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Record Type: Review   ID: 582

Visions and Discoveries: Reflections on the Nature of Scientific Inquiry

Hargreaves, Hal

 This insightful survey of creative lives tells "stories of intense visions and lasting discoveries" (p. 1). What Hargreaves, who is a philosopher, is most interested in bringing out about these major thinkers is the vision that impelled them. Of this vision he says: "For each his great feat was to convince others that his vision was the best available, and that a vision was not a private matter but a public treasure" (p. 3). Hargreaves points out that such visions "can guide the teacher and teach the beginner" (p. 2). He suggests "that these discoverers were driven in their work, and conversely, that great discoveries characteristically interact with that drive" (p. 2). This book attempts to describe and understand the nature of such visions, each of which, as he says, "in its encounter with experiential obstacles and gateways, is a vital field of interaction--it is a `learning field'" (p. 2). He wrote this book because "the ongoing conversation about what we know and how we reason is an invitation to engage in the process of vision and discovery. Perhaps, in acquainting ourselves with chapters in its history, we are more ready to try our wings" (p. 5). The key creative individuals he considers are Pythagoras, Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Kepler, and Albert Einstein. In the last chapter, "The Art of Discovery," he attempts to generalize concerning the lives he has considered, and again takes up the question of what constitutes a vision.
Publisher Information:Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1990. 245p. Bibl: 243-245; 20 figs; 8 illus; 138 refs
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