Why is debate over the free will problem so intractable? In this broad and stimulating look at the philosophical enterprise, Richard Double uses the free will controversy to build on the subjectivist conclusion he developed in The Non-Reality of Free Will (OUP 1991). Double argues that various views about free will--e.g., compatibilism, incompatibilism, and even subjectivism--are compelling if, and only if, we adopt supporting metaphilosophical views. Because metaphilosophical considerations are not provable, we cannot show any free will theory to be (...) most reasonable. Metaphilosophy and Free Will deconstructs the free will problem and, by example, challenges philosophers in other areas to show how their philosophical argumentation can succeed. (shrink)
That space and time should be integrated into a single entity, spacetime, is the great insight of Einstein's special theory of relativity, and leads us to regard spacetime as a fundamental context in which to make sense of the world around us. But it is not the only one. Causality is equally important and at least as far as the special theory goes, it cannot be subsumed under a fundamentally geometrical form of explanation. In fact, the agent of propagation of (...) causal influence is electromagnetic radiation. In this examination, the authors find support for a rationalist approach to physics, never neglecting experimentation, but rejecting a simple empiricist or positivist view of science. (shrink)
Henderson and Horgan set out a broad new approach to epistemology. They defend the roles of the a priori and conceptual analysis, but with an essential empirical dimension. 'Transglobal reliability' is the key to epistemic justification. The question of which cognitive processes are reliable depends on contingent facts about human capacities.
This collection presents some of the most vital and original recent writings on Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, the three greatest rationalists of the early modern period. Their work offered brilliant and distinct integrations of science, morals, metaphysics, and religion, which today remain at the center of philosophical discussion. The essays written especially for this volume explore how these three philosophical systems treated matter, substance, human freedom, natural necessity, knowledge, mind, and consciousness. The contributors include some of the most prominent writers (...) in the field, including Jonathan Bennett, Michael Della Rocca, Jan A. Cover, Catherine Wilson, Stephen Voss, Edwin Curley, Don Garrett, and Margaret D. Wilson. (shrink)
John Dewey is celebrated for his work in the philosophy of education and acknowledged as a leading proponent of American pragmatism. His philosophy of logic, on the other hand, is largely unheard of. In Dewey's New Logic, Burke analyzes portions of the debate between Dewey and Bertrand Russell that followed the 1938 publication of Dewey's Logic: The Theory of Inquiry. Burke shows how Russell failed to understand Dewey, and how Dewey's philosophy of logic is centrally relevant to contemporary developments in (...) philosophy and cognitive science. Burke demonstrates that Russell misunderstood crucial aspects of Dewey's theory and contends that logic today, having progressed well beyond Russell's early views, is approaching Dewey's broader perspective. -/- "[This] book should be of substantial interest not only to Dewey scholars and other historians of twentieth-century philosophy, but also to devotees of situation theory, formal semantics, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and Artificial Intelligence."--Georges Dicker, Transactions of the C.S. Peirce Society "No scholar, thus far, has offered such a sophisticated and detailed version of central themes and contentions in Dewey's Logic . This is a pathbreaking study."--John J. McDermott, editor of The Philosophy of John Dewey. (shrink)
Carrie Jenkins presents a new account of arithmetical knowledge, which manages to respect three key intuitions: a priorism, mind-independence realism, and empiricism. Jenkins argues that arithmetic can be known through the examination of empirically grounded concepts, non-accidentally accurate representations of the mind-independent world.
A theory of understanding -- Truth's role in understanding -- Critique of justificationist and evidential accounts -- Do pragmatist views avoid this critique? -- A realistic account -- How evidence and truth are related -- Three grades of involvement of truth in theories of understanding -- Anchoring -- Next steps -- Reference and reasons -- The main thesis and its location -- Exposition and four argument-types -- Significance and consequences of the main thesis -- The first person as a case (...) study -- Fully self-conscious thought -- Immunity to error through misidentification relative to the first person -- Can a use of the first-person concept fail to refer? -- Some conceptual roles are distinctive but not fundamental -- Implicit conceptions -- Implicit conceptions : motivation and examples -- Deflationary readings rejected -- The phenomenon of new principles -- Explanation by implicit conceptions -- Rationalist aspects -- Consequences : rationality, justification, understanding -- Transitional -- Applications to mental concepts -- Conceiving of conscious states -- Understanding and identity in other cases -- Constraints on legitimate explanations in terms of identity -- Why is the subjective case different? -- Attractions of the interlocking account -- Tacit knowledge, and externalism about the internal -- Is this the myth of the given? -- Knowledge of others' conscious states -- Communicability : between Frege and Wittgenstein -- Conclusions and significance -- 'Another I' : representing perception and action -- The core rule -- Modal status and its significance -- Comparisons -- The possession-condition and some empirical phenomena -- The model generalized -- Wider issues -- Mental action -- The distinctive features of action-awareness -- The nature and range of mental actions -- The principal hypothesis and its grounds -- The principal hypothesis : distinctions and consequences -- How do we know about our own mental actions? -- Concepts of mental actions and their epistemological significance -- Is this account open to the same objections as perceptual models of introspection? -- Characterizing and unifying schizophrenic experience -- The first person in the self-ascription of action -- Rational agency and action-awareness -- Representing thoughts -- The puzzle -- A proposal -- How the solution treats the constraints that generate the puzzle -- Relation to single-level treatments -- An application : reconciling externalism with distinctive self-knowledge. (shrink)
This second edition of Women, Knowledge and Reality continues to exhibit the ways in which feminist philosophers enrich and challenge philosophy. Essays by twenty-five feminist philosophers, seventeen of them new to the second edition, address fundamental issues in philosophical and feminist methods, metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophies of science, language, religion and mind/body. This second edition expands the perspectives of women of color, of postmodernism and French feminism, and focuses on the most recent controversies in feminist theory and philosophy. The (...) chapters are organized by traditional fields of philosophy, and include introductions which contrast the ideas of feminist thinkers with traditional philosophers. The collected essays illustrate both the depth and breadth of feminist critiques and the range of contemporary feminist theoretical perspectives. (shrink)
A collection of essays by Alexander Rosenberg, the distinguished philosopher of science. The essays cover three broad areas related to Darwinian thought and naturalism: the first deals with the solution of philosophical problems such as reductionism, the second with the development of social theories, and the third with the intersection of evolutionary biology with economics, political philosophy, and public policy. Specific papers deal with naturalistic epistemology, the limits of reductionism, the biological justification of ethics, the so-called 'trolley problem' in moral (...) philosophy, the political philosophy of biological endowments, and the Human Genome Project and its implications for policy. Rosenberg's important writings on a variety of issues are here organized into a coherent philosophical framework which promises to be a significant and controversial contribution to scholarship in many areas. (shrink)
Jesse Prinz argues that recent work in philosophy, neuroscience, and anthropology supports two radical hypotheses about the nature of morality: moral values are based on emotional responses, and these emotional responses are inculcated by culture, not hard-wired through natural selection. In the first half of the book, Jesse Prinz defends the hypothesis that morality has an emotional foundation. Evidence from brain imaging, social psychology, and psychopathology suggest that, when we judge something to be right or wrong, we are merely expressing (...) our emotions. Prinz argues that these emotions do not track objective features of reality; rather, the rightness and wrongness of an act consists in the fact that people are disposed to have certain emotions towards it. In the second half of the book, he turns to a defense of moral relativism. Moral facts depend on emotional responses, and emotional responses vary from culture to culture. Prinz surveys the anthropological record to establish moral variation, and he draws on cultural history to show how attitudes toward practices such as cannibalism and marriage change over time. He also criticizes evidence from animal behavior and child development that has been taken to support the claim that moral attitudes are hard-wired by natural selection. Prinz concludes that there is no single true morality, but he also argues that some moral values are better than others; moral progress is possible. Throughout the book, Prinz relates his views to contemporary and historical work in philosophical ethics. His views echo themes in the writings of David Hume and Friedrich Nietzsche, but Prinz supports, extends, and revises these classic theories using the resources of cutting-edge cognitive science. The Emotional Construction of Morals will stimulate and challenge anyone who is curious about the nature and origin of moral values. (shrink)
In this book Gary Gutting offers a powerful account of the nature of human reason in modern times. The fundamental question addressed by the book is what authority human reason can still claim once it is acknowledged that our fundamental metaphysical and religious pictures of the world no longer command allegiance. If ethics and science remain sources of authority what is the basis of that authority? Gutting develops answers to these questions through critical analysis of the work of three dominant (...) philosophical voices in our time: Richard Rorty, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Charles Taylor. His own position is defined as 'pragmatic liberalism'. (shrink)
This comprehensive collection, bringing together significant essays by leading philosophers of the twentieth century, represents one prominent school of American thought philosophic naturalism. Naturalism holds that nature is objective and can be studied to gain knowledge that is not determined by methodology, perspective, belief, or theory. For the naturalist, "nature" is an all-encompassing concept; nothing is other than natural and any notion of a supernatural realm is rejected. Naturalism, however, cannot be equated with materialistic reductionism or strict determinism. Certain nonmaterial (...) aspects of human existence thoughts, feelings, meanings, values, beliefs, ideals, and free will are included within the scope of the naturalist's approach. (shrink)
How might epistemology build upon its past and present, so as to be better in the future? Epistemology Futures takes bold steps towards answering that question. What methods will best serve epistemology? Which phenomena and concepts deserve more attention from it? Are there approaches and assumptions that have impeded its progress until now? This volume contains provocative essays by prominent epistemologists, presenting many new ideas for possible improvements in how to do epistemology. Contributors: Paul M. Churchland, Catherine Z. Elgin, Richard (...) Feldman, A. C. Grayling, Stephen Hetherington, Christopher Hookway, Hilary Kornblith, Mark Kaplan, William G. Lycan, Adam Morton, Jonathan M. Weinberg, Linda Zagzebski. (shrink)
Both entertaining and startling, The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten offers one hundred philosophical puzzles that stimulate thought on a host of moral, social, and personal dilemmas. Taking examples from sources as diverse as Plato and Steven Spielberg, author Julian Baggini presents abstract philosophical issues in concrete terms, suggesting possible solutions while encouraging readers to draw their own conclusions: Lively, clever, and thought-provoking, The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten is a portable feast for the mind that is sure (...) to satisfy any intellectual appetite. BACKCOVER: “Thinking again is what this taut, incisive, bullet-hard book is dedicated to promoting.” —The Sunday Times (London) “This book is like the Sudoku of moral philosophy: apply your mind to any of its ‘thought experiments’ while stuck on the Tube, and quickly be transported out of rush-hour hell.” —New Statesman. (shrink)
Can we give objective reasons for our most basic standards of reason-- our fundamental epistemic principles? I argue, against several forms of skepticism about reason, that we can, but that the reasons we can give for epistemic principles are ultimately practical, not epistemic.
Is matter real? Are persons real? Is time real? This Very Short Introduction discusses what, if anything, is "real" by looking at a variety of arguments from philosophy, physics, and cognitive science. The book shows that the question "what is real?" is not some esoteric puzzle that only philosophers ponder. Scientists also ask this question when they investigate whether candidates for the fundamental constituents of matter are actually "out there" or just a mere abstraction from a successful theory and cognitive (...) scientists ask it when trying to find out which set of the bewildering array of data processed by our brain could constitute the basis for the self. -/- Contents: -/- Introduction 1. What is real? Dreams and simulations 2. Is matter real? 3. Are persons real? 4. Is time real? Conclusion. (shrink)
Philosophy and Ordinary Language is a defense of the view that philosophy is largely about questions of language, which to a large extent means ordinary language. Oswald Hanfling, a leading expert in the development of analytic philosophy, covers a wide range of topics, including scepticism and the definition of "knowledge," free will, empiricism, "folk psychology," ordinary versus artificial logic, and philosophy versus science. He also draws on philosophers such as Austin, Wittgenstein, and Quine to explore the nature of ordinary language (...) in philosophy. (shrink)