Risk and Meaning: Adversaries in Art, Science and Philosophy
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This richly illustrated book is an exploration of how chance and risk, on the one hand, and meaning or significance on the other, compete for the limelight in art, in philosophy, and in science. In modern society, prudence and probability calculation permeate our daily lives. Yet it is clear for all to see that neither cautious bank regulations nor mathematics have prevented economic crises from occurring time and again. Nicolas Bouleau argues that it is the meaning we assign to an event that determines the perceived risk, and that we generally turn a blind eye to this important fact, because the word "meaning" is itself awkward to explain. He tackles this fundamental question through examples taken from cultural fields ranging from painting, architecture, and music, to poetry, biology, and astronomy. This enables the reader to view overwhelming risks in a different light. Bouleau clarifies that the most important thing in a time of uncertainty is to think of prudence on a higher level, one that truly addresses the various subjective interpretations of the world.
into consideration new cases. From this, Fleck draws rather original consequences prefiguring the concerns – rather than the methods – of science studies. Kuhn, who is also a physicist, places much more emphasis on interpretation, which is what interests us here. The separation criteria, though non-quantifiable, work well when he encounters fowl which clearly fit into one of the three groups, that is to say, if he stays in a community where swans, geese and ducks are common. In other words, he
Hume saw these unphilosophical probabilities as cases where our judgments are dubious for less noble reasons: because we forget, for example, because an argument's strength fades with time, or because we are swayed by that which is more recent and more fresh, etc. He takes a practical point of view, one which would become a major thread of AngloSaxon philosophy from John Stuart Mill to the American Pragmatism of Peirce, Dewey and William James. The argument, which we found on any matter of fact
nobody really knows has become one of our main preoccupations [...] Many believe that in the age of risk there can be only one authority left, and that is science. But this is not only a complete misunderstanding of science, it is also a complete misunderstanding of the notion of risk. Ulrich Beck, Politics of Risk Society, Polity Press 1998. Entrance : Interpretation and Paradigms, 1 I. Cicero and Divination, 13 II. Cournot’s “Philosophical Probabilities”, 29 III. Mathematical Probabilities,
fisher wife scrutinizing the horizon. international politics - they progressively gained currency during the Roman Republic and, later, Empire, to the point where "every Roman, when he leaves his home, when he has a plan in his head or a fear in his spirit, reacts to the sight of such and such an animal to his right or to his left: he classes them as aves (birds), auspicia (sightings of birds) or, by subsequent precision "omens of encounter" (auspicia oblativa). No matter their importance,
a result of necessary ontogenetic development, or due to a random mix of blastomere cells from the embryo? Can one read from them an intention, or harmony with the world, which reveals our plans? Seneca, following Cicero, established a rationalism which has developed into an entropic process today, where beliefs are hunted down and the world is "disenchanted", or enlightened, as we often say today. That word was used as a heading by the scientist, Georges Matheron - an eminent contemporary