© 1995

The Thwarting of Laplace’s Demon

Arguments Against the Mechanistic World-View


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction

    1. Richard Green
      Pages 1-9
  3. An Overview

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Richard Green
      Pages 13-40
  4. The Ascent of Intelligence through Life

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 63-63
    2. Richard Green
      Pages 65-80
    3. Richard Green
      Pages 81-97
    4. Richard Green
      Pages 117-131
    5. Richard Green
      Pages 132-148
    6. Richard Green
      Pages 149-164
  5. Non-Laplacean Biology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
    2. Richard Green
      Pages 167-173
    3. Richard Green
      Pages 190-203
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 204-229

About this book


Laplace (1849-1827) was the famous French astronomer and mathematician who outspokenly proposed that every occurrence is in every respect determined by laws of nature - that all that exists is determinate. This book aims to show how the mechanistic framework of ideas associated with modern science distorts our understanding not only of the human mind but of the fundamental attributes of life itself. Before we can rid ourselves of this distorting influence our very notion of causality needs to be clarified and changed. The book sets out a proposal of what is required. The book's many arguments have profound implications not only for philosophy, but for neuropsychology, biology and biophysics.


bibliography causality embryo French knowledge logic mind nature philosophy physics psychology reason science understanding

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyMonash UniversityAustralia

About the authors


Bibliographic information


`It is written with delicious clarity...this book will be a revelation to the intelligent general reader and the philosopher who wants to be better informed?' - Professor Raymond Tallis, Professor of Geriatric Medicine, University of Manchester