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Description - The Scientific Imagination by Gerald Holton

New scientific ideas are subjected to an extensive process of evaluation and validation by the scientific community. Until the early 1980s, this process of validation was thought to be governed by objective criteria, whereas the process by which individual scientists gave birth to new scientific ideas was regarded as inaccessible to rational study. This text takes an opposing view, illuminating the ways in which the imagination of the scientist functions early in the formation of a new insight or theory. In certain instances, a scientist adopts an implicit or explicit presupposition, or thema, that guides his work to success or failure and helps determine whether the new idea will draw acclaim or controversy. The text draws on accounts from notebooks, interviews and correspondence of such 20th-century scientists as Einstein, Fermi and Millikan and shows how the idea of the scientific imagination has practical implications for the history and philosophy of science and the larger understanding of the place of science in our culture.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674794887
ISBN-10: 0674794885
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 433
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 30-Oct-1998
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Gerald Holton

Gerald Holton is Mallinckrodt Research Professor of Physics, and Research Professor of History of Science, Harvard University.

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