Listening to someone from some distance in a crowded room you may experience the following phenomenon: when looking at them speak, you may both hear and see where the source of the sounds is; but when your eyes are turned elsewhere, you may no longer be able to detect exactly where the voice must be coming from. With your eyes again fixed on the speaker, and the movement of her lips a clear sense of the source of the sound will (...) return. This ‘ventriloquist’ effect reflects the ways in which visual cognition can dominate auditory perception. And this phenomenological observation is one what you can verify or disconfirm in your own case just by the slightest reflection on what it is like for you to listen to someone with or without visual contact with them. (shrink)
The standard foil for recent theories of hope is the belief-desire analysis advocated by Hobbes, Day, Downie, and others. According to this analysis, to hope for S is no more and no less than to desire S while believing S is possible but not certain. Opponents of the belief-desire analysis argue that it fails to capture one or another distinctive feature or function of hope: that hope helps one resist the temptation to despair;2 that hope engages the sophisticated capacities of (...) human agency, such as planning;3 or that hope involves the imagination in ways desire need not.4 Here, I focus on the role of imagination in hope, and discuss its implications for hope’s relation to practical commitment or end-setting. (shrink)
Dispositions are essential to our understanding of the world. Dispositions: A Debate is an extended dialogue between three distinguished philosophers - D.M. Armstrong, C.B. Martin and U.T. Place - on the many problems associated with dispositions, which reveals their own distinctive accounts of the nature of dispositions. These are then linked to other issues such as the nature of mind, matter, universals, existence, laws of nature and causation.
_Philosophical Conversations_ is a light, informal, and contemporary introduction to the study of philosophy. Using a dialogue format, Robert M. Martin delves into the traditional questions of philosophy in a manner that readers will find engaging. These substantive yet entertaining conversations emphasize that philosophical questions are contested and open-ended. The characters in each dialogue advocate different answers to questions on religion, ethics, personal identity, and other topics equitably and without naming any clear winners. Philosophic positions are presented with maximum (...) clarity and persuasiveness, so that readers can appreciate all sides of an issue and make their own choices. An excellent tool for newcomers to philosophy, _Philosophical Conversations_ provides the necessary background for further study while vividly portraying the back-and-forth argument that is essential to the philosophical method. (shrink)
As this book richly and entertainingly demonstrates, philosophy is as much the search for the right questions as it is the search for the right answers. Robert M. Martin’s popular collection of philosophical puzzles, paradoxes, jokes, and anecdotes is updated and expanded in this third edition, with dozens of new entries.
Metaphysics and language: Quine, W. V. O. On the individuation of attributes. Körner, S. On some relations between logic and metaphysics. Marcus, R. B. Does the principle of substitutivity rest on a mistake? Van Fraassen, B. C. Platonism's pyrrhic victory. Martin, R. M. On some prepositional relations. Kearns, J. T. Sentences and propositions.--Basic and combinatorial logic: Orgass, R. J. Extended basic logic and ordinal numbers. Curry, H. B. Representation of Markov algorithms by combinators.--Implication and consistency: Anderson, A. R. Fitch (...) on consistency. Belnap, N. D., Jr. Grammatical propaedeutic. Thomason, R. H. Decidability in the logic of conditionals. Myhill, J. Levels of implication.--Deontic, epistemic, and erotetic logic: Bacon, J. Belief as relative knowledge. Wu, K. J. Believing and disbelieving. Kordig, C. R. Relativized deontic modalities. Harrah, D. A system for erotetic sentences. (shrink)
In ‘ The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy ’ Laurence Sterne writes: That of all the several ways of beginning a book which are now in practice throughout the known world, I am confident my own way of doing it is the best—I'm sure it is the most religious—for I begin with writing the first sentence—and trusting to Almighty God for the second.
In the mushrooming literature on the late Heidegger, Pugliese's book stands with the distinction of an immense and sometimes almost exasperating amount of learned notes and excurses [[sic]]. On the other hand, the speculative core of the work is a highly original one. It treats the famous "Kehre" in the continuity of Heidegger's thought and proves quite convincingly that it can be organically developed from the original thesis of "historicity" as it stands in Sein und Zeit. Making use of the (...) earliest texts as well as of a number of unpublished lecture-notes, Pugliese tries to back those interpretations which claim that the "Kehre" is indeed a turning-point in the history of metaphysics--even though it represents no break or revolution in Heidegger's own thought. This is a difficult book but fortunately devoid of the affected mannerism of so many Heidegger admirers, and a telling example of the frequent success of French and Spanish "translations" of German speculation.--M. J. V. (shrink)
Di Bella and Schmaltz write in their introduction that the early modern problem of universals originates largely in a turn away from ancient and late-medieval problems. The modern problem, they suggest, investigates universals by asking what it means to include them as contents of our thoughts. The collection of essays that follows demonstrates persuasively, however, that we should resist the impulse, no matter how heuristic, to regard each era as having its own—much less a single—problem of universals. Despite the variety (...) and interest of other contributions to the collection, I focus here on essays that display greater continuity among the eras, and on two essays addressing thinkers whose position on... (shrink)
Witnessing to the strong present-day interest in the formation of the great scholastic syntheses of the thirteenth century are the large number of studies devoted to the lesser thinkers of the preceding century. The English-born Robert of Melun is one of these so far largely neglected authors. Despite the edition of his major works in Louvain by R. M. Martin, little has been written on this gifted pupil of Abelard. Horst cuts a large and central piece out of Robert's (...) "system": the doctrines of the Trinity and of God. After a detailed analysis of the sources of his thinking, the Trinity is dealt with and then God. Under the pen of Robert, the sharp dialectical method of Abelard serves to elaborate Augustine's speculation on the Trinity. Yet the author—in line with the contemporary interest in trinitology—is not satisfied to expound the subtle distinctions Robert made but strives to show also how they can have a bearing on the "economy of salvation." There is a rather liberal dose of lengthy Latin quotes, footnotes mushroom, and secondary literature is quoted by the yard. To sum up: this is a serious and articulate treatment of two central questions of scholastic theology and we are glad to read the promise of a continuation treating Robert's anthropology, angelology, and his views on the First Man.—M. J. V. (shrink)
Academic philosophy can be puzzling to newcomers. The conventions, terms, and expectations entrenched among philosophers aren’t always clear from the outside. Why are philosophers so preoccupied with finding “the truth”—doesn’t everyone have their own philosophy? Is philosophy so deep and difficult that its literature has to be incomprehensible? What kinds of arguments can there be for a philosophical position? Where does the evidence come from? Why is there so much jargon—wouldn’t it be better to do away with it altogether? Best-selling (...) author and retired philosophy professor Robert Martin answers these questions and many more, offering a practical guide to arguing and writing philosophically. Anecdotes, jokes, asides, digressions, oddments, and entertainments are included throughout, resulting in an informal introduction that doesn’t shy away from the nuts and bolts of philosophical argument. (shrink)
This collection of writings by Jean-Luc Nancy, the renowned French critic and poet, delves into the history of philosophy to locate a fundamentally poetic modus operandi there. The book represents a daring mixture of Nancy’s philosophical essays, writings about artworks, and artwork of his own. With theoretical rigor, Nancy elaborates on the intrinsic multiplicity of art as a concept of “making,” and outlines the tensions inherent in the faire, the “making” that characterizes the very process of production (...) and thereby the structure of poetry in all its forms. Nancy shows that this multiplication that belongs to the notion of art makes every single work communicate with every other, all material in the artwork appeal to some other material, and art the singular plural of a praxis of the finite imparting of an infinity which is actually there in every utterance. In the collection, Nancy engages with the work of, among others, François Martin, Maurice Blanchot, and On Kawara. (shrink)
_Scientific Thinking_ is a practical guide to inductive reasoning—the sort of reasoning that is commonly used in scientific activity, whether such activity is performed by a scientist, a reporter, a political pollster, or any one of us in day-to-day life. The book provides comprehensive coverage of such topics as confirmation, sampling, correlations, causality, hypotheses, and experimental methods. Martin’s writing confounds those who would think that such topics must be dry-as-dust, presenting ideas in a lively and engaging tone and incorporating (...) amusing examples throughout. This book underlines the importance of acquiring good habits of scientific thinking, and helps to instill those habits in the reader. Stimulating questions and exercises are included in each chapter. (shrink)