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Pavlov's Dogs and Schrödinger's Cat: Scenes from the living laboratory [Hardcover]

Rom Harré
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

March 15, 2009 0199238561 978-0199238569 1
From the sheep, dog, and cockerel that were sent aloft in Montgolfier's balloon to test the air over Paris, to the famous clone Dolly the Sheep and the Darwinian finches of the Galapagos, Pavlov's Dogs and Schrödinger's Cat offers a fascinating and enlightening look at the use of plants and animals--including humans--in scientific experiments. Rom Harré provides a fresh and fascinating perspective on research, setting aside moral reflection to simply examine the history of how and why living creatures have been used for the purposes of discovery. Ranging over five centuries, the book uncovers many extraordinary stories, including tales of the people involved, to many curious incidents and episodes, and the occasional scientific fraud. From Gregor Mendel's use of pea plants to explore heredity, to Barry Marshall's used of himself as the experimental animal in his helicobacter experiments (he survived) and even the use of an imaginary cat in Schrödinger's famous thought experiment, the reader discovers a perspective on scientific work he or she has never encountered before.

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Editorial Reviews


"This charming book is entertaining, thought provoking and frustrating. It is worth reading for all three of those reactions."--Nature

Listed in Science Book News

"Rom Harre carefully examines the role of living things in science by way of some famouse episodes."--New Scientist

"Recommended: Harre provides a concise (barely 300 pages), easily readable, selective historical narrative about scientific experiments involving plants and animals (including humans) in biological, behavioral, and physical sciences, and in medical settings."--CHOICE

About the Author

Rom Harré is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Linacre College, Oxford, and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He is past president of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199238561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199238569
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,805,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for science elective courses March 3, 2010
By Alydar
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is great for a AP Bio or Psychology elective course for juniors and seniors in high school. I use it in my zoology course. You can pick and choose chapters and the students will definitely give you feedback. I found it like the classic book, " Microbe Hunters" but this time animal experimentors and their work. Sure to start discussions on ethics and how much we owe to our underlings, the animal kingdom. To me, they will never be underlings but living and breathing organisms like us who share our planet and who have taught us much about them and ourselves. The only shortcoming of the text (reason for only 4 stars ) is that more photographs could have been used ( especially of the scientists ) and some background on the scientist ( birth, country, death etc. ) to start each chapter would have helped. I am planning a book called "Through Their Eyes" which will include all zoologists and their work and which will also take us out of the laboratory setting into the field. Aristotle to Conrad Lorenz to Dr. Jane Goodall. It will bring this volume full circle. "Underlings", ha, how about equals?
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