The Island of Knowledge

The Island of Knowledge

The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning

Why discovering the limits to science may be the most powerful discovery of all

How much can we know about the world? In this book, physicist Marcelo Gleiser traces our search for answers to the most fundamental questions of existence, the origin of the universe, the nature of reality, and the limits of knowledge. In so doing, he reaches a provocative conclusion: science, like religion, is fundamentally limited as a tool for understanding the world. As science and its philosophical interpretations advance, we face the unsettling recognition of how much we don't know. Gleiser shows that by abandoning the dualistic model that divides reality into the known and the unknown, we can embark on a third way based on the acceptance of our limitations. Only then, he argues, will we be truly able to experience freedom; for to be free in an age of science we cannot turn science into a god. Gleiser ultimately offers an uplifting exploration of humanity's longing to conquer the unknown, and of science's power to transform and inspire.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects

On Sale: June 3rd 2014

Price: $12.99

Page Count: 368

ISBN-13: 9780465080731

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“[The Island of Knowledge] is a path forward, toward a new, more complete and more enlightened vision of this gift called science.... In the hands of a lesser writer, recognizing that there's no final destination for scientific endeavor could have devolved into another form of scientific triumphalism – a ‘more-answers-equals-more-questions-into-the-brave-future' kind of riff. But that is not the territory Marcelo wants to explore. Instead, he takes seriously the limits imposed by an ever-growing boundary between our island of knowledge and the oceans of unknowing. With unflinching honesty he asks what the boundary implies at the deepest levels for science and the human prospect.”
--Adam Frank, NPR's 13.7 blog