The two books discussed here make important contributions to our understanding of the role of spacetime concepts in physical theories and how that understanding has changed during the evolution of physics. Both emphasize what can be called a ‘dynamical’ account, according to which geometric structures should be understood in terms of their roles in the laws governing matter and force. I explore how the books contribute to such a project; while generally sympathetic, I offer criticisms of some historical claims concerning (...) Newton, and argue that the dynamical account does not undercut ontological issues as the books claim. *Received January 2009; revised March 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, 1423 University Hall MC 267, University of Illinois at Chicago, 601 S. Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60607; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
This is the table of contents and first chapter of Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale (Cambridge University Press, 2001), edited by Craig Callender and NickHuggett. The chapter discusses the question of why there should be a theory of quantum gravity. We tackle arguments that purport to show that the gravitational field *must* be quantized. We then introduce various programs in quantum gravity and discuss areas where quantum gravity and philosophy seem to have something to say (...) to each other. (shrink)
Why does time pass and space does not? Are there just three dimensions? What is a quantum particle? NickHuggett shows that philosophy -- armed with a power to analyze fundamental concepts and their relationship to the human experience -- has much to say about these profound questions about the universe. In Everywhere and Everywhen, Huggett charts a journey that peers into some of the oldest questions about the world, through some of the newest, such as: What (...) shape is space? Does it have an edge? What is the difference between past and future? What is time in relativity? Is time travel possible? Are there other universes? Huggett shows that answers to these profound questions are not just reserved for physics, and that philosophy can not only address but help advance our view of our deepest questions about the universe, space, and time, and their implications for humanity. His lively, accessible introduction to these topics is suitable for a general reader with no previous exposure to these profound and exciting questions. (shrink)
‘William L. Rowe on Philosophy of Religion’ edited by Nick Trakakis, collects 30 papers of William Rowe's important work in the philosophy of religion. I review this collection, and offer an objection of one of Rowe's arguments.
It's not easy getting published, but everyone has to do it. Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals presents an insider's perspective on the secret business of academic publishing, making explicit many of the dilemmas and struggles faced by all writers, but rarely discussed. Its unique approach is theorised and practical. It offers a set of moves for writing a journal article that is structured and doable but also attends to the identity issues that manifest on the page and in the (...) politics of academic life.The book comprehensively assists anyone concerned about getting published; whether they are early in their career or moving from a practice base into higher education, or more experienced but still feeling in need of further information. Avoiding a 'tips and tricks' approach, which tends to oversimplify what is at stake in getting published, the authors emphasise the production, nurture and sustainability of scholarship through writing – a focus on both the scholar and the text or what they call text work/identity work. The chapters are ordered to develop a systematic approach to the process, including such topics as:The writer The reader What's the contribution? Beginning work Refining the argument Engaging with reviewers and editors Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals uses a wide range of multi-disciplinary examples from the writing workshops the authors have run in universities around the world: including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the United States. This international approach coupled with theoretically grounded strategies to guide the authoring process ensure that people at all stages of their career are addressed. This lively book uses a combination of personal stories, student texts, published journal abstracts and excerpts from interviews with journal editors and publishers. Written in an accessible style, one which does not use the patronising 'you' of advice books, it offers a collegial approach to a task which is difficult for most scholars, regardless of their years of experience. (shrink)
In this era when results of empirical scientific research are being appealed to all across philosophy, when we even find moral philosophers invoking the results of brain scans, many profess to practice "naturalized epistemology," or to be "epistemological naturalists." Such phrases derive from the title of a well-known essay by Quine, but Paul Gregory's thesis in the work under review is that there is less connection than is usually assumed between Quine's variety of naturalized epistemology and what is today taken, (...) by opponents and proponents alike, to constitute epistemological naturalism. To put it bluntly, as Gregory does in the opening sentence of his introduction, Quine "has not been well understood." If there is less connection between the Quinian and other epistemological naturalisms than there has often been taken to be, on Gregory's account there is also much more connection between Quine's position on epistemology and his positions on other contentious issues. (shrink)
CHRISTOPHER PINCOCK, Department of Philosophy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA The volume under review contains ﬁfteen new essays by some of the most inﬂuential scholars of the history of early analytic philosophy. The focus of the essays is, as the editor says in the preface, ‘the work of Gottlob Frege and of Ludwig Wittgenstein (mostly the early Wittgenstein), as well as various ties between them’ (p. x). The essays are divided into four parts. The ﬁrst part, ‘Background and (...) General Themes’, contains essays by E. Reck, G. Gabriel and S. Gerrard. The second part on Frege has contributions by H. Sluga, S. Shieh, M. Ruﬃno and J. Weiner. Essays on the relation between Frege and the early Wittgenstein by W. Goldfarb, D. Macbeth, T. Ricketts and C. Diamond comprise the third part. The volume concludes with essays by I. Proops, J. Floyd, M. Ostrow and J. Conant on the early Wittgenstein. This volume is an important contribution to our understanding of Frege and the early Wittgenstein and should prove a help to specialists in the history of analytic philosophy. I have chosen to brieﬂy discuss seven of these essays with an emphasis on topics in the history and philosophy of logic. Reck’s opening essay, ‘Wittgenstein’s “Great Debt” to Frege: Biographical Traces and Philosophical Themes’, gives a helpful overview of our current knowledge of the contacts between Frege and Wittgenstein. Reck argues quite persuasively for the conclusion that Wittgenstein engaged with Frege’s work throughout his philosophical career. The depth of this engagement is in-. (shrink)
Literature and philosophy have a sometimes prickly relationship. And let's be blunt: it is all philosophy's fault. Specifically, it is all Plato's fault. In The Republic, he laid out the rationalist's basic suspicions of literary practice. Literature, he argued, corrupts reason by appealing to the emotions. It trades in appearances and not reality, fiction rather than truth. Not only does it fail to encourage good behaviour, it glamorises bad behaviour, making immorality appealing to the young and impressionable. Until poets could (...) be trusted to promote virtue through their works, Plato banished them from his republic. (shrink)