The Elusive Synthesis: Aesthetics and Science: Aesthetics and Science

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A.I. Tauber
Springer Science & Business Media, Oct 31, 1996 - Philosophy - 319 pages
The tension between art and science may be traced back to the Greeks. What became "natural philosophy" and later "science" has traditionally been posed as a fundamental alternative to poetry and art. It is a theme that has commanded central attention in Western thought, as it captures the ancient conflict of Apollo and Dionysus over what deserves to order our thought and serve as the aspiration of our cultural efforts. The modern schi sm between art and science was again clearly articulated in the Romantic period and seemingly grew to a crescendo fifty years aga as a result of the debate concerning atomic power. The discussion has not abated in the physical sciences, and in fact has dramatically expanded most prominently into the domains of ecology and medicine. Issues concerning the role of science in modern society, although heavily political, must be regarded at heart as deeply embedded in our cultural values. Although each generation addresses them anew, the philosophical problems which lay at the foundation of these fundamental concerns always appear fresh and difficult. This anthology of original essays considers how science might have a greater commonality with art than was perhaps realized in a more positivist era. The contributors are concerned with how the aesthetic participates in science, both as a factor in constructing theory and influencing practice. The collec tion is thus no less than a spectrum of how Beauty and Science might be regarded through the same prism.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
3
THE AESTHETIC CONSTRUCTION OF DARWINS THEORY
15
THE SCIENCES AND ARTS SHARE A COMMON CREATIVE AESTHETIC
51
BEAUTIFUL EXPERIMENTS IN THE LIFE SCIENCES
85
ABSTRACT PAINTING AND ASTRONOMICAL IMAGE PROCESSING
105
THE VISUAL AND CONCEPTUAL AESTHETICS OF EMERGING FORM
127
FORM AND FUNCTION IN THE MOLECULARIZATION OF BIOLOGY
155
CONSERVATIVE FACTORS IN REVOLUTIONARY CRISES
171
FALSE LEADS FROM T S KUHN ON THE ROLE OF THE AESTHETIC IN THE SCIENCES
191
KANT AND THE AESTHETICEXPRESSIVE VISION OF MATHEMATICS
205
THE GERMAN TRADITION AND THE SYMBOLIC TURN IN PHILOSOPHY HISTORY OF ART AND NATURAL SCIENCE IN THE 1920S
229
THE PROBLEM OF POSTMODERNISM
253
MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS
269
FROM DESCARTES DREAM TO HUSSERLS NIGHTMARE
291
NAME INDEX
315
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