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humanities 109 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 language of his logical probability, Johns then develops the concept of the >chance= of a particular event. He defines chance as being a degree of belief of the outcome. Although quite attractive to a subjective Bayesian, I found his operational definition of degrees of belief (as the value of a contract or bet) to be difficult to connect to what we typically would employ as probabilities in a physical context. The latter are often defined classically in terms of the limiting frequencies of the occurrence of an event given an ensemble of similarly prepared systems. He does show how one can make the connection between his definition of chance and frequencies, and he carefully constructs a formal system based on this definition, showing that it satisfies the standard Kolmogorov axioms of probability. The last two topics in the book are perhaps the most interesting to the physicist. Unfortunately, the applications of the causal theory of chance to physical systems are somewhat limited. In the case of classical stochastic mechanics, Johns uses boundary conditions and Lagrangian mechanics to define classical states of motion uniquely, but he creates an unconvincing argument to reconcile the time-invariance of physical laws (i.e., they operate the same regardless of whether we go forward or backward in time) with the >arrow of time= (that many phenomena occur in nature only as time marches forward). He invokes the concept of entropy without ever defining what he means by it in his framework. In the application of his theory to quantum mechanics, Johns provides a very readable account of the fundamental issues confronting the foundations of quantum theory today. He discusses the debate surrounding the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox and Neils Bohr=s response to it, and the more recent contributions made by John Bell, David Bohm, and others. He tackles the thorny problem of how to understand measurement, and lays out the conceptual battlefield over which philosophers and physicists to this day do battle. His own view, which he develops in the last few chapters, is that quantum states have in fact epistemological significance in addition to their specific physical relevance, and he argues that there is a natural way to understand measurement in this context. Overall, I found the book well written and accessible to an audience outside the traditional philosophical mold. It has a clear focus, is well researched, and contains a complete list of references and index. As a physicist, I found the book somewhat uneven in the depth and understanding of classical and quantum physics theory, but I did enjoy the strong philosophical underpinnings it develops. I recommend it to anyone interested in an up-to-date review of the application of probability to physical systems, and especially to those who continue to struggle with the mysteries of quantum mechanics. (PEKKA SINERVO) Jillian Scott McIntosh, editor. Naturalism, Evolution, and Intentionality 110 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 University of Calgary Press. vi, 258. $22.00 One of the most active philosophical research programs during the 1990s occurred at the intersection of the philosophy of biology and the philosophy of mind. Led by people such as Ruth Millikan, Daniel Dennett, and Fred Dretske, this >naturalized= philosophy of mind made liberal and enthusiastic use of recent findings in psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, and evolutionary biology. Among the contributors to this volume are Colin Allen, Paul Davies, Larry Shapiro, and Eric Saidel, and the various essays testify to both the fruitfulness and, to some extent, the nearing exhaustion of that program. The book is divided into three sections. The first set of papers explores the extent to which the mind can be understood as an adaptation, that is, as the product of evolution by natural selection. Part 2 narrows the discussion slightly, with four papers on the >teleosemantic= approach to mental content. The teleosemantic project attempts to fix mental content through appeals to the evolutionary conditions under which certain cognitive mechanisms came to be fixed. For example, we know that frogs will habitually flick out their tongues at small, black objects that cross their...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 109-111
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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