The Physics of Human Experience
Edited and with a biographical
introduction by John Barnes
Adonis Science Books, Adonis Press, 2006
135 pages; paperback; $14.95
A Tribute to a Pioneer in Phenomenological Physics
In its search for causal explanations, modern science has increasingly come to focus on particles, genes, and other hypothetical elements that lie beyond direct human experience. This reductionist approach has led to powerful new technologies, but it has failed to give us an understanding of nature as we can actually experience it in its richness and depth.
Stephen Edelglass entered MIT at sixteen and began teaching physics at Cooper Union at age twenty-two. Because of his deep connection with the arts and with nature, he increasingly felt the dichotomy between his vibrant experience of nature and the abstract world of theoretical physics. At thirty-seven he met Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy, Waldorf education, and a new phenomenological approach to science that satisfied him both as a keen, appreciative observer and as a thinker. He gave up his position as a university professor, began teaching high school physics using an experiential approach, and became a prime-mover in the development of phenomenological science in North America.
“In these essays we are led by Edelglass to a deeply phenomenological engagement with the natural world. Through that encounter the inquiring human being can come to a direct perception of the deep coherence that moves through and creates the beauty around us. I highly recommend these writings to all who long for a more intimate understanding of natural phenomena.”
— Arthur Zajonc, Professor of Physics, Amherst College
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