Einstein Meets Magritte: An Interdisciplinary Reflection on Science, Nature, Art, Human Action and Society


An Interdisciplinary Reflection on Science, Society, Art and Human Action In 1995, the Center Leo Apostel and Brussels Free University organized an international conference entitled "Einstein meets Magritte". Its goal was to bring together world leading scientists and thinkers and provide them with a forum for an unlimited and interdisciplinary discussion of the "state of the art" of contemporary science, art, and humanities.
But "Einstein meets Magritte" turned out to be more than 'just a conference'. It became a unique and unparalleled event which united for the first time established and acclaimed as well as unknown and original scholars around separate but intensively linked scientific themes. During special conference debates these themes were interdisciplinary discussed, inviting reputed specialists to "think their trade through" into other disciplines, and leading to a scientifically based consideration of the whole of science and mankind.
The main topics and issues discussed at Einstein Meets Magritte are now for the first time published in eight volumes. These volumes are not proceedings. Rather than trying to repeat what had been said at the conference, the editors have urged the authors to discuss and reflect upon contemporary scientific topics in the spirit that was originated by the conference. All volumes have been edited so as to reflect the interdisciplinary character of Einstein Meets Magritte. The issues and topics raised in one volume run well into arguments addressed in others. Yet each volume also stands on its own, providing the reader with a clearcut and thorough consideration of its field.
Seven of these volumes are named after a different color of the rainbow (from red to violet), and dedicated to a separate theme of the conference. The synthesis of the volumes is the eighth book. It is white, and assimilates all other colors. It provides thirteen thought-provoking and ground-breaking essays of some of the world's most renowned thinkers: John Ziman, Bas Van Fraassen, Barbara Hernnstein-Smith, Robert Pirsig, Ilya Prigogine, Constantin Piron, Rom Harré, Diederik Aerts, Francisco Varela, William Calvin, Adolf Grünbaum, Zygmunt Bauman and Brian Arthur. Covering several disciplines and transcending the limitations of traditional scientific publications while still maintaining scientific standards of excellence, the Einstein Meets Magritte-volumes are a synthesis of what we know about ourselves and the world we live in. It is a synthesis that will lead the way into the third millennium.