Compiling twenty articles on the nature of life and on the objective of the natural sciences, this remarkable book complements Robert Rosen's groundbreaking "Life Itself" -- a work that influenced a wide range of philosophers, biologists, linguists, and social scientists. Breaking free from the constraints of reductionist reasoning, which maintains that simple, empirical mechanisms are the basis of all life, the renowned biophysicist tackles a remarkable range of subjects that will stimulate similarly far-reaching audiences.
In "Essays on Life Itself," Rosen takes to task the central objective of the natural sciences, calling into question the attempt to create objectivity in a subjective world. The book opens with an exploration of the interaction between biology and physics, unpacking SchrAdinger's famous text "What Is Life?" and revealing the shortcomings of the notion that artificial "intelligence" can truly replicate life. Rosen also challenges the paradox of the brain as organism and the receptacle of scientific reasoning. Elegantly rounding out his argument, the author reflects on the quandary of side effects, moments when science confronts unpredicted outgrowths of a process thought to be reduced to a system.
An intriguing enigma links all of the essays: How can science explain the unpredictable? As a century defined by extraordinary scientific progress draws to a close, "Essays on Life Itself" is a critical work that asks readers to reconsider what we have learned and where science can lead us in the years to come.
These 22 essays are intended for serious thinkers, as they are provocative and often iconoclastic. There are many new ideas, daring perspectives, and challenging modes of interpretation of concepts that readers may have mistakenly thought they understood... I am equally sure that readers will enjoy and benefit from these essays. -- Bruce J. West The Quarterly Review of Biology
Series: Complexity in Ecological Systems
For Ages: 22+ years old
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 2nd November 1999
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 16.5
Weight (kg): 0.58