A Paperback edition by Ian Hacking in English (Aug 31, 1990)
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In this important new study Ian Hacking continues the enquiry into the origins and development of certain characteristic modes of contemporary thought undertaken in such previous... Read more
In this important new study Ian Hacking continues the enquiry into the origins and development of certain characteristic modes of contemporary thought undertaken in such previous works as his best selling Emergence of Probability. Professor Hacking shows how by the late nineteenth century it became possible to think of statistical patterns as explanatory in themselves, and to regard the world as not necessarily deterministic in character. Combining detailed scientific historical research with characteristic philosophic breath and verve, The Taming of Chance brings out the relations among philosophy, the physical sciences, mathematics and the development of social institutions, and provides a unique and authoritative analysis of the "probabilization" of the Western world.
The Taming of Chance Paperback edition by Ian Hacking
Acknowledgements; 1. The argument; 2. The doctrine of necessity; 3. Public amateurs, secret bureaucrats; 4. Bureaux; 5. The sweet despotism of reason; 6. The quantum of sickness; 7. The granary of science; 8. Suicide is a kind of madness; 9. The experimental basis of the philosophy of legislation; 10. Facts without authenticity, without detail, without control, and without value; 11. By what majority?; 12. The law of large numbers; 13. Regimental chests; 14. Society prepares the crimes; 15. The astronomical conception of society; 16. The mineralogical conception of society; 17. The most ancient nobility; 18. Cassirer's thesis; 19. The normal state; 20. As real as cosmic forces; 21. The autonomy of statistical law; 22. A chapter from Prussian statistics; 23. A universe of chance; Notes; Index.
An interdisciplinary work which tells how quantitative ideas of chance transformed the natural and social sciences, as well as daily life over the past three centuries, centering on how these technical innovations remade conceptions of nature, mind and society.
Often lost in the debate over the validity of social construction is the question of what is being constructed. Ian Hacking looks at the issue of child abuse, and examines the ways in which advanced research on new weapons influences not the content but the form of science.
With the unusual clarity, distinctive and engaging style, and penetrating insight that have drawn such a wide range of readers to his work, Hacking here offers his reflections on the philosophical uses of history. The focus of this volume, which collects both recent and now-classic essays, is the historical emergence of concepts and objects, through new uses of words and sentences in specific settings, and new patterns or styles of reasoning within those sentences.
Hacking tells the fascinating tale of Albert Dadas, a native of France's Bordeaux region and the first diagnosed mad traveler. Dadas suffered from a strange compulsion that led him to travel obsessively, often without identification, not knowing who he was or why he traveled. Using the records of Philippe Tissié, Dadas's physician, Hacking attempts to make sense of this strange epidemic. In telling this tale, Hacking raises probing questions about the nature of mental disorders, the cultural repercussions of their diagnosis, and the relevance of this century-old case study for today's overanalyzed society.
In Philosophy and Animal Life, Cora Diamond begins with "The Difficulty of Reality and the Difficulty of Philosophy," in which she accuses analytical philosophy of evading, or deflecting, the responsibility of human beings toward nonhuman animals. Diamond then explores the animal question in the more general problem of philosophical skepticism. Focusing specifically on J. M. Coetzee'sThe Lives of Animals, she considers the failure of language to capture the vulnerability of humans and animals. Stanley Cavell responds to Diamond's argument with his own close reading of Coetzee's work, connecting the human-animal relationship to further themes of morality and philosophy. John McDowell follows with a critique of both Diamond and Cavell, and Ian Hacking explains why Cora Diamond's essay is so deeply perturbing and, paradoxically, favors poetry over philosophy in overcoming her difficulties. Cary Wolfe's introduction situates these arguments within the broader context of contemporary continental philosophy and theory, particularly Jacques Derrida's work on deconstruction and the question of the animal.
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