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The Marriage of Sense and Thought

Imaginative Participation in Science

Stephen Edelglass , Georg Maier , Hans Gebert and John Davy

160 pp.  
5 1/2" x 8 1/2"

Lindisfarne Books


Published:  September 2011


  • “In this brilliant book, the authors build a fascinating bridge between science and the world of the senses, a bridge that holds great promise for overcoming the fragmentation and alienation that is so characteristic of our time.” —Fritjof Capra, author of The Tao of Physics and The Web of Life

  • “Likely to change many readers' comprehension of science.” —Arthur Zajonc, author of Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry: When Knowing Becomes Love

Having imagined a machine-like world, scientists now haunt this machine uneasily. Their plight is paradoxical: they have realized their world only through intense mental effort, yet this effort finds no legitimate place in the world it so painstakingly comprehends. It seems “objectivity” only comes at a cost. Why, for example, is science unable to describe a smile? Why is the moral life of a physicist regarded as his or her own private affair?

This exclusion of human qualities from science has practical as well as theoretical consequences. If we systematically imagine a world in which human beings don’t exist, we will eventually create a world in which they cannot exist.

Reclaiming the human sources of scientific insight, the authors of this book restore the scientist to the world given by science and celebrate the joyous marriage of sense and thought.



Preface to the Second Edition

1. Two Smiles
The Scientific View
Inner Experience and the Outer Environment

2. The Deeper Roots of Materialism
Space, Matter, Time, Force, Energy
The Craftsman and the Scholar
The Relation of Materialism to Sense Experience
The Sense of Touch
The Somatic Sense
The Kinesthetic Sense
The Sense of Balance
The Body Reaches Out: Eyes
Galileo: Scholar and Craftsman

3. Changing Relations to Physical Reality
The Origins of Terrestrial and Celestial Mechanics
The Lonely Self
The Rise of Technology and the Concept of Energy
Electricity Challenges Mechanical Thinking
The Enigma of Quantum Reality
Relativity Theory Also Challenges Ordinary Thinking
Models and the Creation of Scientific Knowledge

4. Conscious Participation
A Thunderstorm and Acoustics
Scientific Thinking Leads to General Concepts
The Thunderstorm Again
The Two Roots of Vision
Looking at a Lake
Looking into Water—Reflections as Space Creators
Looking into Water—Visible and Tangible Objects
No Longer Coincide
Looking into Water—Color Aspects
In Search of Real Color
Geometrical Representations of Nonspatial Qualities
Independent Physical Principles Cooperate
A Visit to the Realm of Imaging
A Visit to the Realm of Chemical Action at a Distance

5. Science Coming of Age
Mathematical Physics: Exercise for
the Development of Sense-free Thinking
From Nature to Knowledge
The Objectivist Worldview
The Nature of the Physical World
Biology As a Science of Life
Morality and Choice in Science

About the Authors

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