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N-universe illustration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

J. T. Ismael

How Physics Makes Us Free

J. T. Ismael, How Physics Makes Us Free, Oxford University Press, 2016, 273pp., $29.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780190269449.

Reviewed by Carl Hoefer, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Jenann Ismael’s book is a strikingly original monograph that somehow manages to be perfectly relevant and highly engaging to both the intelligent lay reader and the professional philosopher. It shows how well done philosophy of science can be relevant for the public at large, even when treating questions that have, of late, suffered from the ravages of analytic metaphysics. The book may be more widely read inside the academy than outside, but those on the outside who read it in full will surely come away with a better opinion of philosophy than they had at the start. Ismael’s prose is beautiful, evocative, and full of helpful metaphors and analogies; what is lacking (mostly) are dry pre-packaged philosophical terms, convoluted arguments and hackneyed examples. (For example, though free will is the main topic, Dr. Black, the evil neurosurgeon, is delightfully absent.)

Read the review.

English: Science icon from Nuvola icon theme f...

English: Science icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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