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The Blind Spot: Why Science Cannot Ignore Human Experience

The Blind Spot: Why Science Cannot Ignore Human Experience

Current price: $29.95
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Publisher:
The MIT Press
ISBN:
9780262048804
Pages:
328
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Description

A compelling argument for including the human perspective within science, and for how human experience makes science possible.

“This is by far the best book I've read this year.”
—Michael Pollan, Professor of the Practice of Non-fiction, Harvard University; #1 New York Times bestselling author

“(A) stimulating manifesto for changing the way we look at things.”
Wall Street Journal

It’s tempting to think that science gives us a God’s-eye view of reality. But we neglect the place of human experience at our peril. In The Blind Spot, astrophysicist Adam Frank, theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser, and philosopher Evan Thompson call for a revolutionary scientific worldview, where science includes—rather than ignores or tries not to see—humanity’s lived experience as an inescapable part of our search for objective truth. The authors present science not as discovering an absolute reality but rather as a highly refined, constantly evolving form of human experience. They urge practitioners to reframe how science works for the sake of our future in the face of the planetary climate crisis and increasing science denialism.

Since the dawn of the Enlightenment, humanity has looked to science to tell us who we are, where we come from, and where we’re going, but we’ve gotten stuck thinking we can know the universe from outside our position in it. When we try to understand reality only through external physical things imagined from this outside position, we lose sight of the necessity of experience. This is the Blind Spot, which the authors show lies behind our scientific conundrums about time and the origin of the universe, quantum physics, life, AI and the mind, consciousness, and Earth as a planetary system. The authors propose an alternative vision: scientific knowledge is a self-correcting narrative made from the world and our experience of it evolving together. To finally “see” the Blind Spot is to awaken from a delusion of absolute knowledge and to see how reality and experience intertwine.

The Blind Spot goes where no science book goes, urging us to create a new scientific culture that views ourselves both as an expression of nature and as a source of nature’s self-understanding, so that humanity can flourish in the new millennium.

About the Author

Adam Frank is the Helen F. and Fred H. Gowen Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester and a winner of the Carl Sagan Medal. He is the author of Light of the Stars.

Marcelo Gleiser is the Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy at Dartmouth, the 2019 Templeton Prize laureate, and author of seven widely translated books, most recently The Dawn of a Mindful Universe.

Evan Thompson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is the author or coauthor of five books in cognitive science and philosophy, including The Embodied Mind (MIT Press).

Praise for The Blind Spot: Why Science Cannot Ignore Human Experience

“This is a very important book that has the potential to become a classic text . . . Being aware of the Blind Spot is a necessary step toward reinscribing human experience back into science’s core.”
Science

“This is by far the best book I've read this year.”
—Michael Pollan, Professor of the Practice of Non-fiction, Harvard University; #1 New York Times bestselling author

“(A) stimulating manifesto for changing the way we look at things.”
Wall Street Journal

The Blind Spot makes a rich and complex philosophical argument, but it also has major practical implications, both for how we should do science and for how it should be presented to the public.”
Times Higher Education