Summer Reading Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | July 24, 2014

Jessica Valenti: IMG Full Frontal Feminism Revisited



It is arguably the worst and best time to be a feminist. In the years since I first wrote Full Frontal Feminism, we've seen a huge cultural shift in... Continue »
  1. $11.90 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$24.95
New Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
11 Local Warehouse Philosophy- General
14 Remote Warehouse Science Reference- Philosophy of Science

Cosmic Apprentice: Dispatches from the Edges of Science

by

Cosmic Apprentice: Dispatches from the Edges of Science Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the pursuit of knowledge, Dorion Sagan argues in this dazzlingly eclectic, rigorously crafted, and deliciously witty collection of essays, scientific authoritarianism and philosophical obscurantism are equally formidable obstacles to discovery. As science has become more specialized and more costly, its questing spirit has been constrained by dogma. And philosophy, perhaps the discipline best placed to question orthodoxy, has retreated behind dense theoretical language and arcane topics of learning.

Guided by a capacious, democratic view of science inspired by the examples set by his late parents—Carl Sagan, who popularized the study of the cosmos, and Lynn Margulis, an evolutionary biologist who repeatedly clashed with the scientific establishment—Sagan draws on classical and contemporary philosophy to intervene provocatively in often-charged debates on thermodynamics, linear and nonlinear time, purpose, ethics, the links between language and psychedelic drugs, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and the occupation of the human body by microbial others. Informed by a countercultural sensibility, a deep engagement with speculative thought, and a hardheaded scientific skepticism, he advances controversial positions on such seemingly sacrosanct subjects as evolution and entropy. At the same time, he creatively considers a wide range of thinkers, from Socrates to Bataille and Descartes to von Uexküll, to reflect on sex, biopolitics, and the free will of Kermit the Frog.

Refreshingly nonconformist and polemically incisive, Cosmic Apprentice challenges readers to reject both dogma and cliché and instead recover the intellectual spirit of adventure that should—and can once again—animate both science and philosophy.

Review:

"Blending science, philosophy, poetry, and personal experience, Sagan presents a series of essays kaleidoscopic in style and tone. He explains that, 'this book is a book of science, but it is also one of philosophy.' Both are evident in his explorations of life, death, and the universe. Replete with quotations from everyone from Galileo to Dr. Seuss, his writing is often arcane, with sentences the length of which would delight a German philosopher, and he expects the reader to be familiar with the intellectual background of his musings; for instance, 'The death wish...stems from this protosemiotic or ur-semiotic drive to return to equilibrium.' Later, he states, 'The reintroduction of function — the reunion of ontos and telos with bios — is as empirically valid as it is spiritually salutary.' Sagan is of noble scientific pedigree — his mother was evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis, and his father astronomer Carl, of whom he shares warts-and-all remembrances — though in his essay on sex, readers will learn more about the habits of crabs and slugs than they may like. This is not a book to read quickly or to swallow whole, but for those who are intrigued by the great imponderables of existence, Sagan offers tasty morsels to savor. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Refreshingly nonconformist and polemically incisive, Cosmic Apprentice challenges readers to reject both dogma and cliché and instead recover the intellectual adventurousness that should—and can once again—animate both science and philosophy. Informed by a countercultural sensibility, a deep engagement with speculative thought, and a hardheaded scientific skepticism, it advances controversial positions on such seemingly sacrosanct subjects as evolution and entropy.

About the Author

Dorion Sagan is a writer, editor, and theorist. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books, including Lynn Margulis: The Life of and Legacy of a Scientific Rebel and Into the Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction: Condensed—The Questing Spirit

Part I. From Protozoan to the Posthuman

1. The Human Is More Than Human: Interspecies Communities and the New Facts of

Life

2. Bataille’s Sun and the Ethical Abyss: Late-Night Thoughts on the Problem of an

Affirmative Biopolitics

3. The Post-Man Already Always Rings Twice

Part II. Stardust Memories

4. Stardust Memories

5. A Quick History of Sex

6. Who Is I?

7. Of Whales and Aliens: The Search for Intelligent Life on Earth

Part III. Gaia Sings the Blues

8. Thermosemiosis: Boltzmann’s Sleight, Trim’s Hat, and the Confusion concerning

Entropy

9. Life Gave Earth the Blues

10. Mousetrap

Part IV. Closing the Open Circuit

11. Priests of the Modern

Product Details

ISBN:
9780816681358
Author:
Sagan, Dorion
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Subject:
Philosophy & Aspects
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20130531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 x 1.5 in
Age Level:
Scientific Revolutions and the Kook–Critic C

Other books you might like

  1. Designing Games: A Guide to... New Trade Paper $39.99
  2. Wine: A Global History (Reaktion... New Hardcover $18.00
  3. Planting: A New Perspective New Hardcover $39.95
  4. The Solar House: Pioneering... New Hardcover $55.00
  5. When China Rules the World: The End... Used Hardcover $11.00
  6. Data Points: Visualization That... New Trade Paper $39.99

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » New Arrivals
Science and Mathematics » Popular Science » Essays

Cosmic Apprentice: Dispatches from the Edges of Science New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$24.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages University of Minnesota Press - English 9780816681358 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Blending science, philosophy, poetry, and personal experience, Sagan presents a series of essays kaleidoscopic in style and tone. He explains that, 'this book is a book of science, but it is also one of philosophy.' Both are evident in his explorations of life, death, and the universe. Replete with quotations from everyone from Galileo to Dr. Seuss, his writing is often arcane, with sentences the length of which would delight a German philosopher, and he expects the reader to be familiar with the intellectual background of his musings; for instance, 'The death wish...stems from this protosemiotic or ur-semiotic drive to return to equilibrium.' Later, he states, 'The reintroduction of function — the reunion of ontos and telos with bios — is as empirically valid as it is spiritually salutary.' Sagan is of noble scientific pedigree — his mother was evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis, and his father astronomer Carl, of whom he shares warts-and-all remembrances — though in his essay on sex, readers will learn more about the habits of crabs and slugs than they may like. This is not a book to read quickly or to swallow whole, but for those who are intrigued by the great imponderables of existence, Sagan offers tasty morsels to savor. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,

Refreshingly nonconformist and polemically incisive, Cosmic Apprentice challenges readers to reject both dogma and cliché and instead recover the intellectual adventurousness that should—and can once again—animate both science and philosophy. Informed by a countercultural sensibility, a deep engagement with speculative thought, and a hardheaded scientific skepticism, it advances controversial positions on such seemingly sacrosanct subjects as evolution and entropy.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.