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ОбложкаGleiser M. The island of knowledge: the limits of science and the search for meaning. - New York: Basic books, 2014. - xxiv, 335 p. - Bibliogr.: p.313-318. - Ind.: p.319-335. - ISBN 978-0-465-03171-9
Шифр: (И/Ю25-G52) 02
 

Место хранения: 02 | Отделение ГПНТБ СО РАН | Новосибирск

Оглавление / Contents
 
Prologue: The Island of Knowledge ............................ xiii

PART I. The Origin of the World and the Nature of the Heavens
1  THE WILL TO BELIEVE .......................................... 3
   (Wherein we explore the role of belief and extrapolation in
   religion and in scientific creativity)
2  BEYOND SPACE AND TIME ........................................ 9
   (Wherein we explore how different religions have faced the
   question of the origin of all things)
3  TO BE, OR TO BECOME? THAT IS THE QUESTION ................... 15
   (Wherein we encounter the first philosophers of ancient
   Greece and delve into their remarkable notions about the
   meaning of reality)
4  LESSONS FROM PLATO'S DREAM .................................. 25
   (Wherein we explore how Plato and Aristotle dealt with the
   question of the First Cause and with the limits of
   knowledge)
5  THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF A NEW OBSERVATIONAL TOOL ........ 37
   (Wherein we describe how three remarkable gentlemen, with
   access to new observational tools and endowed with
   remarkable creativity, transformed our worldview)
6  CRACKING OPEN THE DOME OF HEAVEN ............................ 49
   (Wherein we explore the genius of Isaac Newton and why his
   physics became a beacon of the human intellect)
7  SCIENCE AS NATURE'S GRAND NARRATIVE ......................... 55
   (Wherein we argue that science is a human construction
   powerful in its range and its openness to change)
8  THE PLASTICITY OF SPACE ..................................... 61
   (Wherein we explore Einstein's special and general
   theories of relativity and their implication for our
   understanding of space and time)
9  THE RESTLESS UNIVERSE ....................................... 67
   (Wherein we explore the expansion of the Universe and the
   appearance of a singularity at the origin of time)

10 THERE IS NO NOW ............................................. 73
   (Wherein we argue that the notion of "now" is a cognitive
   fabrication)
11 COSMIC BLINDNESS ............................................ 79
   (Wherein we explore the concept of cosmic horizons and how
   it limits what we can know of the Universe)
12 SPLITTING INFINITIES ........................................ 93
   (Wherein we begin to explore the notion of the infinite,
   and how it translates into cosmology)
13 ROLLING DOWNHILL ........................................... 101
   (Wherein we explain the notion of false vacuum energy,
   how it relates to the famous Higgs boson, and how it may
   fuel an accelerated cosmic expansion)
14 COUNTING UNIVERSES ......................................... 107
   (Wherein the concept of the multiverse is introduced and
   its physical and metaphysical implications explored)
15 INTERLUDE: A PROMENADE ALONG THE STRING LANDSCAPE .......... 117
   (Wherein the notion of the string landscape is discussed,
   together with its anthropic motivation)
16 CAN WE TEST THE MULTIVERSE HYPOTHESIS? ..................... 125
   (Wherein we explore whether the multiverse is a proper
   physical theory or mere speculation)

PART II. From Alchemy to the Quantum: The Elusive Nature of
Reality
17 EVERYTHING FLOATS IN NOTHINGNESS ........................... 137
   (Wherein we explore the Greek notion of Atomism)
18 ADMIRABLE FORCE AND EFFICACY OF ART AND NATURE ............. 141
   (Wherein we visit the world of alchemy, an exploration of
   powers hidden in matter through method and spiritual
   discipline)
19 THE ELUSIVE NATURE OF HEAT ................................. 151
   (Wherein we explore phlogiston and caloric, the strange
   substances proposed to explain the nature of heat, and
   how such substances were later discarded as explanations)
20 MYSTERIOUS LIGHT ........................................... 157
   (Wherein we explore how light's mysterious properties
   spawned the twin scientific revolutions of the early
   twentieth century)
21 LEARNING TO LET GO ......................................... 167
   (Wherein we begin our exploration of quantum physics and
   how it imposes limits on what we can know of the world)
22 THE TALE OF THE INTREPID ANTHROPOLOGIST .................... 175
   (Wherein an allegory explores the role of the observer
   in quantum physics and how measurements interfere with
   what is measured)
23 WHAT WAVES IN THE QUANTUM REALM? ........................... 179
   (Wherein we explore Max Born's bizarre interpretation of
   quantum mechanics and how it complicates our notion of
   physical reality)
24 CAN WE KNOW WHAT IS REAL? .................................. 189
   (Wherein we explore the implications of quantum physics
   for our understanding of reality)
25 WHO IS AFRAID OF QUANTUM GHOSTS? ........................... 203
   (Wherein we revisit what so bothered Einstein about
   quantum physics and what it tells us about the world)
26 FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS .................................... 207
   (Wherein we discuss Bell's theorem and how its
   experimental implementation shows how reality is stranger
   than fiction)
27 CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE QUANTUM WORLD ........................ 217
   (Wherein we discuss the role consciousness might play in
   the quantum realm)
28 BACK TO THE BEGINNING ...................................... 231
   (Wherein we attempt to make sense of what the quantum
   enigma is telling us)

PART III. Mind and Meaning
29 ON THE LAWS OF HUMANS AND THE LAWS OF NATURE ............... 241
   (Wherein we discuss whether mathematics is an invention
   or a discovery and why it matters)
30 INCOMPLETENESS ............................................. 253
   (Wherein we briefly visit and explore Godel's and
   Turing's disconcerting but all-important findings)
31 SINISTER DREAMS OF TRANSHUMAN MACHINES: OR THE WORLD AS
   INFORMATION ................................................ 259
   (Wherein we examine whether the world is information,
   the nature of consciousness, and whether reality is
   a simulation)
32 AWE AND MEANING ............................................ 279
   (Wherein we reflect upon the urge to know and why it
   matters)

Acknowledgments ............................................... 285
Notes ......................................................... 287
Bibliography .................................................. 313
Index ......................................................... 319

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