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Philosophy of Symmetry

Sunder Sarukkai (Author)
Synopsis The ideas of symmetry is one of the most important and pervasive ideas, occurring in disciplines ranging from the sciences to the arts. Symmetry is manifested very widely in the natural world as seen in the intricate shapes, patterns and colours of both inanimate and animate beings. It is a guiding principle in modern physics and is an integral part of many important works in architecture, sculpture, music, painting and so on. This book discusses some of the essential themes that will help us understand the philosophical foundations of symmetry in all its manifestations. The Philosophical analysis in two parts: metaphysical and phenomenological. The first draws upon metaphysics and considers the relation between symmetry and categories such as objects, form, properties, laws, invariance and change, thereby exhibiting symmetry as an 'essential' properly that inheres in objects and processes. This part also discusses in some detail the metaphysics of groups, which are the mathematical objects that describe symmetry in science. There is also a significant phenomenological experience of symmetry, which is captured by the use of terms such as balance, unity, simplicity, beauty, boredom and harmony. The phenomenological analysis of symmetry begins with phenomenology of perception, then considers the relation between Gestalt principles of vision and symmetry, and finally addresses the aesthetics of symmetry, which includes a discussion on the relation between beauty and symmetry.
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About the author

Sunder Sarukkai

Sundar Sarukkai is a Fellow in the History and Philosophy of Science Unit at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. He is trained in physics and philosophy and has a PhD from Purdue University, USA. He was a Homi Bhabha Fellow from 1997-99 and Advanced Study, Shimla from 1999-2001. He is the author of Translating the World. Science and Language, published by the University Press of America in 2002. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (ISAST). Currently, he holds a PHISPC Fellowship to complete a book on the relevance of Indian philosophy to contemporary philosophy of science.

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Bibliographic information

Title Philosophy of Symmetry
Format Hardcover
Date published: 10.05.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8179860426
length x+167p., Notes; References; Index; 22cm.