Luck: The Brilliant Randomness Of Everyday Life (Google eBook)

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University of Pittsburgh Pre, Mar 15, 2001 - Philosophy - 256 pages
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Luck touches us all. "Why me?" we complain when things go wrong—though seldom when things go right. But although luck has a firm hold on all our lives, we seldom reflect on it in a cogent, concerted way.

In Luck, one of our most eminent philosophers offers a realistic view of the nature and operation of luck to help us come to sensible terms with life in a chaotic world. Differentiating luck from fate (inexorable destiny) and fortune (mere chance), Nicholas Rescher weaves a colorful tapestry of historical examples, from the use of lots in the Old and New Testaments to Thomas Gataker’s treatise of 1619 on the great English lottery of 1612, from casino gambling to playing the stock market. Because we are creatures of limited knowledge who do and must make decisions in the light of incomplete information, Rescher argues, we are inevitably at the mercy of luck. It behooves us to learn more about it.

  

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Contents

Introduction
3
I Enigmas of Chance
19
II Failures of Foresight
41
III The Different Faces of Luck
69
IV An Infinity of Accidents
87
V Visions of Sugarplums
102
VI The Philosophers of Gambling
115
VII The Musings of Moralists
140
VIII Can the Tiger Be Tamed?
172
IX Life in a Halfway House
189
Appendix
211
Notes
213
Index
233
Back Cover
238
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Nicholas Rescher is Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh and chairman of the Center for Philosophy of Science. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has served as president of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, the Leibniz Society of North America, the Charles S. Peirce Society, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the Metaphysical Society of America. Rescher is the author or editor of more than one hundred books, including Aporetics: Rational Deliberation in the Face of Inconsistency, and Ignorance (On the Wider Implications of Deficient Knowledge).

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