The influence of scientific paradigms is much more widespread than usually realized. According to Harris, it permeates the whole of the culture of which science is an integral part. The paradigm of Newtonian science was essentially mechanistic and atomistic, and thinking in these terms not only penetrated philosophy, economics, morals and politics for the next three centuries, but remains latent in 20th century ways of thought.
As Harris illustrates, the Newtonian paradigm is obsolete in confronting today's global problems. While Planck and Einstein introduced a new scientific revolution at the beginning of the century, it has yet to be reflected in common habits of thinking. It is now urgently necessary to adopt the new conceptual scheme in other fields as it has come to dominate science if global issues are to be resolved. A provocative analysis that will be of particular interest to students, teachers, and policymakers involved with public policy, the history of science and philosophy, and ethics.
About the Author:
ERROL E. HARRIS is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Northwestern University. The author of 25 books on philosophy, Professor Harris has held named chairs at four universities and has taught worldwide. His latest book, coedited with James A. Yunker, is Toward Genuine Global Governance: Critical Reactions to Our Global Neighborhood (Praeger, 1999).