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Physics / Philosophy - Books suggestions

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Starsceed

Physics / Philosophy - Books suggestions

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Fist off I would just like to say Hi, now that that is over with. I am looking for physics and or philosophy book recommendations, I do not have a high knowledge in math so nothing too technical. I would like to start learning about Philosophy, it is a topic that I find very interesting. I have always been interested in Physics, I recently finished reading The Elegant Universe.Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." Albert Einstein
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ZachSylvanus
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Re: Physics / Philosophy - Books suggestions

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Kip Thorne's Black Holes and Time Warps is quite good, as is Alan Guth's The Inflationary Universe.
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wrkelly
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Re: Physics / Philosophy - Books suggestions

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Hmmm.... Most people when they say "physics" are looking for cosmology/cosmogony stuff, or "isn't quantum mechanics strange" or "is there such a thing as wormholes?"... kind of pseudo-scientific borderline mystical stuff. Very conjectural. And maybe philosophical, but not really true philosophy. Is that what you are looking for? (Don't get me wrong. I like alot of that stuff too! Ya gotta dream it before you can get there.)For that kind of stuff, there's all sorts of literature out there, some better than others. Here's a list of some. I've read about 2/3 of these. The rest are popular among my colleagues and compatriots in the field. These vary significantly in how far out on a limb their authors go, so beware! many get closer to religion than to science at times. Actually most of these authors have written many popular physics books, so look for others by the same people. There are several other authors that I'm sure I'm forgetting right now as well, that I'd be happy to look up if these don't suit.>Stephen Hawking: several; specifically try A Brief History of Time>Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes>Charles Stevens, Six Core Theories of Modern Physics>Lawrence Krauss, The Physics of Star Trek and sequels>Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe>Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics>Michio Kaku: several (but some find his style really overbearing)>John Gribbin, In Search of Schroedinger's Cat>Richard Feynman, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, and sequels (Feynman not nec. first author--try Leighton and Hutchings)>Paul Davies, Six Easy Pieces and sequelIf you are looking for PHYSICS books, I can give you another list that will look completely different (and probably less entertaining).Philosophy is even broader. Anything in particular you are interested in? What kind of philosophy do you have in mind? Sometimes the best place to start is with a survey and/or comparative treatment, where someone has summarized the work and thoughts of several philosophers and done the comparisons for you. Then you can always read the authors that are most interesting to you in the original.Wessyl
Starsceed

Re: Physics / Philosophy - Books suggestions

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Thank you for the recommendations. I am not quite sure specifically what I am interested in when it comes to physics and philosophy, I am currently reading: The Tao of Physics, Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, The emperors new mind, and I have started The holographic universe. I really enjoy The Tao of physics, the relation between physics and philosophy strikes me as something I would enjoy learning more about. I would like to learn a lot more about Eastern religions, I am not sure what true philosophy is, so I can not tell you if that is what I am looking for. I've been looking for a book on Schroedinger's Cat, I found " The Schroedinger's cat trilogy", to my luck that was a fictional book. Thank you for suggesting In search for Schroedinger's Cat. I'm sure I'll enjoy it. What types of philosophies are there? Know of anywhere I can find such a survey? "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." Albert Einstein
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Re: Physics / Philosophy - Books suggestions

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As a fellow novice in the vast world of philosophy, allow me attempt to share some of what I have so far found helpful. I have taken 2 introductory philosophy classes (philosophy of ethics and philosophy of minds) and learned that one can philosophize about anything. I have also taken history of the Far East and noticed that the Eastern philosophies and Western philosophies sprouted at about the same time, but I have yet to find anything that studies the 2 branches together. I am presently taking a Physics class, and I have discovered that I am glad I have a husband who reads about Physics as a hobby.Here are 2 links that list important names, theories, and terminology in ABC order with descriptions of most of them. Stanford Encyclopedia fo PhilosophyDictionary of Philosophy of MindThere are so many branches of philosophy that you might want to start with what you want to know and work from there. The book I found most useful for Western Philosophy was "The Philosophers: Introducing Great Western Thinkers" edited by Ted Honderich. This book has 3 to 5 pages on each of 28 Western Philosophers from Socrates forward that really helped me understand better how each one built on what philosophers before him thought.What has most helped me with Eastern Philosophy is taking a history class covering the area. Those philosophies dealt with slightly different ideas that were implemented in different ways than Western, and it really helped to learn about it in terms of the culture and how each affected the other. The most helpful was learning the basic differences and roots of Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and other less well known schools of thought or religions.So I guess that I would recommend reading an overview of both Eastern and Western Philosophies for a start, and go from there. I simply went to the library and used the Dewey Decimal system to find the Western Thinkers book, and it turned out very nicely.I just want to tack on my last Philosophy teacher's personal definition of philosophy cuz I liked it: Philosophy is the questioning of our (daily) assumptions about life. Are we justified in holding these assumptions?I sure hope something out of this jumble strikes a chord!
fpla83

philosophy suggestions

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First of all I would suggest reading Plato's Republic for this is the cornerstone for philosophical thought. Other books such as Kant's Theory of Logic, Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil and Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre will give you a glimpse into some more recent philosophy.
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wrkelly
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Re: philosophy suggestions

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Bah! At most, it could be the cornerstone of western philosophical thought, but some might even argue with that.
RickU

Re: Physics / Philosophy - Books suggestions

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Oh, and I didn't add my philosophy picks.Ayn RandTake your pick, Fountainhead orAtlas ShruggedHermann HesseJust about anything is good but Siddartha is a good classic startHeinlein (technically sci-fi)JOB: A comedy of JusticeStranger in a Strange LandThe Number of the BeastNiven/Pournelle (also technically sci-fi)Inferno (may be out of print, check your local used book store)Edited to eliminate confusion..I didn't mean to imply that Siddartha was a bad book Edited by: RickU at: 7/1/04 12:06 am
RickU

adding on

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I'd like to add Hacking Matter by Will Mccarthy. Good basic instruction on the differences between Newtonian and Quantum physics...and then cool/interesting applications of quantum dots.
SunSprite86

Re: Physics / Philosophy - Books suggestions

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I'm glad this question came up, since it brought in so many recommendations. I'll have to work my way through the list as time allows.Since you liked Brian Greene, you might try his new book, FABRIC OF THE COSMOS. It was one of the books nominated for the past reading selection - and part of what caught my interest in this website.I haven't read ELEGANT UNIVERSE, so I can't say how much it may overlap what you're already reading. Amazon has descriptions of both.Karen
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