Higher Speculations: Grand Theories and Failed Revolutions in Physics and Cosmology

Higher Speculations: Grand Theories and Failed Revolutions in Physics and Cosmology

Title:Higher Speculations: Grand Theories and Failed Revolutions in Physics and Cosmology
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780199599882
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:408 pages

Throughout 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.


    Higher Speculations: Grand Theories and Failed Revolutions in Physics and Cosmology Reviews

  • Manny

    I only discovered Helge Kragh recently, but I've really grown to like him. Unlike most people who write non-technical (I hesitate to say "popular") books about science, he doesn't have an obvious agen...

  • Doctor Moss

    Speculation may be a driving force of scientific progress, but it also leads scientists into almost existential crises. When theories outrun observation and testing, driven by pure mathematics, or by ...

  • Peter Mcloughlin

    In this very well written and calmly elucidated book the author goes over the history of grand speculations that raced ahead of data. This is inevitable in science. And since Descartes, many theories ...

  • Karl-O

    This was a very interesting read about how science works. It is in part a historical survey of many attempts of unification in physics (such as unifying the physics of the extremely large with that of...

  • Byung Kyu Park

    From my Amazon Review (written when I was halfway through the book; still correct):TITLE: Should be a required to reading for all budding theoretical physicists---great insight into process of discove...

  • Liara ( I read dead people)

    Helge Kragh is definitely underrated. ...

  • Marcin

    Całkiem dobrze się czyta choć jak dla mnie za mało fizyki, a za dużo filozofii.Jak na tak wysoką cenę, książka fatalnie wydana, byle jaki papier i miękka okładka przy książce za 99 zł to...

  • Stefano

    It is astonishing to see how many theories were developed and strongly defensed by their proponent. However, they turned out (or they were from the beginning) wrong and contemporary physics students n...

  • Drew

    -- Haven't read it yet, but loved his biography of Dirac years ago. ...