More Precisely: The Math You Need to Do Philosophy – Second Edition
  • Publication Date: October 30, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554813452 / 155481345X
  • 248 pages; 6" x 9"
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More Precisely: The Math You Need to Do Philosophy – Second Edition

  • Publication Date: October 30, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554813452 / 155481345X
  • 248 pages; 6" x 9"

More Precisely is a rigorous and engaging introduction to the mathematics necessary to do philosophy. It is impossible to fully understand much of the most important work in contemporary philosophy without a basic grasp of set theory, functions, probability, decision theory, and modality. More Precisely is written for people who wish to engage with contemporary philosophical writing but first need to fill gaps in their technical knowledge. Eric Steinhart provides lucid explanations of many basic mathematical concepts and sets out most commonly used notational conventions. He also demonstrates how mathematics applies to fundamental issues in various branches of philosophy, including metaphysics, philosophy of language, epistemology, and ethics. This second edition adds a substantial section on decision and game theory, as well as a chapter on information theory and the efficient coding of information.

Comments

COMMENTS ON FIRST EDITION

“[More Precisely] addresses a need by giving an elementary presentation of a number of technical concepts used in philosophy, which previously were not collected together. It should be especially useful for students preparing for graduate work whose undergraduate training is likely to have skipped over at least some of the concepts that the book covers. The material in each chapter is presented in a very clear and engaging way, without presupposing any background beyond basic high school mathematics.” — Susan Vineberg, Wayne State University

“This is a splendid and innovative book. It explains accurately and accessibly a wide range of technical topics frequently drawn upon in philosophy. Wonderfully informative and clear, this book is a lifeline for students at undergraduate or graduate level.” — Chris Daly, University of Manchester

“This is a great resource! Philosophers have always used the tools of mathematics to make their claims clearer and more precise, even more so since the end of the nineteenth century. Until now we haven’t had a systematic way to acquire those tools. Steinhart’s book remedies the situation, presenting the fundamental ideas thoroughly and comprehensively. Highly recommended for anyone getting into the serious study of philosophy.” — Anthony Dardis, Hofstra University

Preface

Chapter 1: Sets
Chapter 2: Relations
Chapter 3: Machines
Chapter 4: Semantics
Chapter 5: Probability
Chapter 6: Information Theory
Chapter 7: Decisions and Games
Chapter 8: From the Finite to the Infinite
Chapter 9: Bigger Infinities

Further Study
Glossary of Symbols

Eric Steinhart is a professor of philosophy at William Paterson University. He is the author of Your Digital Afterlives: Computational Theories of Life after Death (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), On Nietzsche (Wadsworth 1999), and The Logic of Metaphor: Analogous Parts of Possible Worlds (Kluwer Academic 2001).

—A primer on the mathematical and formal aspects of philosophy, including set theory, relations, functions, probability, and more
—Suitable as a course text or as supplemental reading for students who wish to fill gaps in their technical knowledge
—This edition adds chapters on decision theory and information theory
—Diagrams and tables are used to illustrate and organize technical ideas
—Supplemental exercises and solutions are provided on a companion website