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What Is a Volcano?

Editors: Edgardo Cañón-Tapia and Alexandru Szakács

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"[T]his collection of papers focuses on issues of defining volcanoes and is worthwhile reading for researchers working in the disciplines of broader volcanology. This book, furthermore, has articles that could be recommended for under- and post-graduate students who are involved in conducting research on volcanoes. These papers address some of the most key aspects of volcanology as a discipline."

—Gabor Kereszturi, Bulletin of Volcanology

Humankind has been aware of volcanic activity in this planet since ancient times. Consequently, it is only fair to say that at present almost everyone has an “intuitive” knowledge of what a volcano is. Nevertheless, as this book reveals, attempting a formal definition of a “volcano” that includes the most recent advances and discoveries is not trivial. As shown by the chapters in this book, it is possible to advance more than one formal definition of such an apparently simple term. By discussing the pivotal concept of the discipline—volcano—the contributors roam around the fundamental conceptual core of volcanology. While it is not claimed that a person who reads all nine chapters will arrive at a final answer to the question posed by the book’s title, fundamental concepts are discussed in the light of the philosophy of science and classical philosophy, providing those approaches a more general intellectual flavor beyond the strictly scientific and technical aspects. Conceptual approaches included in this book also allow for highlighting possible new avenues of basic volcanological research in the future.

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August 19, 2010
ISBN Number:
Product Categories: B. Special Papers
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