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The Limits of Science

An Analysis from “Barriers” to “Confines”


Edited by Wenceslao J. Gonzalez

The problem of the limits of science is twofold. First, there is the problem of demarcation, i.e., the boundaries or “barriers” between what is science and what is not science. Second, there is the problem of the ceiling of scientific activity, which leads to the “confines” of this human enterprise. These two faces of the problem of the limits — the “barriers” and the “confines” of science — require a new analysis, which is the task of this book. The authors take into account the Kantian roots but they are focused on the current stage of the philosophical and methodological analyses of science. This vision looks to supersede the Kantian approach in order to reach a richer conception of science.

Antoni van Leeuwenhoek

Master of the Minuscule

Lesley Robertson, Jantien Backer, Claud Biemans, Joop van Doorn, Klaas Krab, Willem Reijnders, Henk Smit and Peter Willemsen

In Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Master of the Minuscule, the Father of Microbiology is presented in the context of his time, relationships and the Dutch Golden Age. Although he lacked an academic education, he dedicated his life to investigating the microscopic world using handmade, single-lensed microscopes and magnifiers. An expert observer, he planned experiments and designed equipment to test his theories. His pioneering discoveries included blood cells, protozoa, bacteria and spermatozoa, and resulted in an international reputation among the scientific and upper classes of 17th and 18th century Europe, aided by his Fellowship of the Royal Society of London.

This lavishly illustrated biography sets his legacy of scientific achievements against the ideas and reactions of his fellow scientists and other contemporaries.