Presents an illustrated guide to the universe and to Earth's relationship to it, moving from theories of creation to humankind's discovery of the cosmos, to general relativity, to space missions, and beyond.
Author: Walker Percy
Publisher: Open Road Media
Release Date: 2011-03-29
“A mock self-help book designed not to help but to provoke; a chapbook to inveigle us into thinking about who we are and how we got into this mess.” —Los Angeles Times Book ReviewPublished at the height of the 1980s self-help boom, Lost in the Cosmos is Percy’s unforgettable riff on the trend that swept the nation. Filled with quizzes, essays, short stories, and diagrams, Lost in the Cosmos is a laugh-out-loud spin on a familiar genre that also pushes readers to serious contemplation of life’s biggest questions. One part parody and two parts philosophy, Lost in the Cosmos is an enlightening guide to the dilemmas of human existence, and an unrivaled spin on self-help manuals by one of modern America’s greatest literary masters.
Author: Thomas Nagel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2012-11-22
The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. InMind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.
From Brian Greene, one of the world’s leading physicists and author the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Elegant Universe, comes a grand tour of the universe that makes us look at reality in a completely different way. Space and time form the very fabric of the cosmos. Yet they remain among the most mysterious of concepts. Is space an entity? Why does time have a direction? Could the universe exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past? Greene has set himself a daunting task: to explain non-intuitive, mathematical concepts like String Theory, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and Inflationary Cosmology with analogies drawn from common experience. From Newton’s unchanging realm in which space and time are absolute, to Einstein’s fluid conception of spacetime, to quantum mechanics’ entangled arena where vastly distant objects can instantaneously coordinate their behavior, Greene takes us all, regardless of our scientific backgrounds, on an irresistible and revelatory journey to the new layers of reality that modern physics has discovered lying just beneath the surface of our everyday world. From the Trade Paperback edition.
From a philosopher whose magisterial history of Western thought was praised by Joseph Campbell and Huston Smith comes a brilliant new book that traces the connection between cosmic cycles and archetypal patterns of human experience. Drawing on years of research and on thinkers from Plato to Jung, Richard Tarnas explores the planetary correlations of epochal events like the French Revolution, the two world wars, and September 11. Whether read as astrology updated for the quantum age or as a contemporary classic of spirituality, Cosmos and Psyche is a work of immense sophistication, deep learning, and lasting importance.
Author: Ian Stewart
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2016-10-25
A prize-winning popular science writer uses mathematical modeling to explain the cosmos. In Calculating the Cosmos, Ian Stewart presents an exhilarating guide to the cosmos, from our solar system to the entire universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it's all going to end. He considers parallel universes, the fine-tuning of the cosmos for life, what forms extraterrestrial life might take, and the likelihood of life on Earth being snuffed out by an asteroid. Beginning with the Babylonian integration of mathematics into the study of astronomy and cosmology, Stewart traces the evolution of our understanding of the cosmos: How Kepler's laws of planetary motion led Newton to formulate his theory of gravity. How, two centuries later, tiny irregularities in the motion of Mars inspired Einstein to devise his general theory of relativity. How, eighty years ago, the discovery that the universe is expanding led to the development of the Big Bang theory of its origins. How single-point origin and expansion led cosmologists to theorize new components of the universe, such as inflation, dark matter, and dark energy. But does inflation explain the structure of today's universe? Does dark matter actually exist? Could a scientific revolution that will challenge the long-held scientific orthodoxy and once again transform our understanding of the universe be on the way? In an exciting and engaging style, Calculating the Cosmos is a mathematical quest through the intricate realms of astronomy and cosmology.
Author: David H. DeVorkin
Publisher: National Geographic Books
Release Date: 2015
To celebrate NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and its 25 years of accomplishments, let The Hubble Cosmos fill your mind with big ideas, brilliant imagery, and a new understanding of the universe in which we live. Relive key moments in the monumental Hubble story, from launch through major new instrumentation to the promise of discoveries to come. With more than 150 photographs including Hubble All-Stars--the most famous of all the noteworthy images--The Hubble Cosmos shows how this telescope is revolutionizing our understanding of the universe.
Author: Ervin Laszlo
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2017-10-17
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
From the cutting edge of science and living spirituality: a guide to understanding our identity and purpose in the world • Outlines the new understanding of matter and mind coming to light at the cutting edge of physics and consciousness research • Explains how we can evolve consciously, become connected with each other, and flourish on this planet • Includes contributions from Maria Sagi, Kingsley L. Dennis, Emanuel Kuntzelman, Dawna Jones, Shamik Desai, Garry Jacobs, and John R. Audette For the outdated mainstream paradigm the world is a giant mechanism functioning in accordance with known and knowable laws and regularities. The new paradigm emerging in science offers a different concept: The world is an interconnected, coherent whole, and it is informed by a cosmic intelligence. This is not a finite, mechanistic-material world. It is a consciousness-infused whole-system world. We are conscious beings who emerge and co-evolve as complex, cosmic-intelligence in-formed vibrations in the Akashic Field of the universe. Ervin Laszlo and his collaborators from the forefront of science, cosmology, and spirituality show how the re-discovery of who we are and why we are here integrates seamlessly with the wisdom traditions as well as with the new emerging worldview in the sciences, revealing a way forward for humanity on this planet. They explain how we have reached a point of critical incoherence and tell us that to save ourselves, our environment, and society, we need a critical mass of people to consciously evolve a new thinking. Offering a guidepost to orient this evolution, Laszlo examines the nature of consciousness in the universe, showing how our bodies and minds act as transmitters of consciousness from the intelligence of the cosmos and how understanding science’s new concept of the world enables us to re-discover our identity and our purpose in our world. With bold vision and forward thinking, Laszlo and his contributors Maria Sagi, Kingsley L. Dennis, Emanuel Kuntzelman, Dawna Jones, Shamik Desai, Garry Jacobs, and John R. Audette outline the new idea of the world and of ourselves in the world. They help us discover how we can overcome these divisive times and blossom into a new era of peace, coherence, connection, and global wellbeing.
Author: Norman Cohn
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2001-08-11
Genre: Social Science
All over the world people look forward to a perfect future, when the forces of good will be finally victorious over the forces of evil. Once this was a radically new way of imagining the destiny of the world and of mankind. How did it originate, and what kind of world-view preceded it? In this engrossing book, the author of the classic work The Pursuit of the Millennium takes us on a journey of exploration, through the world-views of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India, through the innovations of Iranian and Jewish prophets and sages, to the earliest Christian imaginings of heaven on earth. Until around 1500 B.C., it was generally believed that once the world had been set in order by the gods, it was in essence immutable. However, it was always a troubled world. By means of flood and drought, famine and plague, defeat in war, and death itself, demonic forces threatened and impaired it. Various combat myths told how a divine warrior kept the forces of chaos at bay and enabled the world to survive. Sometime between 1500 and 1200 B.C., the Iranian prophet Zoroaster broke from that static yet anxious world-view, reinterpreting the Iranian version of the combat myth. For Zoroaster, the world was moving, through incessant conflict, toward a conflictless state—“cosmos without chaos.” The time would come when, in a prodigious battle, the supreme god would utterly defeat the forces of chaos and their human allies and eliminate them forever, and so bring an absolutely good world into being. Cohn reveals how this vision of the future was taken over by certain Jewish groups, notably the Jesus sect, with incalculable consequences. Deeply informed yet highly readable, this magisterial book illumines a major turning-point in the history of human consciousness. It will be mandatory reading for all who appreciated The Pursuit of the Millennium.
Author: Ernst Cassirer
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2010-04
This provocative volume, one of the most important interpretive works on the philosophical thought of the Renaissance, has long been regarded as a classic in its field. Ernst Cassirer here examines the changes brewing in the early stages of the Renaissance, tracing the interdependence of philosophy, language, art, and science; the newfound recognition of individual consciousness; and the great thinkers of the period—from da Vinci and Galileo to Pico della Mirandola and Giordano Bruno. The Individual and the Cosmos in Renaissance Philosophy discusses the importance of fifteenth-century philosopher Nicholas Cusanus, the concepts of freedom and necessity, and the subject-object problem in Renaissance thought. “This fluent translation of a scholarly and penetrating original leaves little impression of an attempt to show that a ‘spirit of the age’ or ‘spiritual essence of the time’ unifies and expresses itself in all aspects of society or culture.”—Philosophy