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Abstract
for both introductory courses in philosophy, or philosophical methodology, as well as independent study for anyone interested in the methods of argument, assessment and criticism used in contemporary analytic philosophy. It is unique in approach, and written in a pleasant and considerate tone. Its authors are both competent philosophers, and the book visibly reflects their deep sympathy to the discipline and their appreciation of its unique character. This book will help one to get going to do philosophy, but more advanced students might find this text helpful too. I wish I had had access to this book as an undergraduate. The book has six chapters. It presents instances of a certain kind of philosophical tool in each of these. These are: Basic Tools, Further Tools for Argument, Tools for Assessment, Tools for Conceptual Distinctions, Tools for Radical Critique, and Tools at the Limit. The tools presented get increasingly sophisticated, and the chapters are more or less explicitly built on the preceding ones. Characteristic entries are, in the first chapter, concepts such as “Arguments, Premises and Conclusions”; “Abduction” and “Intuition Pumps” in chapter 2; “Ockham’s Razor” and “Paradoxes” in chapter 3; “Knowledge by Acquaintance/Description” and “Realist/Non-Realist” in chapter 4; “Foucaultian Critique of Power” and “Pragmatist Critique” in chapter 5; and “Gödel and Incompleteness” and “Self-evident Truths” in chapter 6. All in all there are eighty-seven entries, usefully cross-referenced.
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