Springer Biographies

Harmonies of Disorder

Norbert Wiener: A Mathematician-Philosopher of Our Time

Authors: Montagnini, Leone

  • Explores the philosophical and sociological aspects of Wiener’s thought
  • Frames these aspects within the context of Wiener’s scientific journey
  • Clarifies Wiener’s role in developing new scientific concepts and theories and their relation to World War II projects
  • Examines Wiener’s prophetic contributions to the information society as a cybernetics age
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eBook 59,49 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50657-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 72,79 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50656-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

This book presents the entire body of thought of Norbert Wiener (1894–1964), knowledge of which is essential if one wishes to understand and correctly interpret the age in which we live. The focus is in particular on the philosophical and sociological aspects of Wiener’s thought, but these aspects are carefully framed within the context of his scientific journey. Important biographical events, including some that were previously unknown, are also highlighted, but while the book has a biographical structure, it is not only a biography. The book is divided into four chronological sections, the first two of which explore Wiener’s development as a philosopher and logician and his brilliant interwar career as a mathematician, supported by his philosophical background. The third section considers his research during World War II, which drew upon his previous scientific work and reflections and led to the birth of cybernetics. Finally, the radical post-war shift in Wiener’s intellectual path is considered, examining how he came to abandon computer science projects and commenced ceaseless public reflections on the new sciences and technologies of information, their social effects, and the need for responsibility in science. 

About the authors

Leone Montagnini has worked on the history and philosophy of science and technology for more than 20 years, during which time he has devoted much attention to cybernetics and the thought and work of Norbert Wiener. He holds a PhD in Computational and Computer Sciences, an MA in Philosophy, an MA in Sociology, and a degree in Nuclear Engineering. Dr. Montagnini has lectured across the world, including at Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Universities of Vienna, Budapest, and Helsinki, and the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. He has published many journal articles and book chapters on his chosen topics.

Reviews

“This masterful scholarly work connects Wiener to the important thinkers who influenced him, and illuminates the many contributions Wiener made to the fields of mathematics, engineering, computer science, and philosophy. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.” (R. L. Pour, Choice, Vol. 55 (9), May, 2018)

“Norbert Wiener was one of the great geniuses of the 20th century. Harmonies of disorder is a brilliant biography that carefully details every aspect of Wiener’s background and contributions without using any equations, making it accessible to general readers with an interest in science and its history … . The reader is privileged to see the thinking of a great genius and how significant developments of the 20th century came about. Every comprehensive library should have this book.” (Computing Reviews, January, 2018)
“The whole book is very readable and gives important insights into the intellectual development of an outstanding thinker. Many links are discussed with respect to philosophy, social sciences, and physics and many well-known characters of the computer age like von Neumann and Wiener’s contacts with them are discussed. The book comprises an important step in understanding Wiener’s thinking.” (Thomas Sonar, zbMATH 1377.01002, 2018)
“This is a thoughtful portrait of Norbert Wiener and well worth reading. The author provides a complete bibliography of Wiener’s published work as well as a large bibliography of related material.” (William J. Satzer, MAA Reviews, October, 2017)


Table of contents (11 chapters)

  • Formative Years

    Montagnini, Leone

    Pages 3-22

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €
  • The Young Philosopher of Mathematics

    Montagnini, Leone

    Pages 23-43

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €
  • Interwar Scientific Research

    Montagnini, Leone

    Pages 47-72

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €
  • Reflections on Science and Technology

    Montagnini, Leone

    Pages 73-100

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €
  • Wiener and the Computer. Act One

    Montagnini, Leone

    Pages 103-109

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €

Buy this book

eBook 59,49 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50657-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 72,79 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-50656-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Harmonies of Disorder
Book Subtitle
Norbert Wiener: A Mathematician-Philosopher of Our Time
Authors
Series Title
Springer Biographies
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-50657-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-50657-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-50656-2
Series ISSN
2365-0613
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XX, 307
Number of Illustrations and Tables
1 b/w illustrations
Topics