Causation: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Mumford,Rani Lill Anjum

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019968443X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 128

View: 1543

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Without cause and effect, there would be no science or technology, no moral responsibility, and no system of law. Causation is therefore the most fundamental connection in the universe and a core topic of philosophical thought. This Very Short Introduction introduces all of the main theories of causation and its key debates.

Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Mumford

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199657122

Category: Philosophy

Page: 113

View: 7813

DOWNLOAD NOW »
An introduction to metaphysics offers questions and answers covering such issues as properties, changes, time, personal identity, nothingness, and consciousness.

Risk: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Baruch Fischhoff,John Kadvany

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199576203

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 162

View: 396

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Risks are everywhere. They come from many sources, including crime, diseases, accidents, terror, climate change, finance, and intimacy. They arise from our own acts and they are imposed on us. In this Very Short Introduction Fischhoff and Kadvany draw on both the sciences and humanities to show what all risks have in common. Do we care about losing money, health, reputation, or peace of mind? How much do we care about things happening now or in the future? To ourselves or to others? All risks require thinking hard about what matters to us before we make decisions about them based on past experience, scientific knowledge, and future uncertainties. Using conceptual frameworks such as decision theory and behavioural decision research, we examine the science and practice of creating measures of risk and look at how scientists apply probability by combining historical records, scientific theories, and expert judgement. Showing what science has learned about how people deal with risks, and applying these to diverse everyday examples, the authors demonstrate how we move from understanding a risk to making a choice in everyday life.

Cryptography: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Fred Piper,Sean Murphy

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191577758

Category: Mathematics

Page: 160

View: 5916

DOWNLOAD NOW »
This book is a clear and informative introduction to cryptography and data protection - subjects of considerable social and political importance. It explains what algorithms do, how they are used, the risks associated with using them, and why governments should be concerned. Important areas are highlighted, such as Stream Ciphers, block ciphers, public key algorithms, digital signatures, and applications such as e-commerce. This book highlights the explosive impact of cryptography on modern society, with, for example, the evolution of the internet and the introduction of more sophisticated banking methods. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Statistics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David J. Hand

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191578924

Category: Mathematics

Page: 136

View: 9890

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Modern statistics is very different from the dry and dusty discipline of the popular imagination. In its place is an exciting subject which uses deep theory and powerful software tools to shed light and enable understanding. And it sheds this light on all aspects of our lives, enabling astronomers to explore the origins of the universe, archaeologists to investigate ancient civilisations, governments to understand how to benefit and improve society, and businesses to learn how best to provide goods and services. Aimed at readers with no prior mathematical knowledge, this Very Short Introduction explores and explains how statistics work, and how we can decipher them. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Free Will: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Thomas Pink

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192853589

Category: Philosophy

Page: 132

View: 7583

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Every day we seem to make and act upon all kinds of free choices - but are these choices really free? Or are we compelled to act the way we do by factors beyond our control? This book looks at free will.

Logic: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Graham Priest

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192539701

Category: Philosophy

Page: 152

View: 8618

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Logic is often perceived as having little to do with the rest of philosophy, and even less to do with real life. In this lively and accessible introduction, Graham Priest shows how wrong this conception is. He explores the philosophical roots of the subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of probability and decision theory. Along the way, the basics of formal logic are explained in simple, non-technical terms, showing that logic is a powerful and exciting part of modern philosophy. In this new edition Graham Priest expands his discussion to cover the subjects of algorithms and axioms, and proofs in mathematics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

History: A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Arnold

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 019285352X

Category: History

Page: 134

View: 1137

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Starting with an examination of how historians work, this "Very Short Introduction" aims to explore history in a general, pithy, and accessible manner, rather than to delve into specific periods.

Colonial America

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Alan Taylor

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199766231

Category: History

Page: 151

View: 9115

DOWNLOAD NOW »
In this Very Short Introduction, Alan Taylor presents the current scholarly understanding of colonial America to a broader audience. He focuses on the transatlantic and a transcontinental perspective, examining the interplay of Europe, Africa, and the Americas through the flows of goods, people, plants, animals, capital, and ideas.

Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Ken Binmore

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199218463

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 184

View: 1088

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Games are everywhere: Drivers maneuvering in heavy traffic are playing a driving game. Bargain hunters bidding on eBay are playing an auctioning game. The supermarket's price for corn flakes is decided by playing an economic game. This Very Short Introduction offers a succinct tour of the fascinating world of game theory, a ground-breaking field that analyzes how to play games in a rational way. Ken Binmore, a renowned game theorist, explains the theory in a way that is both entertaining and non-mathematical yet also deeply insightful, revealing how game theory can shed light on everything from social gatherings, to ethical decision-making, to successful card-playing strategies, to calculating the sex ratio among bees. With mini-biographies of many fascinating, and occasionally eccentric, founders of the subject--including John Nash, subject of the movie A Beautiful Mind--this book offers a concise overview of a cutting-edge field that has seen spectacular successes in evolutionary biology and economics, and is beginning to revolutionize other disciplines from psychology to political science. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, and Literary Theory to History. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given topic. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how it has developed and influenced society. Whatever the area of study, whatever the topic that fascinates the reader, the series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

Philosophy of Science: Very Short Introduction

Author: Samir Okasha

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191062790

Category: Science

Page: 160

View: 6610

DOWNLOAD NOW »
How much faith should we place in what scientists tell us? Is it possible for scientific knowledge to be fully 'objective'? What, really, can be defined as science? In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Samir Okasha explores the main themes and theories of contemporary philosophy of science, and investigates fascinating, challenging questions such as these. Starting at the very beginning, with a concise overview of the history of science, Okasha examines the nature of fundamental practices such as reasoning, causation, and explanation. Looking at scientific revolutions and the issue of scientific change, he asks whether there is a discernible pattern to the way scientific ideas change over time, and discusses realist versus anti-realist attitudes towards science. He finishes by considering science today, and the social and ethical philosophical questions surrounding modern science. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Knowledge

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jennifer Nagel

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 019966126X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 133

View: 6583

DOWNLOAD NOW »
What is knowledge? Is it the same as opinion or truth? Do you need to be able to justify a claim in order to count as knowing it? How can we know that the outer world is real and not a dream? Questions like these have existed since ancient times, and the branch of philosophy dedicated to answering them - epistemology - has been active for thousands of years. In this thought-provoking Very Short Introduction, Jennifer Nagel considers the central problems and paradoxes in the theory of knowledge and draws attention to the ways in which philosophers and theorists have responded to them. By exploring the relationship between knowledge and truth, and considering the problem of scepticism, Nagel introduces a series of influential historical and contemporary theories of knowledge, incorporating methods from logic, linguistics, and psychology, using a number of everyday examples to demonstrate the key issues and debates. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Causation

A User's Guide

Author: L. A. Paul,Ned Hall

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191654396

Category: Philosophy

Page: 300

View: 595

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Causation is at once familiar and mysterious. Many believe that the causal relation is not directly observable, but that we nevertheless can somehow detect its presence in the world. Common sense seems to have a firm grip on causation, and much work in the natural and social sciences relies on the idea. Yet neither common sense nor extensive philosophical debate has led us to anything like agreement on the correct analysis of the concept of causation, or an account of the metaphysical nature of the causal relation. Contemporary debates are driven by opposing motivations, conflicting intuitions, and unarticulated methodological assumptions. Causation: A User's Guide cuts a clear path through this confusing but vital landscape. L. A. Paul and Ned Hall guide the reader through the most important philosophical treatments of causation, negotiating the terrain by taking a set of examples as landmarks. Special attention is given to counterfactual and related analyses of causation. Using a methodological principle based on the close examination of potential counterexamples, they clarify the central themes of the debate about causation, and cover questions about causation involving omissions or absences, preemption and other species of redundant causation, and the possibility that causation is not transitive. Along the way, Paul and Hall examine several contemporary proposals for analyzing the nature of causation and assess their merits and overall methodological cogency. The book is designed to be of value both to trained specialists and those coming to the problem of causation for the first time. It provides the reader with a broad and sophisticated view of the metaphysics of the causal relation.

Hume: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Alfred Ayer

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191606537

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

View: 3378

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Hume is one of the greatest of all British philosophers, and even in his own lifetime was celebrated as one of the pivotal figures of the Enlightenment. A central theme of his philosophy is the conviction that questions traditionally thought of as completely independent of the scientific realm–questions about the mind, about morality, and about God, for example–are actually best explained using the experimental methods characteristic of the natural sciences. Hume's 'naturalist' approach to a wide variety of philosophical topics resulted in highly original theories about perception, self-identity, causation, morality, politics, and religion, all of which are discussed in this stimulating introduction by A J Ayer, himself one of the twentieth century's most important philosophers. Ayer also gives an account of Hume's fascinating life and character, and includes generous quotations from Hume's lucid and often witty writings. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Economics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Partha Dasgupta

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191578281

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 192

View: 8329

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Economics has the capacity to offer us deep insights into some of the most formidable problems of life, and offer solutions to them too. Combining a global approach with examples from everyday life, Partha Dasgupta describes the lives of two children who live very different lives in different parts of the world: in the Mid-West USA and in Ethiopia. He compares the obstacles facing them, and the processes that shape their lives, their families, and their futures. He shows how economics uncovers these processes, finds explanations for them, and how it forms policies and solutions. Along the way, Dasgupta provides an intelligent and accessible introduction to key economic factors and concepts such as individual choices, national policies, efficiency, equity, development, sustainability, dynamic equilibrium, property rights, markets, and public goods. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Philosophy of Science

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Samir Okasha

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198745583

Category: Philosophy

Page: 140

View: 8136

DOWNLOAD NOW »
How much faith should we place in what scientists tell us? Is it possible for scientific knowledge to be fully "objective?" What, really, can be defined as science? In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Samir Okasha explores the main themes and theories of contemporary philosophy of science, and investigates fascinating, challenging questions such as these. Starting at the very beginning, with a concise overview of the history of science, Okasha examines the nature of fundamental practices such as reasoning, causation, and explanation. Looking at scientific revolutions and the issue of scientific change, he asks whether there is a discernible pattern to the way scientific ideas change over time, and discusses realist versus anti-realist attitudes towards science. He finishes by considering science today, and the social and ethical philosophical questions surrounding modern science. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Modern War: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Richard English

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199607893

Category: History

Page: 132

View: 8106

DOWNLOAD NOW »
In this accessible and authoritative Very Short Introduction, Richard English considers what modern warfare is and what it achieves. Addressing our assumptions about war in the modern period, and drawing upon direct accounts of warfare, he considers its impact on society, culture, economics, as well its future.

Epidemiology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Rodolfo Saracci

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191609242

Category: Medical

Page: 160

View: 8380

DOWNLOAD NOW »
What is epidemiology? What are the causes of a new disease? How can pandemics be prevented? Epidemiology is the study of the changing patterns of disease and its main aim is to improve the health of populations. It's a vital field, central to the health of society, to the identification of causes of disease, and to their management and prevention. Epidemiology has had an impact on many areas of medicine; from discovering the relationship between tobacco smoking and lung cancer, to the origin and spread of new epidemics. However, it is often poorly understood, largely due to misrepresentations in the media. In this Very Short Introduction Rodolfo Saracci dispels some of the myths surrounding the study of epidemiology. He provides a general explanation of the principles behind clinical trials, and explains the nature of basic statistics concerning disease. He also looks at the ethical and political issues related to obtaining and using information concerning patients, and trials involving placebos. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Schopenhauer: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Christopher Janaway

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191604496

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 7868

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Schopenhauer is the most readable of German philosophers. This book gives a succinct explanation of his metaphysical system, concentrating on the original aspects of his thought, which inspired many artists and thinkers including Nietzsche, Wagner, Freud, and Wittgenstein. Schopenhauer's central notion is that of the will - a blind, irrational force that he uses to interpret both the human mind and the whole of nature. Seeing human behaviour as that of a natural organism governed by the will to life, Schopenhauer developed radical insights concerning the unconscious and sexuality which influenced both psychologists and philosophers. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Architecture: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Andrew Ballantyne

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191579211

Category: Architecture

Page: 144

View: 7847

DOWNLOAD NOW »
This highly original and sophisticated look at architecture helps us to understand the cultural significance of the buildings that surround us. It avoids the traditional style-spotting approach in favour of giving an idea of what it is about buildings that moves us, and what it is that makes them important artistically and culturally. The book begins by looking at how architecture acquires meaning through tradition, and concludes with the exoticism of the recent avant garde. Illustrations of particular buildings help to anchor the general points with specific examples, from ancient Egypt to the present day. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.