The Science of Liberty Democracy Reason and the Laws of Nature Ferris is a master analogist who conveys his insights on the history of cosmology with a lyrical flair The New York Times Book ReviewIn The Science of Liberty award winning author Timothy Ferris call

  • Title: The Science of Liberty: Democracy, Reason and the Laws of Nature
  • Author: Timothy Ferris
  • ISBN: 9780060781507
  • Page: 295
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Ferris is a master analogist who conveys his insights on the history of cosmology with a lyrical flair The New York Times Book ReviewIn The Science of Liberty, award winning author Timothy Ferris called the best popular science writer in the English language today by the Christian Science Monitor and the best science writer of his generation by the Washington Post Ferris is a master analogist who conveys his insights on the history of cosmology with a lyrical flair The New York Times Book ReviewIn The Science of Liberty, award winning author Timothy Ferris called the best popular science writer in the English language today by the Christian Science Monitor and the best science writer of his generation by the Washington Post makes a passionate case for science as the inspiration behind the rise of liberalism and democracy In the grand tradition of such luminaries of the field as Bill Bryson, Richard Dawkins, and Oliver Sacks as well as his own The Whole Shebang and Coming of Age in the Milky Way Ferris has written a brilliant chronicle of how science sparked the spread of liberal democracy and transformed today s world.

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      295 Timothy Ferris
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      Posted by:Timothy Ferris
      Published :2019-08-02T23:58:13+00:00

    About “Timothy Ferris

    1. Timothy Ferris says:

      Timothy Ferris is the author of a dozen books most recently The Science of Liberty , plus 200 articles and essays, and three documentary films The Creation of the Universe, Life Beyond Earth, and Seeing in the Dark seen by over 20 million viewers.Ferris produced the Voyager phonograph record, an artifact of human civilization containing music and sounds of Earth launched aboard the twin Voyager interstellar spacecraft Called the best popular science writer in the English language by The Christian Science Monitor and the best science writer of his generation by The Washington Post, Ferris has received the American Institute of Physics prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Professor Ferris has taught in five disciplines at four universities He is currently an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley.



    2 thoughts on “The Science of Liberty: Democracy, Reason and the Laws of Nature

    1. I hesitate to recommend any book as a "must read," because, if you're like me, hearing a book described as such makes me want to avoid reading it.But I've gotta take the risk. "The Science of Liberty" is a must read.Timothy Ferris's argument is that science tends to debunk received authority, making the world freer (Ferris would say more liberal); at the same time, in a more liberal atmosphere, science flourishes. These things seemed self-evident to me, but Ferris, as a science enthusiast, takes [...]

    2. Excellent book on how liberal democracies promote science and thus overall freedom. It's basically a mini history on liberal democracy and other forms of government that haven't panned out so well. In the end science and reason promote tolerance and human rights.

    3. I don't think that the author did what he set out to do at all-- he said he was going to prove that science led to liberalism-- or that he really knew what he was talking about.There's a lot of gloss and not a lot of in-depth analysis. The philosophies of many figures are distorted or just plainly misrepresented to make them fit the discussion. For instance, Copernicus's writings clearly show that wanted to make his data fit a pre-conceived notion of celestial geometry. Ferris acts as though Cop [...]

    4. What an excellent book! Very entertaining, and full of a very unique point of view. I enjoyed most of all, the descriptions of how the American Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are written in language that only a scientist would use. The author's point of view is very convincing. Mainly, that nations that are founded "as an experiment"--and do not have constitutions and laws that are cast in stone forever--are bound to be most successful in the long run. Conditions change over ti [...]

    5. "It seems we need to fight the battle for Enlightenment all over again." This quote by Salman Rushdie is perfect. This is hands down the best written and understandable science book I have read since The Demon Haunted World. This book should be taught in a mandatory Critical Thinking/History of Science class in High School. The basics-Science is not a Democratic Science, Republican Science, feminist Science, african american science or aryan brotherhood science. Science is a sytem of knowlege th [...]

    6. This is a profoundly interesting book. In it, Ferris argues that the more-or-less simultaneous rise of liberal democracy and modern science is not a coincidence: both thrive on the open exchange of ideas and an experimental spirit. If you like the history of ideas, this is the book for you.

    7. A great book on the interplay between science and liberty. The best science comes from those places with the most freedom. Also those countries that place a premium on science, will become more democratic. Argues quite well that there needs to be a separation between science and state for the same reason that there needs to be a separation of church and state. When one interferes with the other, both suffer.A great read, though I must admit that the section that went into great detail explaining [...]

    8. This is one of my favorite books; it was instant love as I was reading through it. It is a beautiful synthesis of scientific history and the political landscape that it needs to survive and thrive. Using examples of success and failure, Ferris strongly argues that science needs a liberalism (not politcally, per se) to be science. Basically, science and democracy go hand in hand and science cannot thrive in a non democratic state. Examples are used from the past and present to illustrate that poi [...]

    9. One of my favorite science authors, right after Richard Feynman.Quotes:"(This book) Maintains that the democratic revolution was sparked the scientific revolution" "What (Thomas) Paine broughtwas an unprecedented combination of coolheaded empirical judgement and blast-furnace rhetoric.""a democratic nation can limp along even when its chief of state is widely understood to be a lazy, bumbling simpleton. Fallible leadership is the only kind of leadership any nation ever has. Since totalitarians [...]

    10. This was a great book that talks about how societies that foster dialog and fierce conversations, what the author calls creative conflict, have great advances in science. Without the liberty of free speech, or in cultures where it is forbidden to have a differing opinion, science and innovation are stifled.

    11. Fantastic expose on the benefits of science under liberal democracy. Timothy Ferris excels at showing us why science seems to flourish under a free society, and languish under repressive regimes. A must read for anyone who loves freedom and the benefits that science brings to the world.

    12. I've had this book on my shelf practically since it came out in 2010, but in hindsight, I'm glad I waited to read it until now. With eight years of the Obama administration behind us, it provides an interesting lens with which to view modern American politics, science and where we're heading.Ferris proclaims himself a classical liberal, and proceeds to lay out his assertions that economically and socially successful societies value freedom. It is liberty itself that allows the scientific advance [...]

    13. This is the type of broad histories that few historians attempt and even fewer pull off successfully. Daniel Boorstein was able to do so with his series in the 1980s and Niall Fergusson is still capable of doing. It is engaging and filled with little tidbits that even avid readers of history will find intriguing. Ferris' premise is simple - the same conditions of openness that are necessary for scientific discovery are the basis for liberal democracy (he spends a little amount of time on the dis [...]

    14. This was a fantastic read. I felt that there were a few points of bias in this admittedly very political book, but overall it the author seems to equally provoke the progressive and conservative in his aim to demonstrate that liberal democracy (as defined by Locke and his contemporaries) is both the enabler and consequence of a scientific worldview. Ferris gives examples of both Democrats and Republicans demonstrating an unfortunate willingness to curtail the key values of classical liberalism, [...]

    15. “Ferris is a master at explaining things clearly” – Los Angeles TimesI enjoyed the book, but not because of its clear explanations. For example: “The Golden Rule-“ Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” or, as Kant put it, “Act only on those maxims that you can at the same time will should become a universal law”. These are not the same ethical philosophies. This was just the last instance in the book (page 289 or 291) where I had to do a double take, scratch my he [...]

    16. One of the best books I have ever read. About science and religion - connect d to freedom. Couldn’t ask for a better book about this issues. Hope to find other books of this quality. Already translated to Portuguese!

    17. Timothy Ferris is a science writer. Which is to say he writes about science in such a way as to make it understandable and interesting the the non-scientist. This book is about the need for liberty for science to flourish.

    18. This fascinating, well-written book sets forth the proposition that science and liberty are mutually reinforcing and probably each is necessary for the fullest flowering of the other. Ferris is a well-known science writer, and he did a pretty good job of the social-science and philosophy necessary for treating this subject as well. I especially appreciated the historical example he used--showing, for example, how the differences in outcome in the American and French revolutions could be related [...]

    19. Really enjoyed this as I did Timothy Ferris's other book "Coming of Age in the Milky Way." Part science, part history, part philosophy this book explores the connection between advances in scientific discovery and democratic liberalism. His thesis is that one cannot exist without the other, each feeding off the other as they progress. He believes society can only prosper in such an environment.Most of the book cites examples that illustrate this, from Newton to the present day. He explores the r [...]

    20. Reading this book was enjoyable, in that I learned a lot of details and enlightening, connected threads of history I didn't already know, but it was in a sense kind of preaching to the choir. I didn't have to be convinced of Ferris's thesis, it is one I have accepted for a long time. The thesis he is supporting is almost self evident, one that doesn't have many roadblocks in its way or obstacles, as the whole of history generally supports this thesis with little or no room for disagreement. But [...]

    21. I wish I knew more about the history of politics so that I could judge this book more fairly. I asked my wife her opinion about the thesis and she was skeptical, whereas the history teacher at school concurred with the basic idea. I told them both that the science part was accurate, but that I didn't know enough about the political history to know whether the author was glossing over details or cherry-picking his examples.The basic idea was that traditionally history is taught with the renaissan [...]

    22. In his book-length history, “The Science of Liberty: Democracy, Reason and the Laws of Nature,” Timothy Ferris makes a compelling argument that the freedom of exchange of liberal democracies is a crucial component of effective scientific research. But in making the point, he’s more sure-footed talking about science than politics. A central issue is the shakiness of Ferris’ terms. He defines liberalism as being oriented toward promoting individual freedom—a freedom to participate, if yo [...]

    23. Ferris argues that science promotes liberty, or he argues that liberty promotes science. It's not clear from the get go. On page 2, he says that his book “maintains that the democratic revolution was sparked – caused is perhaps not too strong a word – by the scientific revolution.” Yet, two pages later, he writes that “The claim that science flourishes only in liberal-democratic environments rests on five assertions,” thereby suggesting that a liberal-democratic environment is the ca [...]

    24. In The Science of Liberty: Democracy, Reason, and the Laws of Nature author Timothy Ferris posits that liberal democratic governance arose as an outgrowth of scientific thinking and the ideals of the enlightenment. And, in fact, that the two are inseparable. In this sweeping book (and by sweeping I'm referring to both its historic scope and length) Ferris covers science and democratic thought, how one supports the other and the consequences that arise when one, or the other, goes off the rail. [...]

    25. I thought that this book would focus on how the scientific revolution led to democratic societies, but it is actually quite a big broader than that. The first chapter or so is mostly political, explaining the difference between being a liberal (valuing liberty over equality) and being a progressive (using government to curtail liberty in an effort to achieve equality in the future). I have my doubts about both of those definitions. This is followed by a few chapters about key scientists in the s [...]

    26. I read this book because I heard an interview with the author on NPR, and the subject sounded interesting. The book's thesis is that science and liberal democracy grow together, and neither can exist for long without the other. Science gives Democracy technological advances, and an empirical model upon which to base governance; while democracy gives science the necessary freedom of expression and thought to encourage experimentation and innovation across broad cultural lines. The author is caref [...]

    27. I love this kind of books because of how they contribute to an holistic understanding of how the world works. In this book, Ferris makes the case for science as the precursor for democracy and the most sensible approach in understanding and shaping our world in order to improve our lives. In fact he describes democracy as a kind of ongoing scientific experiment, reinforcing the meaning of “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”.I find it truly fascinating to l [...]

    28. Americans know that our founding fathers were (for the most part) deeply religious in their private lives. We are not as familiar with their equally deep scientific orientation and practices, or the way those scientific attitudes influenced the creation of a nation based on liberty: a country built as an experiment that would use the best of modern understanding, allow for free exchange of ideas and the pursuit of knowledge and trade, that would be open to testing results and adapting as necessa [...]

    29. The thesis of Timothy Ferris’ The Science of Liberty is that science can not flourish in any but a classically liberal society (don’t confuse this with modern definition of “liberal” which is quite opposite of true liberalism). This may seem to be a truism, after all an environment with allows for a free and unbiased exchange of ideas should foster science. It is however revealing when Ferris brings specific examples where science was enthusiastically funded and encouraged by the state, [...]

    30. The title of this book is a bit misleading. Instead of "The Science of Liberty", a better title might be "Science and Liberty". Ferris's thesis is that conditions that lead to free scientific inquiry and the scientific inquiry itself develop liberal democratic thought and implementation. He also examines various liberal and illiberal historical regimes to demonstrate the connection between liberal science and liberal government and to demonstrate that illiberal regimes in history that have reput [...]

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