First published in 1952, professor Strawson's highly influential Introductionto Logical Theoryprovides a detailed examination of the relationship between the behaviour of words in common language and the behaviour of symbols in a logical ...
All developed human beings possess a practical mastery of a vast range of concepts, including such basic structural notions as those of identity, truth, existence, material objects, mental states, space, and time; but a practical mastery does not entail theoretical understanding. It is that understanding which philosophy seeks to achieve. In this book, one of the most distinguished of living philosophers, assuming no previous knowledge of the subject on the part of the reader, sets out to explain and illustrate a (...) certain conception of the nature of analytical philosophy. Strawson draws on his many years of teaching at Oxford University, during which he refined and developed what he regards as the most productive route to understanding the fundamental structure of human thinking. Among the distinctive features of his exposition are the displacement of an older, reductive conception of philosophical method in favor of elucidating the interconnections between the complex but irreducible notions which form the basic structure of our thinking; and the demonstration that the three traditionally distinguished departments of metaphysics, epistemology, and logic are but three aspects of one unified enquiry. Strawson has produced an elegant work that will be invaluable to students and stimulating for professional philosophers and general readers alike. (shrink)
By the time of his death in 2006, Sir Peter Strawson was regarded as one of the world's most distinguished philosophers. Unavailable for many years,_ Scepticism and Naturalism_ is a profound reflection on two classic philosophical problems by a philosopher at the pinnacle of his career. Based on his acclaimed Woodbridge lectures delivered at Columbia University in 1983, Strawson begins with a discussion of scepticism, which he defines as questioning the adequacy of our grounds for holding various beliefs. He then (...) draws deftly on Hume and Wittgenstein to argue that we must distinguish between 'hard', scientific naturalism; or 'soft', humanistic naturalism. In the remaining chapters the author takes up several issues in which sceptical doubts play an important role, in particular the nature of transcendental arguments and including the objectivity of moral philosophy, the mental and the physical, and the existence of abstract entities. _Scepticism and Naturalism_ is essential reading for those seeking an introduction to the work of one of the twentieth century’s most important and original philosophers. This reissue includes a substantial new foreword by Quassim Cassam and a fascinating intellectual autobiography by Strawson, which together form an excellent introduction to his life and work. (shrink)
P. F. Strawson here presents a selection of his shorter writings from the 1970s to the 1990s in the two areas of philosophy to which he has contributed most notably: philosophy of language and Kantian studies. One of these essays is published here for the first time, and one for the first time in English; several others have been difficult to find. A new introduction offers an overview of the essays, their topics, and their interrelations. This book represents some of (...) the most fascinating work of one of the foremost philosophers of the late twentieth century. (shrink)
This volume presents twenty-two uncollected philosophical essays by Sir Peter Strawson, one of the leading philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century. The essays (two of them previously unpublished) are drawn from seven decades of work, from 1949 to 2003. They span the broad range of Strawson's work: metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical logic, philosophy of language, ethical theory, and history of philosophy, along with metaphilosophical reflections and intellectual autobiography.
Since its publication in 1959, Individuals has become a modern philosophical classic. Bold in scope and ambition, it continues to influence debates in metaphysics, philosophy of logic and language, and epistemology. Peter Strawson's most famous work, it sets out to describe nothing less than the basic subject matter of our thought. It contains Strawson's now famous argument for descriptive metaphysics and his repudiation of revisionary metaphysics, in which reality is something beyond the world of appearances. Throughout, Individuals advances some highly (...) influential and controversial ideas, such as 'non-solipsistic consciousness' and the concept of a person a 'primitive concept'. (shrink)
Men make for themselves pictures of ideal forms of life. Such pictures are various and may be in sharp opposition to each other; and one and the same individual may be captivated by different and sharply conflicting pictures at different times. At one time it may seem to him that he should live—even that a man should live —in such-and-such a way; at another that the only truly satisfactory form of life is something totally different, incompatible with the first. In (...) this way, his outlook may vary radically, not only at different periods of his life, but from day to day, even from one hour to the next. It is a function of so many variables: age, experiences, present environment, current reading, current physical state are some of them. As for the ways of life that may thus present themselves at different times as each uniquely satisfactory, there can be no doubt about their variety and opposition. The ideas of self-obliterating devotion to duty or to the service of others; of personal honour and magnanimity; of asceticism, contemplation, retreat; of action, dominance and power; of the cultivation of “an exquisite sense of the luxurious”; of simple human solidarity and co-operative endeavour; of a refined complexity of social existence; of a constantly maintained and renewed affinity with natural things—any of these ideas, and a great many others too, may form the core and substance of a personal ideal. (shrink)
By the time of his death in 2006, Sir Peter Strawson was regarded as one of the world's most distinguished philosophers. First published thirty years ago but long since unavailable, _Freedom and Resentment_ collects some of Strawson's most important work and is an ideal introduction to his thinking on such topics as the philosophy of language, metaphysics, epistemology and aesthetics. Beginning with the title essay _Freedom and Resentment_, this invaluable collection is testament to the astonishing range of Strawson's thought as (...) he discusses free will, ethics and morality, logic, the mind-body problem and aesthetics. The book is perhaps best-known for its three interrelated chapters on perception and the imagination, subjects now at the very forefront of philosophical research. This reissue includes a substantial new foreword by Paul Snowdon and a fascinating intellectual autobiography by Strawson. (shrink)
North .—What is the trouble about moral facts? When someone denies that there is an objective moral order, or asserts that ethical propositions are pseudo-propositions, cannot I refute him by saying: “You know very well that Brown did wrong in beating his wife. You know very well that you ought to keep promises. You know very well that human affection is good and cruelty bad, that many actions are wrong and some are right”? West .—Isn't the trouble about moral facts (...) another case of trouble about knowing, about learning? We find out facts about the external world by looking and listening; about ourselves, by feeling; about other people, by looking and listening and feeling. When this is noticed, there arises a wish to say that the facts are what is seen, what is heard, what is felt; and, consequently, that moral facts fall into one of these classes. So those who have denied that there are “objective moral characteristics” have not wanted to deny that Brown's action was wrong or that keeping promises is right. (shrink)
The aim is to uncover the foundations of quine's distinction between definite singular terms and general terms in predicative position, And hence of the general schema of predication, 'fx'. While each term in such a predication specifies its own item, The items so specified exhibit a typical difference exemplified in the basic case by the difference between spatio-Temporal particulars and properties of such particulars. A generally consequential difference of role is that while both terms are applied to the item of (...) lower type, Only the definite singular term has the function of identifying it. (shrink)