Archives For Lee Smolin

Author Information: Lyudmila A. Markova, Russian Academy of Sciences, markova.lyudmila2013@yandex.ru

Markova, Lyudmila A. 2013.”The Beginning in Science and Humanity.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (10): 4-6.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-Yv

Please refer to: Fuller, Steve. 2013. “World Enough and Time.” Review of Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe, by Lee Smolin. Social Epismteology Review and Reply Collective 2 (7): 12-13

The problem of the relationship between science and humanity has resurfaced recently. What could be the reason? One reason could be the interest of researchers in the role of creative processes in the emergence, or beginning, of scientific knowledge. Looking at the beginning of science, you may observe the shifting of the object of study from the results to the process of how the results are obtained.

Revolution and Evolution in the History of Science

Steve Fuller expresses interest in Lee Smolin’s book Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe, in part, to address the problem of time. Fuller addresses time in his own work often in connection with Darwinism, with evolutionary theory and natural selection. Evolution and revolution — the main problem of historians, philosophers and sociologists since the middle of the 20th century! You may recall that for Alexandre Koyré the history of science was quite different than for Pierre Duhem. For Koyré, revolution was the main feature the history of science. For Duhem, evolution was much more important for understanding the history of science. Hence, we see different interpretations of the scientific revolution of the 17th century. Koyré considered it as the beginning of a quite new science. Duhem tried to find in the past something close to any novelty received in the course of revolution and to demonstrate the impossibility of obtaining a result that would not be available already in one form or another in science of the previous period. The beginning of science was the main point of the discussion between these explorers of science history. Koyré saw it in this concrete place and time, in the revolution of the 17th century. Duhem removed the beginning to the past, as far as it was possible. His logic permitted him to do this on to infinity. Continue Reading…

Author Information: Steve Fuller, Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology, University of Warwick, SERRC, S.W.Fuller@warwick.ac.uk

Fuller, Steve. 2013. “World Enough and Time.” Review of Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe, by Lee Smolin. Social Epismteology Review and Reply Collective 2 (7): 12-13.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-O4

Please refer to: In a 6 June 2013 email, Professor Smolin was kind enough to mention his article “The Culture of Science Divided Against Itself” (in Brick magazine) as additional context for Fuller’s review.

Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe
By Lee Smolin (Allen Lane 305pp £20)

When the American physicist Alan Sokal published his famous ‘hoax’ article in a leading cultural studies journal in 1996, the take-home lesson was supposed to be that anyone with a genuine understanding of contemporary physics will not be tempted to draw easy analogies between, say, the relational character of space-time and social constructivism simply because both look somewhat ‘relativistic’. Clearly this lesson was lost on Lee Smolin, an eccentric but interesting physicist (cited by Sokal) who has probably done more than anyone in recent times to develop the idea that our ordinary experience of time’s flow, which gives us a sense that reality is moving from the past through the present to the future, is not merely a feature of human psychology but is fundamental to the nature of physical reality. This book is the latest and most readable installment of that project. Continue Reading…