Black Mischief: Language, Life, Logic, Luck-Second Edition

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9780156130639: Black Mischief: Language, Life, Logic, Luck-Second Edition
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A protean look at the science establishment-as well as the personalities behind the scenes-in such fields as behavioral psychology, linguistics, and economics.

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About the Author:

David Berlinski is the author of three novels and four works of nonfiction, including the bestselling A Tour of the Calculus. Berlinski received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and is a regular contributor to Commentary and Forbes ASAP. He lives in Paris.

From Publishers Weekly:

Berlinski (author of the notable On Systems Analysis has saturated himself in advanced mathematics, analytical philosophy and, to some degree, modern linguistics. Here he swarms over the reader from each of these directions, describing in amusing-to-ribald fashion his experiences in labs and at seminars with famed scientists in San Francisco, Paris, Vienna, Trieste and elsewhere. His theme: that contemporary science, with its almost-daily discoveries and apparent marvels, seems firmly oriented toward the future, but underlying its key assumptions is a "system of belief" still tied to 19th century mechanistic determinism despite the innovations of Einstein, quantum mechanics, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and molecular biology. Berlinski's intellectual roller-coaster comes at last to the notion of randomness, and in brilliant but dizzying final chapters that discuss DNA, catastrophe theory, metric space and "life as a language-like system," he seems to arrive at a nonmystical vitalism that may well bring his peers to their feetcheering or protesting.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780688044046: Black Mischief: The Mechanics of Modern Science

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ISBN 10:  0688044042 ISBN 13:  9780688044046
Publisher: William Morrow & Co, 1986
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Book Description Harvest Books. Paperback. Condition: New. 363 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 6.2in. x 0.8in.A protean look at the science establishment-as well as the personalities behind the scenes-in such fields as behavioral psychology, linguistics, and economics. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780156130639

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Book Description HARVEST BOOKS, United States, 1988. Paperback. Condition: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. This book will not take the casual reader to the cutting edge of research. Nor is it meant to. What I am after in Black Mischief is the moment in which various lines in an intellectual field of force collect themselves into a kind of dense knot.A number of otherwise sympathetic reviewers have suggested that my real aim in Black Mischief was somehow to show the persistence of certain outmoded Newtonian forms of thought in economics, or psychology, or biology, or wherever. Not so. My intention has been to explore a tangle of connected concepts.Black Mischief is the cogent and absorbing story, of an unusually fertile period in contemporary, science. Irreverent, witty, skeptical, and always informative, it is an anecdotal potpourri of scientific thought and the people who shaped it. Berlinski takes a protean look at the science establishment -- as well as the personalities behind the scenes -- in such fields as behavioral psychology, linguistics, and economics, and in so doing enlightens and entertains us beyond measure. Seller Inventory # APC9780156130639

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Book Description HARVEST BOOKS, United States, 1988. Paperback. Condition: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.This book will not take the casual reader to the cutting edge of research. Nor is it meant to. What I am after in Black Mischief is the moment in which various lines in an intellectual field of force collect themselves into a kind of dense knot.A number of otherwise sympathetic reviewers have suggested that my real aim in Black Mischief was somehow to show the persistence of certain outmoded Newtonian forms of thought in economics, or psychology, or biology, or wherever. Not so. My intention has been to explore a tangle of connected concepts.Black Mischief is the cogent and absorbing story, of an unusually fertile period in contemporary, science. Irreverent, witty, skeptical, and always informative, it is an anecdotal potpourri of scientific thought and the people who shaped it. Berlinski takes a protean look at the science establishment -- as well as the personalities behind the scenes -- in such fields as behavioral psychology, linguistics, and economics, and in so doing enlightens and entertains us beyond measure. Seller Inventory # APC9780156130639

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