A compilation of all previously published writings on philosophy and the foundations of mathematics from the greatest of the generation of Cambridge scholars that included G.E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Maynard Keynes.
Focusing on the notion of representation and on the necessity of distinguishing between representation and description, this book argues that the traditional semantic apparatus of meaning, truth, and reference that we use for description must be redefined if we are to understand properly the nature of historical writing.
Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities presents a wide array of possible cities—cities whose composition turns on a productive ambiguity of their being described or invented by Marco Polo in his conversations with Kublai Khan. Implicit in this book is also a theory about how all possible cities are composed. The method turns on decomposing a city down to its basic elements and recomposing it in different ways through the imagination. I argue that there is a close affinity between Calvino’s (...) theory of fictional cities and Leibniz’s theory of possible worlds. The main similarity is that both theories are combinatorial—they suppose that possibilities are produced by combination and variation of basic elements. The paper presents Leibniz’s theory of possibility in its metaphysical context and explores the similarity with Calvino’s cities in their literary context. I suggest that there is a rather strong relation between the theory of literary fiction implicit in Invisible Cities and Leibniz’s theory of possibility, in that both define the possible in terms of the conceivable. Indeed, Leibniz often refers to literary examples to substantiate his position, and I argue that this reveals an essential feature of his theory. (shrink)
"F. A. Hayek and the Epistemology of Politics is an exploration of an important problem that has largely been ignored: the problem of policymaker ignorance, and the limits of political epistemology. Scott Scheall explores Hayek's attitude to the philosophy of science and political philosophy, arguing that Hayek defended a philosophy of science that implied certain potential dangers of politicized science, and that his political philosophy established the potential dangers of misapplying scientific methods and results to matters of public policy. The (...) book offers an explanation for why policymaking often fails and why constituents, whatever their political affiliations, are so often disappointed with political leaders. In this primarily philosophical examination of his work, Hayek's ideas are not merely discussed, analysed, and contextualized, but extended; the book both draws and defends previously unrecognized implications from the Hayekian canon. The book also explores the historical context within which these ideas flourished. The book will be of interest to scholars and researchers of the works of F.A. Hayek, policymakers, and to those of all political, philosophical, and social-scientific persuasions"--. (shrink)
Originally published in 1941, this book contains the French text of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's 1755 treatise Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes, in which he examines the artificial origins of human social structures designed to keep one group elevated above another. The preface by F. C. Green provides the historical context for Rousseau's essay and explains its influence on the authors of the French Revolution. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in (...) French history or political philosophy. (shrink)
British Idealist F. H. Bradley was one of the most distinguished and influential philosophers of his time. He made contributions to metaphysics, moral philosophy and the philosophy of logic. The author of Appearance and Reality, a classic in metaphysics, he rejected pluralism and realism. In this polemic, first published in 1876, Bradley argues against the dominant ethical theories of his time. Essays in this book entitled 'Pleasure for Pleasure's Sake' and 'Duty for Duty's Sake' examine and criticise hedonistic utilitarianism and (...) Kantian ethics respectively. Bradley disagreed with individualism, and in 'My Station and its Duties' he discusses the idea that self-realisation can only be found as part of the social organism. This is a classic ethical work that will be valuable both to those studying the ethical theories discussed, and to those interested in the history of philosophy. (shrink)
With fascinating historical anecdotes and incisive scientific analysis, this important work combines ancient thought with modern theory to reveal a new way of viewing our universe that can expand our awareness, our lives, and may well point the way to a new science for the twenty-first century.
Trailblazing marine biologist, visionary conservationist, deep ecology philosopher, Edward F. Ricketts has reached legendary status in the California mythos. A true polymath and a thinker ahead of his time, Ricketts was a scientist who worked in passionate collaboration with many of his friends—artists, writers, and influential intellectual figures—including, perhaps most famously, John Steinbeck, who once said that Ricketts's mind “had no horizons.” This unprecedented collection, featuring previously unpublished pieces as well as others available for the first time in their original (...) form, reflects the wide scope of Ricketts’s scientific, philosophical, and literary interests during the years he lived and worked on Cannery Row in Monterey, California. These writings, which together illuminate the evolution of Ricketts’s unique, holistic approach to science, include “Verbatim transcription of notes on the Gulf of California trip,” the basic manuscript for Steinbeck’s and Ricketts’s _Log from the Sea of Cortez;_ the essays “The Philosophy of Breaking Through” and “A Spiritual Morphology of Poetry;” several shorter pieces on topics including collecting invertebrates and the impact of modernization on Mexican village life; and more. An engaging critical biography and a number of rare photographs offer a new and richly detailed view of Ricketts’s life. (shrink)