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Publisher's Summary

A paradigm-shifting work that revolutionizes our understanding of the origins and structure of science.

Captivatingly written, interwoven with historical vignettes ranging from Newton's alchemy to quantum mechanics to the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy, Michael Strevens' wholly original investigation of science asks two fundamental questions: Why is science so powerful? And why did it take so long, 2,000 years after the invention of philosophy and mathematics, for the human race to start using science to learn the secrets of nature? The Knowledge Machine's radical answer is that science calls on its practitioners to do something irrational: By willfully ignoring religion, theoretical beauty, and, especially, philosophy - essentially stripping away all previous knowledge - scientists embrace an unnaturally narrow method of inquiry, channeling unprecedented energy into observation and experimentation.

Like Yuval Harari's Sapiens or Thomas Kuhn's 1962 classic, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, The Knowledge Machine overturns much of what we thought we knew about the origins of the modern world.

©2020 Michael Strevens (P)2020 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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The best book I have consumed in a very long time.

Hard to overstate the breadth of so short a work, The Knowledge Machine attempts to explain the rationality, irrationality, objective and subjective pieces that come together to form science and it's demarcation from natural philosophy. A must read for any science or science adjacent person.