What can fashionable ideas, blind faith, or pure fantasy possibly have to do with the scientific quest to understand the universe? Surely, theoretical physicists are immune to mere trends, dogmatic beliefs, or flights of fancy? In fact, acclaimed physicist and bestselling author Roger Penrose argues that researchers working at the extreme frontiers of physics are just as susceptible to these forces as anyone else. In this provocative book, he argues that fashion, faith, and fantasy, while sometimes productive and even essential in physics, may be leading today's researchers astray in three of the field's most important areas—string theory, quantum mechanics, and cosmology. Arguing that string theory has veered away from physical reality by positing six extra hidden dimensions, Penrose cautions that the fashionable nature of a theory can cloud our judgment of its plausibility. In the case of quantum mechanics, its stunning success in explaining the atomic universe has led to an uncritical faith that it must also apply to reasonably massive objects, and Penrose responds by suggesting possible changes in quantum theory. Turning to cosmology, he argues that most of the current fantastical ideas about the origins of the universe cannot be true, but that an even wilder reality may lie behind them. Finally, Penrose describes how fashion, faith, and fantasy have ironically also shaped his own work, from twistor theory, a possible alternative to string theory that is beginning to acquire a fashionable status, to "conformal cyclic cosmology," an idea so fantastic that it could be called "conformal crazy cosmology." The result is an important critique of some of the most significant developments in physics today from one of its most eminent figures.
fashion faith and fantasy
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This is a collection of essays by one of the worlds leading philosophers, inviting the reader on a journey of reflection about morality and religion with reference to twentieth-century literature. The journey is one concerned to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Phillips, as a philosopher, believes that this struggle is often better expressed in literature than it is in contemporary moral philosophy or philosophy of religion. The range of writers Phillips engages with through the book is wide to say the least. Including T.S. Elliot, Frank Baum, Wallace Stevens, Nathanael West, Dennis Potter, Philip Larkin, Pirandello, Beckett, Carrodoc Evans, Joan Didion, Tom Stoppard, Kafka, Alice Munro, Hemingway, Isaac Babel, Camus, Barbara Pym, Edith Wharton, Elie Wiesel, R.S. Thomas and Flannery O'Connor, the voices of these writers, as Phillips refers to them, are those that have influenced his philosophy over the years. The book begins in part one by arguing the view that Western culture should by now have put aside the inherent childishness of religious belief. Then in part two Phillips discusses some moral alternatives to religion and in part three he argues the case that there are moral perspectives which are independent of religion and the final part four is a discussion of the possibilities of religious sense often ignored by religious critics.
Drawing on philosophy, theology and psychoanalysis as well as on literary criticism, this collection of essays explores a range of fantasy texts with particular attention to the various ways in which they seek to deal with the reality of death. The essays uncover some fascinating links, and indeed tensions, between the writers discussed.
Key Concepts for the Fashion Industry is the first concise and accessible overview of fashion theories for students on any fashion course. Providing an easy understanding of the core concepts, from scarcity to conformity, this book offers clear, practical examples and accessible case studies, making complex theory easy to digest. All fashion students need a basic understanding of how a style becomes a fashion and how this spreads or declines, whether they are studying fashion design, merchandising or any other fashion course. Containing student-friendly features such as discussion questions, activities and further reading, this book is essential reading for all students studying across all areas of fashion.
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