Philosophy of Chance: A cosmic fugue with a prelude and a coda

Philosophy of Chance: A cosmic fugue with a prelude and a coda

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9788378860006
Publisher: Copernicus Center Press
Publication date: 02/04/2013
Pages: 238
Product dimensions: 6.75(w) x 9.75(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 9

Part 1 The Prelude 15

Chapter 1 From Antiquity to Pascal and Fermat

1 Gambling in antiquity and afterwards 21

2 "What happens, does not happen always, perforce, or the most often" 22

3 From chance to contingency 26

4 Precursors 30

5 The geometry of chance 33

Chapter 2 Small and high stakes

1 Port-Royal Logic 37

2 Inspirations and content 38

3 The wager 41

4 Huygens - how to expect winning? 45

Chapter 3 Theology versus probability

1 Posthumous work by Jacob Bernoulli 47

2 God's omniscience and the law of large numbers 48

3 Probability 52

4 Moral disputes 54

5 Bernoulli and Leibniz. The logic of contingent events 55

6 Political arithmetics 58

Chapter 4 Chance and how the world is organised

1 The principle of least action 61

2 The polemics of an academic 63

3 How does the Universe work? 64

4 The case of Samuel König 67

5 The principle of least action in contemporary physics 69

6 Is the integral more mysterious than the differential? 71

7 Chance versus Intelligence 73

Chapter 5 The taming of chance

1 Why does chance need taming? 75

2 Random events versus the strategy of creation 76

3 Experimenting with chance 77

4 Morality versus probability calculus 79

5 Theology-science-theology 80

6 Perspectives 82

Part 2 The Fugue 85

Chapter 6 The probabilistic revolution

1 Introduction 91

2 Probability and astronomy 93

3 Towards measure theory 95

4 Statistical mechanics 96

5 Brownian motion 100

6 Kolmogorov 101

7 Interpretations-von Mises 104

8 Interpretations - de Finetti 105

9 Probability as measure 107

10 Probabilistics versus mathematical structuralism 108

11 After Kolmogorov 110

Chapter 7 What is chance?

1 Introductory remarks 113

2 Preliminary definitions 113

3 Subjective sources of probabilities 115

4 Objective sources of probabilities 117

5 Instability versus ignorance 119

6 The strategy of nature 121

7 Chance and sufficient reasons 123

8 Concluding remarks 125

Chapter 8 Generalised probability calculi

1 Introduction 127

2 A bit of history 128

3 A bit of mathematics: some properties of von Neumann algebras 129

4 Von Neumann's agenda 132

5 A bit of probability calculus 133

6 A noncommutative probability theory 136

7 Free probability calculus 138

8 Consequences 140

Chapter 9 Probability in the structure of the Universe

1 Probability - from applications to theory 145

2 Measure and probability 147

3 Interpretations 148

4 The structure of chance 151

Part 3 The Coda 155

Chapter 10 A short history of anti-evolutionary fundamentalism

1 The beginnings of fundamentalism 161

2 Monkey trials 162

3 Intelligent Design 166

4 God or pure chance? 168

Chapter 11 The Temptation of Manichaeism

1 Previous disputes in new guises 171

2 Gnostics or 'those who know' 172

3 Mathematics against gnosis 174

4 Is God the Lord of all? 177

Chapter 12 Ex casu et fortuna

1 Against the pagans 181

2 How comes evil? 182

3 Contingency and the free will 184

4 A meeting in the market 185

5 St Augustine's warning 186

Chapter 13 The God of probabilities

1 The ontology of probability 189

2 The problem of low probabilities 190

3 The problem of high probabilities 192

4 The indifference principle 195

Chapter 14 One of the strands of cosmic evolution

1 A basket of problems which have attracted insufficient attention 199

2 A sink for disorder 200

3 The natural history of carbon 201

4 Dynamical systems 203

5 The dynamics of life 207

6 Natural selection 208

Chapter 15 Intelligent Design or the Mind of God?

1 Two strategies 213

2 Necessity and chance 214

3 Should biology arouse metaphysical emotions? 218

4 The Mind of God 222

5 The game of chance called life 224

6 The Great Matrix 226

Subject index 229

Names index 235

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