Scale Theory: A Nondisciplinary Inquiry
University of Minnesota Press, 2021
Cloth: 978-1-5179-1206-2 | Paper: 978-1-5179-1207-9
Library of Congress Classification B105.S33
Dewey Decimal Classification 121.34
ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
A pioneering call for a new understanding of scale across the humanities
Joshua DiCaglio takes us on a fascinating journey through six thought experiments that provide clarifying yet provocative definitions for scale and new ways of thinking about classic concepts ranging from unity to identity. Because our worldviews and philosophies are largely built on nonscalar experience, he then takes us slowly through the ways scale challenges and reconfigures objects, subjects, and relations.
Scale Theory is, in a sense, nondisciplinary—weaving together a dizzying array of sciences (from nanoscience to ecology) with discussions from the humanities (from philosophy to rhetoric). In the process, a curious pattern emerges: attempts to face the significance of scale inevitably enter terrain closer to mysticism than science. Rather than dismiss this connection, DiCaglio examines the reasons for it, redefining mysticism in terms of scale and integrating contemplative philosophies into the discussion. The result is a powerful account of the implications and challenges of scale, attuned to the way scale transforms both reality and ourselves.
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