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The Taming of Chance

The Taming of Chance

£21.99

Part of Ideas in Context

  • Date Published: November 1990
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521388849

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About the Authors
  • In this important study Ian Hacking continues the enquiry into the origins and development of certain characteristic modes of contemporary thought undertaken in such previous works as the best-selling The 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. In the same period the idea of human nature was displaced by a model of normal people with laws of dispersion. These two parallel transformations fed into each other, so that chance made the world seem less capricious: it was legitimated because it brought order out of chaos. Combining detailed scientific historical research with characteristic philosophic breadth and verve, The Taming of Chance brings out the relations between philosophy, the physical sciences, mathematics and the development of social institutions, and provides a unique and authoritative analysis of the 'probabilisation' of the western world.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1990
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521388849
    • length: 282 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 150 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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.

  • Author

    Ian Hacking, University of Toronto

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