This paper considers the attempts put forward by A.N. Whitehead and by Bertrand Russell to ‘construct’ points (and temporal instants) from what they regard as the more basic concept of extended ‘regions’. It is shown how what they each say themselves will not do, and how it should be filled out and amended so that the ‘construction’ may be regarded as successful. Finally there is a brief discussion of whether this ‘construction’ is worth pursuing, or whether it is better—as in (...) today’s mathematics—to prefer a ‘construction’ that goes the other way round, i.e. , to view a region as a set of points. (shrink)
The article concerns the treatment of the so-called denoting phrases, of the forms ?every A?, ?any A?, ?an A? and ?some A?, in Russell's Principles of Mathematics. An initially attractive interpretation of what Russell's theory was has been proposed by P.T. Geach, in his Reference and Generality (1962). A different interpretation has been proposed by P. Dau (Notre Dame Journal, 1986). The article argues that neither of these is correct, because both credit Russell with a more thought-out theory than he (...) actually had. The conclusion is mainly negative: at this date Russell has no coherent theory of these phrases. An appendix notes that his understanding of the quantifiers in predicate logic is also, at this date, not entirely secure. (shrink)
Space, Time, Matter, and Form collects ten of David Bostock's essays on themes from Aristotle's Physics, four of them published here for the first time. -/- The first five papers look at issues raised in the first two books of the Physics, centred on notions of matter and form, and the idea of substance as what persists through change. They also range over other of Aristotle's scientific works, such as his biology and psychology and the account of change in his (...) De Generatione et Corruptione. The volume's remaining essays examine themes in later books of the Physics, including infinity, place, time, and continuity. Bostock argues that Aristotle's views on these topics are of real interest in their own right, independent of his notions of substance, form, and matter; they also raise some pressing problems of interpretation, which these essays seek to resolve. (shrink)
In this fascinating introduction, David Bostock presents a fresh perspective on one of the great classics of moral philosophy: Aristotle's Nicomachaen Ethics. He argues that it is, and deserves to be, Aristotle's most widely studied work, for much of what it has to say is still important for today's debate on the problems of ethics. Here, Bostock guides the reader through explanations and evaluations of all the main themes of the work, exploring questions of interpretation and the differing views of (...) a range of commentators. He also emphasizes the philosophical merits and faults of the doctrines that emerge, critically discussing them in a simple, straightforward way. Each chapter concludes with suggestions for further reading on the themes discussed within the chapter, and the book finishes with an evaluation of the Ethics as a whole. The ideal companion for study of Aristotle's great insights, this book helps the reader to engage with his ideas and arguments as living philosophy. (shrink)
Intermediate Logic is an ideal text for anyone who has taken a first course in logic and is progressing to further study. It examines logical theory, rather than the applications of logic, and does not assume any specific technical grounding. The author introduces and explains each concept and term, ensuring readers have a firm foundation for study. He provides a broad, deep understanding of logic by adopting and comparing a variety of different methods and approaches.
This book is a sustained philosophical analysis and critique of Plato's Theaetetus. Presupposing no knowledge of Greek, Bostock provides a detailed examination of Plato's arguments and the issues they raise, rival interpretations of the text, and the relations between the Theaetetus and Plato's other works.
David Bostock examines the theories and arguments put forward by Plato in his Phaedo, in which he attempts to show that the soul is immortal. This excellent introduction to Plato's often difficult arguments discusses such important philosophical problems as the nature of the mind, the idea of personal identity, the question of how we understand language, and the concept of cause, reason, and explanation.