Physics as Metaphor (Abacus Books)

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9780349118581: Physics as Metaphor (Abacus Books)
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Much of the history in the 20th century has been based on the premise that scientists can be truly "objective" about the physical universe. "physics as Metaphor" provides a challenge to the idea of objective measurement, aiming to expose the insubstantiality of the most "solid truths" of physics. The author argues against the concept of objective measurement in two ways - first, by reducing the process of measurement to its essential subjective element, and then by contending that self-consistency, predictability and generality in physics amount to a "stacked deck", a human-valued choice. By exploring the symbolic nature of what the calls the "cardinal metaphors" of physical reality - space, time, matter, number - Jones evaluates their use in physical science and examines the ways in which they colour our world view. He also considers the motives behind human use of metaphors and their ethical implications. Finally, he suggests exercises and puzzles that may help us assume a more creative role in thinking about science.

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