The Elusive Synthesis

The Elusive Synthesis : Aesthetics and Science

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This collection of essays ranges from phenomenological descriptions of the beautiful in science, to analytical explorations of the philosophical conjunction of the aesthetic and the scientific. It is organized around two central tenets. The first is that scientific experience is laden with an emotive content of the beautiful, which is manifest in the conceptualization of raw data, both in the particulars of presenting and experiencing the phenomenon under investigation, and in the broader theoretical formulation that binds the facts into unitary wholes. The second major theme acknowledges that there may be deeply shared philosophical foundations underlying science and aesthetics, but in the 20th century such commonality has become increasingly difficult to discern. This problem accounts in large measure for the recurrent debate on how to link Science and Beauty, and the latent tension inherent in the effort to tentatively explore what is often only their intuited synthesis.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 353 pages
  • 171.45 x 230 x 19.05mm | 782.95g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands, United States
  • English
  • 1997 ed.
  • 40 SW-Abb.
  • 0792339045
  • 9780792339045

Table of contents

The Aesthetic Construction of Darwin's Theory; D. Kohn. The Sciences and the Arts Share a Common Aesthetic; R.S. Root-Bernstein. 3. Beautiful Experiments in the Life Sciences; F. Holmes. 4. Abstract Painting and Astronomical Image Processing; M. Lynch, S.Y. Edgerton, Jr. 5. Looking at Embryos: The Visual and Conceptual Aesthetics of Emerging Form; S.F. Gilbert, M. Faber. 6. Form and Function in the Molecularization of Biology; S. Sarkar. 7. Scientists' Aesthetic Preferences Among Theories: Conservative Factors in Revolutionary Crises; J.W. McAllister. 8. Objectivity: False Leads from T.S. Kuhn on the Role of the Aesthetic in the Science; J. Margolis. 9. Kant's Aesthetic-Expressive Vision of Mathematics; L. Chernyak, D. Kazhdan. 10. Physics as an Art: The German Tradition and the Symbolic Turn in Philosophy, History of Art and Natural Science in the 1920s; C. Chevalley. 11. Intersections of Art and Science to Create Aesthetic Perception; A.C. Faxon. 12. The Art of Displaying Science: Museum Exhibition; H. Hein. 13. From Descartes' Dream to Husserl's Nightmare; A.I. Tauber.
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