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The Hedgehog, the Fox and the Magister's Pox By Stephen Jay Gould

The Hedgehog, the Fox and the Magister's Pox

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In this volume, Stephen Jay Gould uses the centries-old confict between science and the humanities - between the notion of relying solely on experiment and that of reason and imagination - to delve into burning scientific issues of the past and present.

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The Hedgehog, the Fox and the Magister's Pox Summary


The Hedgehog, the Fox and the Magister's Pox: Mending and Minding the Misconceived Gap Between Science and the Humanities by Stephen Jay Gould

In characteristic form, Gould weaves the ideas of some of Western society's greatest thinkers, from Bacon to Galileo to E.O. Wilson, with the uncelebrated ideas of lesser-known yet pivotal intellectuals. He uses the ideas of these men to undo an assumption born in the 17th century and continuing to this day, that science and the humanities stand in opposition. In the title and throughout the book he uses a metaphor drawn from Erasmus and a more obscure 16th century scholar named Konrad Gesner (an illustrator of the animal kingdom) of the hedgehog - who goes after one thing at a measured pace, systematically investigating all; the Fox - skilled at many things, intuitive and fast; and the magister's pox - a censure from the Catholic Church involved in Galileo's downfall: a metaphor which illustrates the different ways of responding to knowledge - from a scientific, humanistic and fearful way. He argues that in fact each of them should borrow from each other and thereby improve their own given disciplines. Gould then delves into a fiery discussion of the notion of consilience first put forward by E.O. Wilson, which argues that scientific method (specifically reductionism) is supreme, uniting all the disciplines. Wilson holds that everything in nature is possible to predict - mathematically. Gould holds that in fact events in nature - including evolution - were and are random, each event contingent on the next.

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About Stephen Jay Gould


Stephen Jay Gould was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and professor of geology at Harvard and the curator for invertebrate palaeontology in the university's Museum of Comparative Zoology. He died in May 2002.

Additional information

GOR002757382
The Hedgehog, the Fox and the Magister's Pox: Mending and Minding the Misconceived Gap Between Science and the Humanities by Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Vintage Publishing
2003-05-29
288
022406309X
9780224063098
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.