Alfred Nordmann

Alfred Nordmann is Professor of Philosophy at Technische Universität Darmstadt and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina.

  • The Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth-Century Science

    The Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth-Century Science

    Michael Friedman and Alfred Nordmann

    Historians of philosophy, science, and mathematics explore the influence of Kant's philosophy on the evolution of modern scientific thought.

    The contributions of Kantian thought to modern mathematics, mathematical logic, and the foundations of mathematics are now widely acknowledged by scholars. As the essays in this volume show, the general development of modern scientific thought—including the physical sciences, the life sciences, and mathematics—can be viewed as an evolution from Kant through Poincaré to Einstein and the logical positivists and beyond. Focusing on nineteenth-century science, the essays—by historians of philosophy, science, and mathematics—trace the multiple intellectual transformations that have led from Kant's original scientific situation to the scientific problems of the twentieth century.The book examines Kant's influence on five strands of nineteenth-century scientific thought: Naturphilosophie and the effect of German Romanticism (especially Goethe) on biology; Fries's philosophy of science; Helmholtz's rejection of Naturphilosophie and Romanticism; neo-Kantianism and its return to "methodological" concerns in natural science and academic philosophy; and Poincaré and his reflections on scientific epistemology. The essays give a nuanced picture of Kant's legacy to nineteenth-century thinkers and of the rich interaction between philosophical ideas and discoveries in the natural and mathematical sciences during this period. They point to the ways that the scientific developments of the nineteenth century link Kant's thought to the science of the twentieth century.

    ContributorsFrederick Beiser, Robert DiSalle, Janet Folina, Michael Friedman, Jeremy Gray, Frederick Gregory, Michael Heidelberger, Timothy Lenoir, Jesper Lützen, Alfred Nordmann, Helmut Pulte, Robert Richards, Alan Richardson

    • Hardcover $10.75

Contributor

  • Frankenstein

    Frankenstein

    Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds

    Mary Shelley, David H. Guston, Ed Finn, and Jason Scott Robert

    The original 1818 text of Mary Shelley's classic novel, with annotations and essays highlighting its scientific, ethical, and cautionary aspects.

    The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding from Knowledge Unlatched.

    Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has endured in the popular imagination for two hundred years. Begun as a ghost story by an intellectually and socially precocious eighteen-year-old author during a cold and rainy summer on the shores of Lake Geneva, the dramatic tale of Victor Frankenstein and his stitched-together creature can be read as the ultimate parable of scientific hubris. Victor, “the modern Prometheus,” tried to do what he perhaps should have left to Nature: create life. Although the novel is most often discussed in literary-historical terms—as a seminal example of romanticism or as a groundbreaking early work of science fiction—Mary Shelley was keenly aware of contemporary scientific developments and incorporated them into her story. In our era of synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, robotics, and climate engineering, this edition of Frankenstein will resonate forcefully for readers with a background or interest in science and engineering, and anyone intrigued by the fundamental questions of creativity and responsibility.

    This edition of Frankenstein pairs the original 1818 version of the manuscript—meticulously line-edited and amended by Charles E. Robinson, one of the world's preeminent authorities on the text—with annotations and essays by leading scholars exploring the social and ethical aspects of scientific creativity raised by this remarkable story. The result is a unique and accessible edition of one of the most thought-provoking and influential novels ever written.

    Essays byElizabeth Bear, Cory Doctorow, Heather E. Douglas, Josephine Johnston, Kate MacCord, Jane Maienschein, Anne K. Mellor, Alfred Nordmann

    • Paperback $19.95