HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Why of Things: Causality in Science,…
Loading...

The Why of Things: Causality in Science, Medicine, and Life

by Peter V. Rabins

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
152647,891 (3.25)5

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 5 mentions

Showing 2 of 2
The Why of Things: Causality in Science, Medicine, and Life by Peter Rabins was just as interesting as its title suggests. As a species, humans are always looking for the answers to 'why' things happen. We are by nature curious creatures and the author explains in-depth why it is important that we continue to look for the causes behind different phenomena/events whether they be on a global level (How did the earth begin?) or on a personal level (Why did I develop lung cancer if I've never smoked cigarettes?). The methodologies and disciplines that seek to answer these questions and an infinite number besides were discussed (some quite thoroughly such as the biological sciences in regards to genetics). If you're interested in learning more about a fascinating topic (and trust me when I say that it is fascinating) then this book is for you. If you're a science nerd (yay nerds!) then you'll love it. Keep an eye out for this one to hit shelves. ( )
  AliceaP | Jan 20, 2016 |
Peter Rabins’s The Why of Things tries to get to the philosophical root of everything. He’s not trying to find a single underlying cause for all actions and entities in the universe, but rather develop a system of thought that helps the thinker come to useful and fundamental conclusions about observable phenomena (and even some unobservable phenomena). Rabins’s system involves thinking about the world using three different facets and then breaking them down into different subfacets. Looking at things as a model, you have categorical, probalistic, and emergent models; using differing types of logic, there are empirical, empathic, and ecclesiastic logics; and using differing levels of analysis, we find predisposing causes, precipitating causes, programmatic causes, and purposive causes. All these would take far too long to explain here, though.

Each of these lines of thought and investigation lead to a new way of framing the question. Using these models, Rabins takes the reader through their many different applications, including the discovery, spread, and analysis of the HIV/AIDS virus, the publication of the theory of plate tectonics, and even an investigation into the causal explanation of human aggression and grief. The writing here is not inspiring or elevated, but rather seeks to educate. It’s not as heady as some philosophy textbooks, but does have that feel throughout. I halfway expected there to be thought exercises at the end of each chapter at points. The author does, however, show how parts of the world connect and spur causal relationships as well as how many complex systems can be seen as analogous. This one is not for everybody, but if you’re looking to learn how to better reason things out through logic and comparative analysis, then this one may be for you. ( )
  NielsenGW | May 13, 2013 |
Showing 2 of 2
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0231164726, Hardcover)

Why was there a meltdown at the Fukushima power plant? Why do some people get cancer and not others? Why is global warming happening? Why does one person get depressed in the face of life's vicissitudes while another finds resilience?" Questions like these -- questions of causality -- form the basis of modern scientific inquiry, posing profound intellectual and methodological challenges for researchers in the physical, natural, biomedical, and social sciences.

In this groundbreaking book, noted psychiatrist and author Peter Rabins offers a conceptual framework for analyzing daunting questions of causality. Navigating a lively intellectual voyage between the polar star of strict reductionism and the murky shoals of relativism, Rabins maps a three-facet model of causality and applies it to a variety of questions in science, medicine, economics, and more. Throughout, Rabins situates his argument within relevant scientific contexts, such as quantum mechanics, cybernetics, chaos theory, and epigenetics. A renowned communicator of complex concepts and scientific ideas, Rabins helps readers stretch their minds beyond the realm of popular literary tipping points, blinks, and freakonomic explanations of the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:48 -0400)

Why was there a meltdown at the Fukushima power plant? Why do some people get cancer and not others? Why is global warming happening? Why does one person get depressed in the face of life's vicissitudes while another finds resilience?"" Questions like these?questions of causality?form the basis of modern scientific inquiry, posing profound intellectual and methodological challenges for researchers in the physical, natural, biomedical, and social sciences.In this groundbreaking book, noted psychiatrist and author Peter Rabins offers a conceptual framework for analyzing daunting que.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.25)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5 1
3
3.5
4 1
4.5
5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 119,467,913 books! | Top bar: Always visible