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    Higher Speculations: Grand Theories and Failed Revolutions in Physics and Cosmology (Hardback) By (author) Helge Kragh

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    DescriptionThroughout history, people have tried to construct 'theories of everything': highly ambitious attempts to understand nature in its totality. This account presents these theories in their historical contexts, from little known hypotheses from the past to modern developments such as the theory of superstrings, the anthropic principle and ideas of many universes, and uses them to problematize the limits of scientific knowledge. Do claims to theories of everything belong to science at all? Which are the epistemic standards on which an alleged scientific theory of the universe - or the multiverse - is to be judged? Such questions are currently being discussed by physicists and cosmologists, but rarely within a historical perspective. This book argues that these questions have a history and that knowledge of the historical development of 'higher speculations' may inform and qualify the current debate of the nature and limits of scientific explanation.


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    Title
    Higher Speculations
    Subtitle
    Grand Theories and Failed Revolutions in Physics and Cosmology
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Helge Kragh
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 416
    Width: 176 mm
    Height: 247 mm
    Thickness: 26 mm
    Weight: 954 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780199599882
    ISBN 10: 0199599882
    Classifications

    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: SCI
    BIC subject category V2: PDX
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S7.0
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 03
    BIC subject category V2: PGK, PH
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 01
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    DC22: 501
    Ingram Subject Code: SE
    Libri: I-SE
    B&T General Subject: 710
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 16100
    LC subject heading:
    LC classification: QB
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: SCI004000, SCI015000
    DC22: 523.109
    LC subject heading: ,
    Illustrations note
    17 b/w line and halftone illustrations
    Publisher
    Oxford University Press
    Imprint name
    Oxford University Press
    Publication date
    01 March 2011
    Publication City/Country
    Oxford
    Author Information
    After graduation from the University of Copenhagen in Physics and Chemistry, and a period as teacher in gymnasium schools, Helge Kragh became Associate Professor at Cornell University, Departments of History and Physics. Later, he took positions as Curator at the Steno Museum for Science and Medicine and Professor of the History of Science at the University of Oslo, Norway. Since 1997, he has been Professor of the History of Science and Technology, University of Aarhus, Denmark. He is a Member of the Royal Danish Academy of Science, the International Academy for the History of Science, and of the European Academy of Science. He was President of the European Society for the History of Science (2008-2010).
    Table of contents
    1. Beginnings of Modern Science ; 2. A Victorian Theory of Everything ; 3. Electrodynamics as a World View ; 4. Rationalist Cosmologies ; 5. Cosmology and Controversy ; 6. The Rise and Fall of the Bootstrap Programme ; 7. Varying Constants of Nature ; 8. New Cyclic Models of The Universe ; 9. The Anthropic Principle ; 10. Multiverse Scenarios ; 11. String Theory and Other Models of Quantum Gravity ; 12. Astrobiology and Physical Eschatology ; 13. Summary: Final Theories and Epistemic Shifts