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The Island of Knowledge


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Table of Contents

Prologue: The Island of Knowledge PART I The Origin of the World and the Nature of the Heavens 1. The Will to Believe 2. Beyond Space and Time 3. To Be, or to Become? That is the Question 4. Lessons from Plato's Dream 5. The Transformative Power of a New Observational Tool 6. Cracking Open the Dome of Heaven 7. Science as Nature's Grand Narrative 8. The Plasticity of Space 9. The Restless Universe 10. There is No Now 11. Cosmic Blindness 12. Splitting Infinities 13. Rolling Downhill 14. Counting Universe 15. Interlude: A Promenade along the String Landscape 16. Can We Test the Multiverse Hypothesis? PART II From Alchemy to the Quantum: The Elusive Nature of Reality 17. Everything Floats in Nothingness 18. Admirable Force and Efficacy of Art and Nature 19. The Elusive Nature of Heat 20. Mysterious Light 21. Learning to Let Go 22. The Tale of the Intrepid Anthropologist 23. What Waves in the Quantum Realm? 24. Can We Know What is Real? 25. Who is Afraid of Quantum Ghosts? 26. For Whom the Bell Tolls 27. Consciousness and the Quantum World 28. Back to the Beginning PART III Mind and Meaning 29. On the Laws of Humans and the Laws of Nature 30. Incompleteness 31. Sinister Dreams of Transhuman Machines: Or, the World as Information 32. Awe and Meaning

About the Author

Marcelo Gleiser is Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College. He has published numerous popular works, including an essay, Emergent Realities in the Cosmos," which was featured in 2003's Best American Science Writing, and three previous books: The Dancing Universe, The Prophet and the Astronomer, and A Tear at the Edge of Creation.

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