Meeting the Universe Halfway and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$23.95
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Crisp, clean, unread hardcover with light shelfwear, missing dust jacket and a publisher's mark to one edge - Nice!
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Trade in your item
Get a $2.00
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning Hardcover – July 11, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0822339014 ISBN-10: 0822339013

Used
Price: $23.95
8 New from $77.46 12 Used from $23.95
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$77.46 $23.95
Best%20Books%20of%202014

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (July 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822339013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822339014
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.7 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,010,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Meeting the Universe Halfway is highly original, exciting, and important. In this book Karen Barad puts her expertise in feminist studies and quantum physics to superb use, offering agential realism as an important alternative to representationalism.”—Arthur Zajonc, coauthor of The Quantum Challenge: Modern Research on the Foundation of Quantum Mechanics


Meeting the Universe Halfway is the most important and exciting book in science studies that I have read in a long time. Karen Barad provides an original and satisfying response to a perennial problem in philosophy and cultural theory: how to grasp matter and meaning or causality and discourse together, without either erasing one of them or introducing an unbridgeable dualism. These theoretical abstractions come alive in Barad’s vivid examples; she shows that uncompromisingly rigorous analysis of difficult theoretical issues need not sacrifice concreteness or accessibility. Her methodological lessons from the diffraction of light and her convincing interpretations of familiar puzzles and recent experimental results in quantum physics also display how science and science studies can genuinely learn from one another. What other book could be a ‘must read’ in such diverse fields as science studies, foundations of quantum mechanics, feminist and queer theory, and philosophical metaphysics and epistemology?”—Joseph Rouse, Wesleyan University


“Karen Barad’s Meeting the Universe Halfway makes fundamental contributions to science studies, philosophy, feminist theory, and physics—it is a rare book that can do that. This is an important, ambitious, readable, risk-taking, and very smart book, one to savor and grow with. Barad elaborates Niels Bohr’s philosophy-physics in the light of feminist science studies to propose an account of material-discursive practices in scientific knowledge. Eschewing all romantic appropriations of quantum physics that evade strong knowledge claims, Barad argues that Bohr’s interpretation of the experimental-theoretical nexus of quantum mechanics is crucial to understanding how observations and agencies of observation cannot be independent. ‘Agencies of observation’ are not liberal opinion-bearers, but situated entities made up of humans and non-humans in specific relationship. Reality is not independent of our explorations of it; and reality is not a matter of opinion, but of the material consequences of some cuts and not others made in the fabric of the world. As Barad reminds us, identities are always formed in intra-action. Ethical practices and consequences are intrinsic to the web. These issues are at the heart of debates about ‘constructivism,’ ‘realism,’ and the import of science studies, including feminist science studies, for configuring the nature of objective knowledge and the kinds of authorized actors in public worlds deeply shaped by science and technology.”—Donna Haraway, author of Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium.FemaleMan©_Meets_OncoMouse: Feminism and Technoscience

About the Author

Karen Barad is Professor of Feminist Studies, Philosophy, and History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has a doctorate in theoretical particle physics.


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Elevate Difference on September 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
In the preface to Meeting the Universe Halfway, Karen Barad says, "This book is about entanglements. To be entangled is not simply to be intertwined with another, as in the joining of separate entities, but to lack an independent, self-contained existence."

The subsequent pages are an elegant mesh of detailed explanations of social theories, scientific concepts and new pathways of technological innovation; all explored and then rewoven to form the carefully constructed foundation for her theory of agential realism. A theoretical framework wherein human, machine and interactions between, are all actually phenomenon that make up the world as agents in a dynamic of change, where "...knowing does not come from standing at a distance and representing but rather from a direct material engagement with the world."

A scholar of Neils Bohr's writings and work, she explains how the man who won the Nobel Prize for his model of the atom did not believe "in the inherent distinction between subject and object, knower and known," and how he struggled to rectify problems with quantum theory, problems with measurement and even got Heisenberg to postscript an admission of inadequacy in his uncertainty principle (although it is for the most part ignored). Yet Bohr was too human-centric in his viewpoint to see a way out. With agential realism, she picks up where he left off and takes us to a post-humanist world where "reality is composed of things-in-phenomena." She "propose(s) an interpretation of quantum physics based on agential realism.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By W. R. Stewart on February 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
Barad is an ex(?) - theoretical physicist. She is able to explain her ideas clearly - which is a wonderful change from many "continental" philosophers. I had no trouble with the physics but I have a degree and 25 years experience in medical imaging so I might not be an average test case. Her basic point is that we should be more aware that things do not always pre exist properties rather they come into being via property-relations -in fact jointly with context. Put this way it doesn't sound very world shattering or original, however this is where the book enters concept inflation mode rendering it tedious to read: Firstly Barad shoots first person pronouns like a maniac. Secondly she repeats her arguments dozens of times -sometimes using identical words. Thirdly she claims, in early chapters, to use a non-representational non-metaphorical discourse called 'diffraction' with a claim to be non metaphorical we will understand by the end of the book - there is however no clarification forthcoming and in the notes she seems to have changed her mind -diffraction is demoted to metaphor (a useful one though I think). Fourthly she bases her position on "a cut" that is made in the phenomenon - on one side (apparatus side) the degrees of freedom are massively reduced - this universal distinction is not implemented or dependant on human or even indeed biological involvement. Clearly then, she proposes a piece of physics - however little unqualified (very) evidence is supported and there is no attempt to explain how classical physics and the world of things arises - in other word the crucial problem of scale is just bypassed. Fifthly she veers towards the crackpot in some of her feminist applications of the "cut".Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Terrence Findlay on September 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
Meeting the Universe Halfway is a remarkable accomplishment. In it the author presents her philosophy-physics agential realism. As developed in this book, the power of agential realism to resolve paradoxes of quantum physics that have, until now, defied explanation is quite amazing; as is its application in fields such as sociology, epistemology, and ethics. In fact, there seems to be no realm of consideration that agential realism does not touch. Moreover, the repercussions for everyday living are profound. An agential realist point of view changes everything, including the entangled viewer's sense of self and place in world.

I find agential realism's defeat of both determinism and absolute freedom to be essentially optimistic. In a recent discussion with a friend I defended science as the best hope for our survival as a species. Meeting the Universe Halfway, particularly agential realism's take on ethics, has confirmed my belief that this is indeed the case. This book is a challenging but immensely rewarding read. The importance of this work, in terms of our understanding of the world and the responsibility we all bear as integrated phenomena of and within it, cannot be overstated.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ideophile on December 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In Meeting the Universe Halfway, Karen Barad convincingly removes the human observer from the center of the quantum formalism. To ruin the punchline, she does this by re-introducing the human observer into the physical universe, and in particular into the quantum entanglements being observed. To loosely paraphrase Barad, obtaining determinate values for a quantum phenomenon is what it is like to be entangled *in* that phenomenon; the collapse of the wave function is in fact no collapse at all but rather what it is like to *become* entangled in that phenomenon; in other words, determinate values are what you get in the view from *within*.

Barad metaphorically labels her overall approach to the subject "diffractive". The approach is to draw unflinchingly from different disciplines and let the "interference patterns" reveal themselves, much like how dropping rocks into a pool sets up interference patterns that reinforce and dampen each other in interesting ways. She draws from science studies, social studies, feminist studies, etc. - but her principal inspiration is quantum mechanics and in particular Niels Bohr. Key insights obtained from this exercise are the performative-ness of the universe (in contrast to the usual focus on thing-ness) as it continually creates novel possibilities for itself (at the cost of excluding others) in its own becoming.

Barad then introduces her metaphysics of "agential realism". In her metaphysics, phenomena (or more precisely, quantum entanglements) are the basic ontological unit. At its most fundamental, this metaphysics is about how material cuts (or distinctions) performed as part of the ongoing becoming of the universe can lead bodies to leave marks on one another (cause and effect) within each entanglement.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?