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Leaving Us to Wonder
An Essay on the Questions Science Can't Ask
Leaving Us to Wonder
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Linda Wiener - Author
Ramsey Eric Ramsey - Author
SUNY series in Philosophy and Biology
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 173 pages
Release Date: December 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-6313-3
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6313-0

Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 173 pages
Release Date: January 2005
ISBN10: 0-7914-6314-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6314-7

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Explores the larger social, political, and philosophical contexts in which the current vitriolic science vs. anti-science debates occur.

This exciting collaboration between a biologist and a philosopher explores the meaning of the scientific worldview and how it plays out in our everyday lives. The authors investigate alternatives to scientism, the view that science is the proper and exclusive foundation for thinking about and answering every question. They ask: Does the current technoscientific worldview threaten the pursuit of living well? Do the facts procured by technoscientific systems render inconsequential our lived experiences, the wisdom of ancient and contemporary philosophical insight, and the promise offered by time-honored religious beliefs? Drawing on important Western thinkers, including Kant, Nietzsche, Darwin, Heidegger, and others, Linda Wiener and Ramsey Eric Ramsey demonstrate how many of the claims and conclusions of technoscience can and should be challenged. They offer ways of thinking about science in a larger context that respect scientific practice, while taking seriously alternative philosophical modes of thought whose aims are freedom, the good life, and living well.

“This is a unique book, which should intrigue readers with backgrounds in everything from naturalism to Greek philosophy. It encourages us ultimately to look at our own nature and be inspired by the human proclivity for questioning.” — New Mexico Magazine

“… a well-balanced, cogent, and readable introduction to the [‘science wars’]. It would serve as a very good undergraduate textbook for courses in philosophy, humanities, or other interdisciplinary courses that hope to make sense of science in society.” — CHOICE

“I used the book in my Introduction to Philosophy course, and the consensus among the students (from English and psychology majors to engineering technology majors) was that Leaving Us to Wonder provided perspectives long absent in their experience of the academy. Students commented upon the authors’ ability to treat the contributions of science and philosophy with equal respect. Too often students are encouraged to think of education as the ability to process facts and data—an endeavor that often leaves us bored and disillusioned in this age of information. Leaving Us to Wonder refreshingly reminds students that the value of science (and of ‘information’ generally) resides in our own ethical responses to our lived and concrete situations. Whether for its clear introduction to continental philosophy or for its cautionary notes on the dangers of scientism, I can’t imagine teaching philosophy without this text.” — Grant Snider, Point Park University

"Clear, accessible, and timely, this book provides an excellent overview of some ways of thinking that are alternatives to the reductive reasoning of the sociobiologists. There are many books that challenge the assumptions of sociobiologists, but this one stands out for its effort to review and apply resources already available for delimiting science as an arbiter of meaning." — John Lyne, University of Pittsburgh

"Wiener and Ramsey seek answers to their questions from a rich variety of sources and engage an equally rich set of contemporary controversies over evolution and sociobiology. Whether one ultimately agrees with the authors is less important than the profundity of the journey they invite us to take. This book is important for anyone interested in the status of philosophizing in an apparently antiphilosophical age." — Edward Schiappa, author of Defining Reality: Definitions and the Politics of Meaning

Linda Wiener is Faculty with Tenure at St. John's College at Santa Fe. Ramsey Eric Ramsey is a philosopher and Associate Dean of The Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University West.

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Table of Contents


1. A Place to Begin

Curiosity and Wonder
A Place to Begin
Mistaking the Abstract for Concrete
Today's Popular Science
The Spirit of Socrates

2. The Persistence of a Question

Some Background Questions
Kant and the Enlightenment
The Emergence of Evolutionary Theory
The Promotion of Human Sociobiology

3. What Darwin and Nietzsche Saw

Some Background on Darwin and Nietzsche
Darwin's Descent of Man: The Evolution of Morality
Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals: The Evolution of (A Different) Morality
Nietzsche's Differences with Darwin

4. Provoking Thought

Heidegger and the Distinction between Ways of Thinking
Merleau-Ponty and the Importance of Embodied Experience

5. The Limits of Science and the Danger of Scientism: Drawing Out the Consequences for Thinking

Faces that Launched a Thousand Web Site Hits
A More Serious Concern

6. Leaving Us to Wonder

The Difficulty Begins Here
Thinking Beyond and Otherwise
Turning to the Public Sphere
Desire for Public Dialogue
Leaving Us to Wonder




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