100 books like Changing Order

By Harry Collins,

Here are 100 books that Changing Order fans have personally recommended if you like Changing Order. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Against Method: Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge

Alex M. Thomas Author Of Macroeconomics: An Introduction

From my list on becoming a critical economist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about the dissemination of economic ideas both inside and outside university spaces. In addition to classroom lectures at my university, I give a lot of public lectures on economics. Through these talks, I introduce the audience to the tradition of doing economics using a critical perspective. I have an MA and MPhil in Economics from the University of Hyderabad and a PhD in Economics from the University of Sydney.

Alex's book list on becoming a critical economist

Alex M. Thomas Why did Alex love this book?

Feyerabend argues against monism in science.

Drawing on the history of science, he demonstrates that science has progressed from pluralism. In other words, there is no the scientific method. 

Currently, mainstream economics education does not include history or philosophy in its curriculum. And economists are enthusiastically adopting a monist approach to knowledge production.

Feyerabend’s book tells us why such a naïve and narrow approach to knowledge dissemination (and production) is problematic. I feel extremely lucky to have been exposed to his work along with other philosophers of science during my master’s.

By Paul Feyerabend,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Against Method as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Contemporary philosophy of science has paid close attention to the understanding of scientific practice, in contrast to the previous focus on scientific method. Paul Feyerabend's acclaimed work, which sparked controversy and continues to fuel fierce debate, shows the deficiencies of many widespread ideas about the nature of knowledge. He argues that the only feasible explanation of any scientific success is a historical account, and that anarchism must now replace rationalism in the theory of knowledge. This updated edition of this classic text contains a new foreword by Ian Hacking, a leading contemporary philosopher of science, who reflects on Feyerabend's life…


Book cover of The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change

James L. Sherley Author Of Missing Elements in the Public Science Supporting the COVID-19 Spread Narrative in the US

From my list on what science and scientists are really all about.

Why am I passionate about this?

A childhood friend says that I am the only person he knows who grew up to be exactly what he said he wanted to become. But he is mistaken because I was born a scientist. I have no memories when I was not thinking about science, learning it, doing it, teaching it, trying to improve it, pondering it, or sharing it with others. Over my life and career as a scientist, I have been further fulfilled by undergirding my scientific work with reflection and introspection through reading the history, philosophy, and practice of science revealed and disclosed in books like the five I recommend here. Enjoy them as I have!

James' book list on what science and scientists are really all about

James L. Sherley Why did James love this book?

Once I finished reading Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions, it wasn’t long before I learned that he had followed it up with a collection of deeper analyses in the realm of the philosophy of science.

His sequel book took me deeper into the minds and conflicts of noted greats of science whose scientific contributions’ acceptance is now taken for granted by most. Yet, in their own day, they, too, often had to contend with the tension of science’s and scientists’ history of preferring what consensus had ordained as settled knowledge instead of welcoming new insights and discoveries.

By Thomas S. Kuhn,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Essential Tension as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Kuhn has the unmistakable address of a man, who, so far from wanting to score points, is anxious above all else to get at the truth of matters."-Sir Peter Medawar, Nature


Book cover of Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent

Deirdre N. McCloskey Author Of The Rhetoric of Economics

From my list on the rhetoric of science (from a distinguished professor).

Why am I passionate about this?

Deirdre Nansen McCloskey is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics and of History, and Professor Emerita of English and of Communication, adjunct in classics and philosophy, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Trained at Harvard in the 1960s as an economist, she has written twenty-four books and some four hundred academic and popular articles on economic history, rhetoric, philosophy, statistical theory, economic theory, feminism, queer studies, liberalism, ethics, and law.

Deirdre's book list on the rhetoric of science (from a distinguished professor)

Deirdre N. McCloskey Why did Deirdre love this book?

Booth was a professor of English at the University of Chicago and a president of the Modern Language Association. Surprisingly, he wrote this elegant book showing that Cartesian doubt as the basis of science (or of anything else) is silly, not a dogma that anyone can actually live by. Like the other books here, he shows even science to have—or course—a “rhetoric,” that is, “the art of discovering good reasons, finding what really warrants assent because any reasonable person ought to be persuaded by what has been said.”

By Wayne C. Booth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When should I change my mind? What can I believe and what must I doubt? In this new "philosophy of good reasons" Wayne C. Booth exposes five dogmas of modernism that have too often inhibited efforts to answer these questions. Modern dogmas teach that "you cannot reason about values" and that "the job of thought is to doubt whatever can be doubted," and they leave those who accept them crippled in their efforts to think and talk together about whatever concerns them most. They have willed upon us a "befouled rhetorical climate" in which people are driven to two self-destructive…


Book cover of Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy

Deirdre N. McCloskey Author Of The Rhetoric of Economics

From my list on the rhetoric of science (from a distinguished professor).

Why am I passionate about this?

Deirdre Nansen McCloskey is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics and of History, and Professor Emerita of English and of Communication, adjunct in classics and philosophy, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Trained at Harvard in the 1960s as an economist, she has written twenty-four books and some four hundred academic and popular articles on economic history, rhetoric, philosophy, statistical theory, economic theory, feminism, queer studies, liberalism, ethics, and law.

Deirdre's book list on the rhetoric of science (from a distinguished professor)

Deirdre N. McCloskey Why did Deirdre love this book?

Polanyi, an eminent Hungarian Jewish chemist who spent his career at the University of Manchester, was the smarter brother of the more famous Karl Polanyi, the socialist economic historian. Michael (Mihály) shows in the book how science depends on ordinary, “personal” knowledge, as for example in riding a bicycle. He was a “liberal” in the European sense, unlike his brother, and saw the scientific community as analogous to a free market, and the free market as analogous to a scientific community.

By Michael Polanyi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Personal Knowledge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The publication of Personal Knowledge in 1958 shook the science world, as Michael Polanyi took aim at the long-standing ideals of rigid empiricism and rule-bound logic. Today, Personal Knowledge remains one of the most significant philosophy of science books of the twentieth century, bringing the crucial concepts of “tacit knowledge” and “personal knowledge” to the forefront of inquiry.

In this remarkable treatise, Polanyi attests that our personal experiences and ways of sharing knowledge have a profound effect on scientific discovery. He argues against the idea of the wholly dispassionate researcher, pointing out that even in the strictest of sciences, knowing…


Book cover of The Road Since Structure: Philosophical Essays, 1970-1993, with an Autobiographical Interview

K. Brad Wray Author Of Kuhn's Intellectual Path: Charting The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

From my list on science studies.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Denmark, I teach at the Center for Videnskabsstudier. “Videnskabsstudier” is often translated as Science Studies. It thus connotes a rather broad field, which includes philosophical, historical, and sociological studies of science. And the notion of “videnskab”, which is frequently translated as science is interpreted rather broadly, to include, in addition to the natural science, the social sciences, and the humanities, indeed, basically any field one might study at a university. In fact, my own research intersects with and is influenced by research in all these fields.

K.'s book list on science studies

K. Brad Wray Why did K. love this book?

This is a collection of essays by Kuhn, written later in his life, as he tried to clarify and develop the view he initially presented in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Kuhn reflects on developments in the sociology of science that were influenced by his work, as the Strong Programme sociologists of science identified as Kuhnians and relativists.  Kuhn tries to clarify what he meant by “paradigm change”, motivated by a concern to address his critics and to distance his own view from certain types of relativist views.

The autobiographical interview is very engaging, as Kuhn takes this opportunity to reflect on the impact of his book, as well as on the effects the book has had on his life and career. I think much of what Kuhn had to say in these later papers provides important insight into understanding science, especially his remarks on scientific specialization.

By Thomas S. Kuhn, James Conant (editor), John Haugeland (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Road Since Structure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Thomas Kuhn will undoubtedly be remembered primarily for The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a book that introduced one of the most influential conceptions of scientific progress to emerge during the twentieth century. The Road since Structure, assembled with Kuhn's input before his death in 1996, follows the development of his thought through the later years of his life: collected here are several essays extending and rethinking the perspectives of Structure as well as an extensive and remarkable autobiographical interview in which Kuhn discusses the course of his life and philosophy.


Book cover of We Have Never Been Modern

Jason Ānanda Josephson Storm Author Of The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences

From my list on to shatter the myth of modernity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning historian and philosopher of the human sciences. But I got here by means of an unusually varied path: working for a private investigator, practicing in a Buddhist monastery, being shot at, hiking a volcano off the coast of Africa, being jumped by a gang in Amsterdam, snowboarding in the Pyrenees, piloting a boat down the canals of Bourgogne, playing bass guitar in a punk band, and once I almost died from scarlet fever. Throughout my journey, I have lived and studied in five countries, acquired ten languages, and attended renowned universities (Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford), all while seeking ways to make the world a better place.

Jason's book list on to shatter the myth of modernity

Jason Ānanda Josephson Storm Why did Jason love this book?

The late French philosopher Bruno Latour was infamous for his iconoclastic work in the history and sociology of science and technology.

If you read only one of his books, I’d say go for We Have Never Been Modern because it cuts to the heart of things by disrupting the conventional understanding of modernity as a clear separation between nature and culture. Latour argues that even as “moderns” have been rhetorically invested in this particular bifurcation of the world, nature-culture hybrids are continually proliferating.

So if you’ve ever asked yourself, why are cities not considered natural landscapes? Or why are animals always presumed to be without culture? Or what does it even mean to be modern? Then this is the book for you.

By Bruno Latour, Catherine Porter (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked We Have Never Been Modern as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With the rise of science, we moderns believe, the world changed irrevocably, separating us forever from our primitive, premodern ancestors. But if we were to let go of this fond conviction, Bruno Latour asks, what would the world look like? His book, an anthropology of science, shows us how much of modernity is actually a matter of faith.

What does it mean to be modern? What difference does the scientific method make? The difference, Latour explains, is in our careful distinctions between nature and society, between human and thing, distinctions that our benighted ancestors, in their world of alchemy, astrology,…


Book cover of Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth

K. Brad Wray Author Of Kuhn's Intellectual Path: Charting The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

From my list on science studies.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Denmark, I teach at the Center for Videnskabsstudier. “Videnskabsstudier” is often translated as Science Studies. It thus connotes a rather broad field, which includes philosophical, historical, and sociological studies of science. And the notion of “videnskab”, which is frequently translated as science is interpreted rather broadly, to include, in addition to the natural science, the social sciences, and the humanities, indeed, basically any field one might study at a university. In fact, my own research intersects with and is influenced by research in all these fields.

K.'s book list on science studies

K. Brad Wray Why did K. love this book?

Psillos defends a view called scientific realism.

Scientific realists generally assume that the growth of scientific knowledge is continuous and cumulative, with no significant setbacks. Discoveries in science generally add on to our current understanding of the world. Scientific realists generally regard scientific revolutions or paradigm changes as a threat to the rationality of science as such changes seem to imply that scientists have had a fundamentally flawed understanding of the world.

Psillos presents one of the most comprehensive and strongest cases for realism. Anyone who is serious about defending a view of the development of science that involves periodic revolutionary changes of theory, as I do, has to take Psillos’ arguments very seriously.

By Stathis Psillos,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Scientific Realism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Scientific realism is the optimistic view that modern science is on the right track: that the world really is the way our best scientific theories describe it . In his book, Stathis Psillos gives us a detailed and comprehensive study which restores the intuitive plausibility of scientific realism. We see that throughout the twentieth century, scientific realism has been challenged by philosophical positions from all angles: from reductive empiricism, to instrumentalism and to modern sceptical empiricism.
Scientific Realism explains that the history of science does not undermine the arguments for scientific realism, but instead makes it reasonable to accept scientific…


Book cover of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

James L. Sherley Author Of Missing Elements in the Public Science Supporting the COVID-19 Spread Narrative in the US

From my list on what science and scientists are really all about.

Why am I passionate about this?

A childhood friend says that I am the only person he knows who grew up to be exactly what he said he wanted to become. But he is mistaken because I was born a scientist. I have no memories when I was not thinking about science, learning it, doing it, teaching it, trying to improve it, pondering it, or sharing it with others. Over my life and career as a scientist, I have been further fulfilled by undergirding my scientific work with reflection and introspection through reading the history, philosophy, and practice of science revealed and disclosed in books like the five I recommend here. Enjoy them as I have!

James' book list on what science and scientists are really all about

James L. Sherley Why did James love this book?

When I was a biomedical science graduate student, this book was on my shelf for a couple of years before I read it. I had pulled it out of a classmate’s trash bag when I was helping him move. Later, when I became distressed because my research findings were dismissed as “controversial,” a postdoctoral fellow in my lab told me that what I experienced was actually quite normal for novel scientific findings and I should read this book.

I did, and it changed forever my understanding of science and how scientists often resist accepting from others the very thing they pursue themselves: new discoveries. When I became a principal scientist, I made a gift of this book to every new scientist graduating from my laboratory.

By Thomas S. Kuhn,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Structure of Scientific Revolutions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were-and still are. "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. And fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", Kuhn challenged long-standing…


Book cover of The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World

Michael Edgeworth McIntyre Author Of Science, Music, and Mathematics: The Deepest Connections

From my list on to get you past selfish-gene theory.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a scientist at the University of Cambridge who’s worked on environmental research topics such as jet streams and the Antarctic ozone hole. I’ve also worked on solar physics and musical acoustics. And other branches of science have always interested me. Toward the end of my career, I became fascinated by cutting-edge issues in biological evolution and natural selection. Evolution is far richer and more complex than you’d think from its popular description in terms of ‘selfish genes’. The complexities are central to understanding deep connections between the sciences, the arts, and human nature in general, and the profound differences between human intelligence and artificial intelligence.

Michael's book list on to get you past selfish-gene theory

Michael Edgeworth McIntyre Why did Michael love this book?

It achieves an important and unusual cross-fertilization between two very different kinds of expertise. Both authors are highly innovative, and creative, thinkers, Cohen in biology and Stewart in mathematics.

Cohen is a biologist fascinated by the complexity observed in the living world, and Stewart is an expert on the mathematics of chaos and complexity. The result is a profound and multifaceted view of many natural phenomena, and of evolution in particular. It becomes very clear how selfish-gene theory fails to take account of important evolutionary mechanisms.

By Jack Cohen, Ian Stewart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Collapse of Chaos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Moving on from his books on chaos ("Does God Play Dice?") and symmetry ("Fearful Symmetry"), the author of this book deals with the wider field of complexity theory. The book tackles the question of how complexity arises in nature, of how life overcomes chaos and entropy to create developing order. Co-written with biologist Jack Cohen, the book will range across the central areas of modern science, from quantum mechanics and cosmology to evolution and intelligence, looking at the central questions of order, chaos, reductionism and complexity.


Book cover of The Essential David Bohm

Dan Schilling Author Of The Power of Awareness: And Other Secrets from the World's Foremost Spies, Detectives, and Special Operators on How to Stay Safe and Save Your Life

From my list on for the rest of us to absorb Buddhist essence.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became Buddhist while I was working in Southeast Asia, in Thailand specifically. Here’s one of the great lessons I learned, or perhaps it’s merely a koan, and that is this, no true Buddhist is Buddhist. It’s my own saying and one that I live by because Zen, Tibetan or Theravada are all structured disciplines with ritual and even recognized leaders. And I think the Buddha would laugh one of his full bellied roars to learn that there were, in some cases, global organizations all named in his honor. That’s not to make light of the way of organized Buddhism, merely to say that it isn’t my way.

Dan's book list on for the rest of us to absorb Buddhist essence

Dan Schilling Why did Dan love this book?

I first encountered the philosophy of physicist Bohm in another book by the philosopher Renée Weber (Dialogues with Scientists and Sages) in which she, the Dalai Lama, and Bohm (among others) explore, well, everything. But Bohm’s own exploration blends Buddhist concepts with physics. One of the many reasons I am Buddhist myself is its architecture and allowance for new concepts including physics theory and the reality of light itself. His implicate order for the universe explains more about its reality than accepted current theory. I’m no physicist nor towering intellectual, but I am following the Buddha’s advice to figure it out for myself. This book helped immensely. Sadly his work is overlooked by the scientific community.

By Lee Nichol,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Essential David Bohm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are few scientists of the twentieth century whose life's work has created more excitement and controversy than that of physicist David Bohm (1917-1992). For the first time in a single volume, The Essential David Bohm offers a comprehensive overview of Bohm's original works from a non-technical perspective. Including three chapters of previously unpublished material, each reading has been selected to highlight some aspect of the implicate order process, and to provide an introduction to one of the most provocative thinkers of our time.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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