Stock Image

The End of Science. Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific Age.


453 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0201626799 / ISBN 13: 9780201626797
Published by Helix Books, (1996)., Reading (MA) et als.:, 1996
From Jeff Weber Rare Books, ABAA (Carlsbad, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since March 3, 1998 Seller Rating 5-star rating

Association Member: ABAA

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 50.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 5.50 Within U.S.A. Destination, rates & speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

Third printing. 8vo. x, 308 pp. Bibliog., index. Quarter blue cloth over blue boards, copper-stamped spine title. Fine. ISBN: 0201626799. Bookseller Inventory # S9149

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The End of Science. Facing the Limits of ...

Publisher: Helix Books, (1996)., Reading (MA) et als.:

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hardcover

About this title


As staff writer for Scientific American, John Horgan has a window on contemporary science unsurpassed in all the world. Who else routinely interviews the likes of Lynn Margulis, Roger Penrose, Francis Crick, Richard Dawkins, Freeman Dyson, Murray Gell-Mann, Stephen Jay Gould, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn, Chris Langton, Karl Popper, Stephen Weinberg, and E.O. Wilson, with the freedom to probe their innermost thoughts?In The End Of Science, Horgan displays his genius for getting these larger-than-life figures to be simply human, and scientists, he writes, ”are rarely so at ther mercy of their fears and desires, as when they are confronting the limits of knowledge.”This is the secret fear that Horgan pursues throughout this remarkable book: Have the big questions all been answered? Has all the knowledge worth pursuing become known? Will there be a final ”theory of everything” that signals the end? Is the age of great discoverers behind us? Is science today reduced to mere puzzle solving and adding detains to existing theories?Horgan extracts surprisingly candid answers to there and other delicate questions as he discusses God, Star Trek, superstrings, quarks, plectics, consciousness, Neural Darwinism, Marx's view of progress, Kuhn's view of revolutions, cellular automata, robots, and the Omega Point, with Fred Hoyle, Noam Chomsky, John Wheeler, Clifford Geertz, and dozens of other eminent scholars. The resulting narrative will both infuriate and delight as it mindles Horgan's smart, contrarian argument for ”endism” with a witty, thoughtful, even profound overview of the entire scientific enterprise.Scientists have always set themselves apart from other scholars in the belief that they do not construct the truth, they discover it. Their work is not interpretation but simple revelation of what exists in the empirical universe. But science itself keeps imposing limits on its own power. Special relativity prohibits the transmission of matter or information as speeds faster than that of light; quantum mechanics dictates uncertainty; and chaos theory confirms the impossibility of complete prediction. Meanwhile, the very idea of scientific rationality is under fire from Neo-Luddites, animal-rights acitivists, religious fundamentalists, and New Agers alike.As Horgan makes clear, perhaps the greatest threat to science may come from losing its special place in the hierarchy of disciplines, being reduced to something more akin to literaty criticism as more and more theoreticians engage in the theory twiddling he calls ”ironic science.” Still, while Horgan offers his critique, grounded in the thinking of the world's leading researchers, he offers homage too. If science is ending, he maintains, it is only because it has done its work so well.


John Horgan makes the powerful case that the best and most exciting scientific discoveries are behind us. He states that many scientists today, particularly those he interviewed for the book, are "gripped by a profound unease," due partially to dwindling financial resources and vicious competition, but increasingly due to the sense that "the great era of scientific discovery is over." In other words, he argues, the big problems that can be solved have been, and the big ones that haven't been solved can't be. Among the celebrated thinkers quoted in this ambitious book are Stephen Jay Gould, Roger Penrose, and John Archibald Wheeler. A concise history of the last 20 years of scientific study introduces his thesis and covers such topics as superstring theory, mathematical topology, and how to distinguish chaos from complexity.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

We issue monthly catalogues in the history of science and medicine. Regular customers receive catalogues with a wide-variety of books by subect and price.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Association Member Members of these associations are committed to maintaining the highest standards. They vouch for the authenticity of all items offered for sale. They provide expert and detailed descriptions, disclose all significant defects and/or restorations, provide clear and accurate pricing, and operate with fairness and honesty during the purchase experience.
Terms of Sale:

Prices are net. Shipping extra. We ship UPS and USPS in US; M-Bag, surface, or air overseas. Priority mail or Global Priority available. Returns are subject to a 20% restocking fee if received in original condition. Returns are only allowed within 30 days and only under certain conditions: "if you′re dissatisfied with your purchase due to an error on the bookseller′s part" and obtain permission in advance, should have a tracking number and insured if appropriate. Contact address: Jef...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order Cash PayPal Bank Draft Bank/Wire Transfer