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From Book News, Inc.
The seventies best-seller tying East (Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism)
and West (science, namely physics) here includes a new preface and an
afterword in which the author reviews the developments of the 25 years
since the book's first publication, discusses criticisms of the book,
and examines the possibilities for a new world view. Capra received
his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Vienna and is
the founding director of the Center
for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California.
First published in 1975, The Tao of Physics rode the wave of fascination
in exotic East Asian philosophies. Decades later, it still stands up
to scrutiny, explicating not only Eastern philosophies but also how
modern physics forces us into conceptions that have remarkable parallels.
Covering over 3,000 years of widely divergent traditions across Asia,
Capra can't help but blur lines in his generalizations. But the big
picture is enough to see the value in them of experiential knowledge,
the limits of objectivity, the absence of foundational matter, the interrelation
of all things and events, and the fact that process is primary, not
things. Capra finds the same notions in modern physics. Those approaching
Eastern thought from a background of Western science will find reliable
introductions here to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism and learn how commonalities
among these systems of thought can offer a sort of philosophical underpinning
for modern science. And those approaching modern physics from a background
in Eastern mysticism will find precise yet comprehensible descriptions
of a Western science that may reinvigorate a hope in the positive potential
of scientific knowledge. Whatever your background, The Tao of Physics
is a brilliant essay on the meeting of East and West, and on the invaluable
possibilities that such a union promises. --Brian Bruya