Nelson, L. The impossibility of the "Theory of knowledge."--Moore, G. E. Four forms of skepticism.--Lehrer, K. Skepticism & conceptual change.--Quine, W. V. Epistemology naturalized.--Rozeboom, W. W. Why I know so much more than you do.--Price, H. H. Belief and evidence.--Lewis, C. I. The bases of empirical knowledge.--Malcolm, N. The verification argument.--Firth, R. The anatomy of certainty.--Chisholm, R. M. On the nature of empirical evidence.--Meinong, A. Toward an epistemological assessment of memory.--Brandt, R. The epistemological status of memory beliefs.--Malcolm, N. A definition (...) of factual memory.--Martin, C. B. and Deutscher, M. Remembering.--Ayer, A. J. Basic propositions.--Reichenbach, H. Are phenomenal reports absolutely certain?--Goodman, N. Sense and certainty.--Lewis, C. I. The given element in empirical knowledge.--Alston, W. Varieties of privileged access.--Schlick, M. The foundation of knowledge.--Russell, B. Epistemological premisses, basic propositions, and factual premisses.--Firth, R. Coherence, certainty, and epistemic priority.--Sellars, W. Empiricism and the philosophy of mind.--Quinton, A. The foundations of knowledge. (shrink)
The strangeness of modern physics has sparked several popular books--such as The Tao of Physics--that explore its affinity with Eastern mysticism. But the founders of quantum mechanics were educated in the classical traditions of Western civilization and Western philosophy. In Nature Loves to Hide, physicist Shimon Malin takes readers on a fascinating tour of quantum theory--one that turns to Western philosophical thought to clarify this strange yet inescapable explanation of reality. Malin translates quantum mechanics into plain English, explaining its origins (...) and workings against the backdrop of the famous debate between Niels Bohr and the skeptical Albert Einstein. Then he moves on to build a philosophical framework that can account for the quantum nature of reality. He shows, for instance, how Platonic and Neoplatonic thought resonates with quantum theory. He draws out the linkage between the concepts of Neoplatonism and the more recent process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. The universe, Whitehead wrote, is an organic whole, composed not of lifeless objects, but "elementary experiences." Beginning with Whitehead's insight, Malin shows how this concept of "throbs of experience" expresses quantum reality, with its subatomic uncertainties, its constituents that are waves and also particles, its emphasis on acts of measurement. Once any educated person could explain the universe as a vast Newtonian web of cause and effect, but since quantum theory, reality again appears to be richer and more mysterious than we had thought. Writing with broad humanistic insight and deep knowledge of science, and using delightful conversations with fictional astronauts Peter and Julie to explain more difficult concepts, Shimon Malin offers a profound new understanding of the nature of reality--one that shows a deep continuity with aspects of our Western philosophical tradition going back 2500 years, and that feels more deeply satisfying, and truer, than the clockwork universe of Newton. (shrink)
Daniel Russell develops a fresh and original view of pleasure and its pivotal role in Plato's treatment of value, happiness, and human psychology. This is the first full-length discussion of the topic for fifty years, and Russell shows its relevance to contemporary debates in moral philosophy and philosophical psychology. Plato on Pleasure and the Good Life will make fascinating reading for ancient specialists and for a wide range of philosophers.
This collection by a distinguished group of philosophers, psychologists, and physiologists reflects an interdisciplinary approach to the central question of cognitive science: how do we model the mind? Among the topics explored are the relationships (theoretical, reductive, and explanatory) between philosophy, psychology, computer science, and physiology; what should be asked of models in science generally, and in cognitive science in particular; whether theoretical models must make essential reference to objects in the environment; whether there are human competences that are resistant, (...) in principle, to modelling; whether simulated thinking and intentionality are really thinking and intentionality; how semantics can be generated from syntactics; the meaning of the terms "representations" and "modelling;" whether the nature of the "hardware" matters; and whether computer models of humans are "dehumanizing." Contributors include Donald Davidson, Daniel C. Dennett, Margaret A. Boden, Adam Morton, Dennis Noble, T. Poggio, Colin Blakemore, K.V. Wilkes, P.N. Johnson-Laird, and Jonathan St. B.T. Evans. (shrink)
Nicholas Rescher presents a critical reaction against two currently influential tendencies of thought. On the one hand, he rejects the facile relativism that pervades contemporary social and academic life. On the other hand, he opposes the rationalism inherent in neo-contractarian theory--both in the idealized communicative-contract version promoted in continental European political philosophy by J;urgen Habermas, and in the idealized social contract version of the theory of political justice promoted in the Anglo-American context by John Rawls. Against such tendencies, Rescher's pluralist (...) approach takes a more realistic and pragmatic line, eschewing the convenient recourse of idealization in cognitive and practical matters. Instead of a utopianism that looks to a uniquely perfect order that would prevail under ideal conditions, he advocates incremental improvements within the framework of arrangements that none of us will deem perfect but that all of us "can live with." Such an approach replaces the yearning for an unattainable consensus with the institution of pragmatic arrangements in which the community will acquiesce--not through agreeing on their optimality, but through a shared recognition among the dissonant parties that the available options are even worse. (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)
Examines Frege's theory of judgement, according to which a judgement is, paradigmatically, the assertion that a particular object falls under a given concept. Throughout the book the aim is to both state Frege's views clearly and concisely, and to defend, modify or reject these where appropriate.
Described by the philosopher A.J. Ayer as a work of 'great originality and power', this book revolutionized contemporary thinking on science and knowledge. Ideas such as the now legendary doctrine of 'falsificationism' electrified the scientific community, influencing even working scientists, as well as post-war philosophy. This astonishing work ranks alongside The Open Society and Its Enemies as one of Popper's most enduring books and contains insights and arguments that demand to be read to this day.
The infant prodigy (1905-1917) -- Violence and counter-violence (1917-1920) -- Intellectual and emotional mastery (1920-1929) -- Melancholia: masculinity challenges (1929-1939) -- The Phoney War (September 1939-May 1940): stoicism/authenticity -- Sartre's war (June 1940-1945): the individual and the collective -- Sartre and Beauvoir -- Sartre's relationships: to be or not to be intimate.
The philosophy of mind is one of the fastest-growing areas in philosophy, not least because of its connections with related areas of psychology, linguistics and computation. This _Companion_ is an alphabetically arranged reference guide to the subject, firmly rooted in the philosophy of mind, but with a number of entries that survey adjacent fields of interest. The book is introduced by the editor's substantial _Essay on the Philosophy of Mind_ which serves as an overview of the subject, and is closely (...) referenced to the entries in the Companion. Among the entries themselves are several "self-profiles" by leading philosophers in the field, including Chomsky, Davidson, Dennett, Dretske, Fodor, Lewis, Searle and Stalnaker, in which their own positions within the subject are articulated. In some more complex areas, more than one author has been invited to write on the same topic, giving a polarity of viewpoints within the book's overall coverage. All main entries have a full bibliography, and the book is indexed to the high standards set by other volumes in the Blackwell Companions to Philosophy series. (shrink)
From the Revolutionary War through the Civil War to the debates of today, the passion for equality has been one of the keystones of American society. This study offers an historical survey of the idea of equality in America, a philosophical analysis of the concept, and a proposal for a more balanced integration of equality in the structure of American society. The Passion for Equality is an important book grounded in the traditions of John Rawls and Robert Nozick. It is (...) recommended for philosophers, ethicists, economists, political scientists, and social theorists of all political persuasions. (shrink)
Taylor, R. A tribute.--Epistemology: Cornman, J. W. Chisholm on sensing and perceiving. Ross, J. F. Testimonial evidence. Lehrer, K. Reason and consistency. Keim, R. Epistemic values and epistemic viewpoints. Hanen, M. Confirmation, explanation, and acceptance. Canfield, J. V. "I know that I am in pain" is senseless. Steel, T. J. Knowledge and the self-presenting.--Metaphysics: Cartwright, R. Scattered objects. Duggan, T. J. Hume on causation. Arnaud, R. B. Brentanist relations. Johnson, M. L., Jr. Events as recurrables.--Ethics: Stevenson, J. T. On doxastic (...) responsibility. Feldman, F. World utilitarianism. Lamb, J. W. Some definitions for the theory of rules. Donnelly, J. Suicide: some epistemological considerations. (shrink)
Since the publication of Carl Hempel and Paul Oppenheim's ground-breaking work "Studies in the Logic of Explanation," the theory of explanation has remained a major topic in the philosophy of science. This valuable collection provides readers with the opportunity to study some of the classic essays on the theory of explanation along with the best examples of the most recent work being done on the topic. In addition to the original Hempel and Oppenheim paper, the volume includes Scriven's critical reaction (...) to it, Wilfrid Sellars's discussion of the problem of theoretical explanation, and pieces by Salmon, Railton, van Fraassen, Friedman, Kitcher, and Achinstein in which they demonstrate the vitality of the subject by extending the scope of the inquiry. (shrink)
This anthology brings together 45 selections by a wide range of philosophers and other thinkers, and provides a representative sampling of the approaches to the study of human nature that have been taken within the western tradition. The selections range in time from the ancient Greeks to the 1990s, and in political orientation from the conservative individualism of Ayn Rand to the liberalism of John Rawls. Classic writings from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries are here (Descartes, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, and (...) so on), but so are a wide range of twentieth-century writings, including a number of feminist voices, the biological theory of Edward O. Wilson, and the cultural materialist theory of Marvin Harris. A substantial selection of Christian views of human nature is a central part of the anthology. The anthology is as notable for its depth as it is for its breadth; an important editorial principle has been to include a variety of substantial selections, thus allowing the reader to engage more readily with some of the complexities of each approach. (shrink)
Many people find themselves dissatisfied with recent linguistic philosophy, and yet know that language has always mattered deeply to philosophy and must in some sense continue to do so. Ian Hacking considers here some dozen case studies in the history of philosophy to show the different ways in which language has been important, and the consequences for the development of the subject. There are chapters on, among others, Hobbes, Berkeley, Russell, Ayer, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Feyerabend and Davidson. Dr Hacking ends by (...) speculating about the directions in which philosophy and the study of language seem likely to go. The book will provide students with a stimulating, broad survey of problems in the theory of meaning and the development of philosophy, particularly in this century. The topics treated in the philosophy of language are among the central, current concerns of philosophers, and the historical framework makes it possible to introduce concretely and intelligibly all the main theoretical issues. (shrink)
In this critical examination of recent accounts of the nature of science and of its justification given by Kuhn, Popper, Lakatos, Laudan, and Newton-Smith, Banner contends that models of scientific rationality which are used in criticism of religious beliefs are in fact often inadequate as accounts of the nature of science. He argues that a realist philosophy of science both reflects the character of science and scientific justifications, and suggests that religious belief could be given a justification of the same (...) sort. (shrink)
Pragmatism, Postmodernism and the Future of Philosophy is a vigorous and dynamic confrontation with the task and temperament of philosophy today. In this energetic and far-reaching new book, Stuhr draws persuasively on the resources of the pragmatist tradition of James and Dewey, and critically engages the work of Continental philosophers like Adorno, Foucault, and Deleuze, to explore fundamental questions of how we might think and live differently in the future. Along the way, the book addresses important issues in public policy, (...) university administration, spirituality, and the notion of community and its meaning in a global world of difference. This book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of philosophy, and the ways in which philosophical thinking can help us live better, more fulfilling lives. (shrink)
McCarthy develops a theory of radical interpretation--the project of characterizing from scratch the language and attitudes of an agent or population--and applies it to the problems of indeterminacy of interpretation first described by Quine. The major theme in McCarthy's study is that a relatively modest set of interpretive principles, properly applied, can serve to resolve the major indeterminacies of interpretation.
Disc 1. Philosophy and the modern age ; Scholasticism and the scientific revolution -- Disc 2. The rationalism and dualism of Descartes ; Locke's empiricism, Berkeley's idealism -- Disc 3. Neo-Aristotelians : Spinoza and Leibniz ; The Enlightenment and Rousseau -- Disc 4. The radical skepticism of Hume ; Kant's Copernican revolution -- Disc 5. Kant and the religion of reason ; The French Revolution and German idealism -- Disc 6. Hegel, the last great system ; Hegel and the English (...) century -- Disc 7. The economic revolution and its critic, Marx ; Kierkegaard's Critique of reason -- Disc 8. Nietzsche's Critique of morality and truth ; Freud, Weber, and the mind of modernity -- Disc 9. Rise of 20th-century philosophy, pragmatism ; analysis -- Disc 10. Rise of 20th-century philosophy, phenomenology ; Physics, positivism and early Wittgenstein -- Disc 11. Emergence and Whitehead ; Dewey's American naturalism -- Disc 12. Heidegger's Being and time ; Existentialism and the Frankfurt School -- Disc 13. Heidegger's turn against humanism ; Culture, hermeneutics, and structuralism -- Disc 14. Wittgenstein's turn to ordinary language ; Quine and the end of positivism -- Disc 15. New philosophies of science ; Derrida's deconstruction of philosophy -- Disc 16. The challenge of postmodernism ; Rorty and the end of philosophy -- Disc 17. Rediscovering the premodern ; Pragmatic realism, reforming the modern -- Disc 18. The reemergence of emergence ; Philosophy's death greatly exaggerated. (shrink)