beginnings of cosmology -- Steady-state vs. Big Bang -- The problem of the origin of the universe -- Dark matter, dark energy, and cosmic acceleration -- The argument from design vs. the multiverse -- A philosophical coda. Appendix 1 Paradoxes in logic and language : The liar paradox -- The liar, the truth-teller, and the dice man -- Curry's paradox -- The Grelling-Nelson paradox -- Berry's paradox -- Richard's paradox -- The paradox of the heap. Appendix 2 Reflections on the constant and the changing. Appendix 3 Oppositions in Kant's philosophy. Appendix 4 The principle of microstraightness, nilpotent infinitesimals, and the differential calculus. Further reading -- List of oppositions -- List of paradoxes -- Index.
"Since antiquity, opposed concepts such as the One and the Many, the Finite and the Infinite, and the Absolute and the Relative, have been a driving force in philosophical, scientific, and mathematical thought. Yet they have also given rise to perplexing problems and conceptual paradoxes which continue to haunt scientists and philosophers. In Oppositions and Paradoxes, John L. Bell explains and investigates the paradoxes and puzzles that arise out of conceptual oppositions in physics and mathematics. In the process, Bell not only motivates abstract conceptual thinking about the paradoxes at issue, he also offers a compelling introduction to central ideas in such otherwise-difficult topics as non-Euclidean geometry, relativity, and quantum physics. These paradoxes are often as fun as they are flabbergasting. Consider, for example, the famous Tristram Shandy paradox: an immortal man composing an autobiography so slowly as to require a year of writing to describe each day of his life and he would, if he had infinite time, presumably never complete the work, although no individual part of it would remain unwritten. Or imagine an English professor who time-travels back to 1599 to offer a printing of Hamlet to Shakespeare, so as to help the Bard overcome writer's block and author the play which will centuries later inspire an English professor to travel back in time. These and many other paradoxes straddle the boundary between physics and metaphysics, and demonstrate the hidden difficulty in many of our most basic concepts."--
Baker Berry Cook Easy BC199.P2 B44 2016
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