How Physics Makes Us Free

How Physics Makes Us Free

3.83 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In 1687 Isaac Newton ushered in a new scientific era in which laws of nature could be used to predict the movements of matter with almost perfect precision. Newton's physics also posed a profound challenge to our self-understanding, however, for the very same laws that keep airplanes in the air and rivers flowing downhill tell us that it is in principle possible to predict what each of us will do every second of our entire lives, given the early conditions of the universe. Can it really be that even while you toss and turn late at night in the throes of an important decision and it seems like the scales of fate hang in the balance, that your decision is a foregone conclusion? Can it really be that everything you have done and everything you ever will do is determined by facts that were in place long before you were born? This problem is one of the staples of philosophical discussion. It is discussed by everyone from freshman in their first philosophy class, to theoretical physicists in barsshow more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 174 x 240 x 26mm | 528g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 6
  • 0190269448
  • 9780190269449
  • 472,340

About J.T. Ismael

J.T. Ismael is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona. She is the author of The Situated Self (OUP, 2007) and Essays on Symmetry (2001).show more

Review quote

Jenann Ismael's book is a strikingly original monograph that somehow manages to be perfectly relevant and highly engaging to both the intelligent lay reader and the professional philosopher. It shows how well done philosophy of science can be relevant for the public at large, even when treating questions that have, of late, suffered from the ravages of analytic metaphysics. The book may be more widely read inside the academy than outside, but those on the outside who read it in full will surely come away with a better opinion of philosophy than they had at the start. Ismael's prose is beautiful, evocative, and full of helpful metaphors and analogies ... It is a book that nobody who cares about how human freedom squares with modern physicalism can afford to ignore. * Carl Hoefer, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Online *show more

Rating details

6 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 50% (3)
4 17% (1)
3 17% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 17% (1)
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