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On Knowing--The Natural Sciences Richard Peter McKeon

On Knowing--The Natural Sciences

Richard Peter McKeon

Published January 15th 1994
ISBN : 9780226560267
420 pages
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 About the Book 

Well before the current age of discourse, deconstruction, and multiculturalism, Richard McKeon propounded a philosophy of pluralism showing how facts and values are dependent on diverse ways of reading texts. This book is a transcription of an entire course, including both lectures and student discussions, taught by McKeon. As such, it provides an exciting introduction to McKeons conception of pluralism, a central aspect of neo-Pragmatism, while demonstrating how pluralism works in a classroom setting.In his lectures, McKeon outlines the entire history of Western thinking on the sciences. Treating the central concepts of motion, space, time, and cause, he traces modern intellectual debates back to the ancient Greeks, notably Plato, Aristotle, Democritus, and the Sophists. As he brings the story of Western science up to the twentieth century, he uses his fabled semantic schema (reproduced here for the first time) to uncover new ideas and observations about cosmology, mechanics, dynamics, and other aspects of physical science.Illustrating the broad historical sweep of the lectures are a series of discussions which give detail to the courses intellectual framework. These discussions of Plato, Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, and Maxwell are perhaps the first published rendition of a philosopher in literal dialogue with his students. Led by McKeons pointed questioning, the discussions reveal the difficulties and possibilities of learning to engage in serious intellectual communication.