Winter 2009 • Vol. XXXI No. 1 New VoicesJanuary 1, 2009 |

If

The purpose I mean is, to show what reason we have for believing that there are in the constitution of things fixed laws according to which events happen.—Richard Price, 1763 The purpose of the English word if is to conveyTo the listenerProbability,Possibility,Conditioning. Most steps (in life) areSafe, but (some) can beDevastating. Reasoning is like navigatingA minefield: an alternative toThe extremes of ignoring or enumerating Exceptions Is to summarize them. So thoughtGerolamo Cardano, Italian, 1501 to 1576,Mathematician, the first one to think that inGambling, chance was something likeProbability. A discrete set of possibilities. Everyone else, probably all his friendsAnd neighbors, his wife, irritableAt late hours, thought God controlled theDice as well as was the maker of the handWho rolled them. But No. Famously,Einstein would muchLater say that God does not play diceBut that's because he knew what diceWere doing. Thank you, Gerolamo. Poor Cardano, alo

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Kascha Semonovitch writes and sometimes teaches philosophy in Seattle. She has a doctorate in philosophy from Boston College and an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College and a great deal of undocumented experience in motherhood, love, and travel. Her poems have appeared in Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, Crab Creek Review, and other journals.

Read More

Postcards

By Kascha Semonovitch

The purpose I mean is, to show what reason we have for believing that there are in the constitution of things fixed laws according to which events happen.—Richard Price, 1763 […]

New

By Kascha Semonovitch

The purpose I mean is, to show what reason we have for believing that there are in the constitution of things fixed laws according to which events happen.—Richard Price, 1763 […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.