This book provides a detailed and provocative introduction to this innovative field, focusing on the relationship between experimental philosophy and the aims and methods of more traditional analytic philosophy. Special attention is paid to carefully examining experimental philosophy's quite different philosophical programs, their individual strengths and weaknesses, and the different kinds of contributions that they can make to our philosophical understanding. Clear and accessible throughout, it situates experimental philosophy within both a contemporary and historical context, explains its aims and methods, examines and critically evaluates its most significant claims and arguments, and engages with its critics.
One would expect that so successful and controversial a philosophical school as analytic philosophy would have a clear platform of substantive philosophical views. However, this is not so. For at least 30 years, analytic philosophy has consisted in an increasingly loose and variable amalgam of philosophical topics, views and methods. This state of affairs has led some to claim that, despite its professional entrenchment, analytic philosophy is in a state of crisis. Analytic Philosophy: The History of an Illusion argues that this is so, and that the crisis is deeper and more longstanding than is usually recognized. Synthesizing data from early and recent studies on the historical and philosophical foundations of analytic philosophy as well as from canonical primary texts, it argues (1) that analytic philosophy has never involved significant agreement on substantive philosophical views, and thus that it has always been in this state of crisis, (2) that this fact was long hidden by the illusion that analytic philosophy was originally united in the metaphilosophical thesis that philosophy is linguistic analysis, and (3) that both the rise of analytic philosophy under this illusion and the preservation of its privileged status since the illusion's demise have been facilitated by a scientistic 'stance' that minimizes the traditional philosophical duty to examine one's most fundamental assumptions.
White's essays cover the full range of his interests: studies in ethics, the theory of knowledge, and metaphysics as well as in the philosophy of culture, the history of pragmatism, and allied currents in social, political, and legal thought. The book also includes pieces on philosophers who have influenced White at different stages of his career, among them William James, John Dewey, G. E. Moore, and W. V. Quine. Throughout, White argues from a holistic standpoint against a sharp epistemological distinction between logical and physical beliefs and also against an equally sharp one between descriptive and normative beliefs.
White maintains that once the philosopher abandons the dogma that the logical analysis of mathematics and physics is the essence of his subject, he frees himself to resume his traditional role as a student of the central institutions of civilization. Philosophers should function not merely as spectators of all time and existence, he argues, but as empirically minded students of culture who try to use some of their ideas for the benefit of society.
In this short book, based on lectures delivered in Spain in 1990, Quine begins by locating his work historically. He provides a lightning tour of the history of philosophy (particularly the history of epistemology), beginning with Plato and culminating in an appreciative sketch of Carnap's philosophical ambitions and achievements. This leads, in the second chapter, to an introduction to Quine's attempt to naturalize epistemology, which emphasizes his continuities with Carnap rather than the differences between them. The next chapters develop the naturalistic story of the development of science to take account of how our conceptual apparatus is enhanced so that we can view the world as containing re-identifiable objects. Having explained the role of observation sentences in providing a checkpoint for assessing scientific theories, and having despaired of constructing an empirical criterion to determine which sentences are meaningful, Quine in the remaining chapters takes up a variety of important issues about knowledge. He concludes with an extended treatment of his views about reference and meaning and his attitudes toward psychological and modal notions.
The presentation is distinctive, and the many small refinements of detail and formulation will fascinate all who know Quine's philosophy.
Today, the book remains a must-read and stands as a classic of twentieth-century philosophy. Its influence on the academy, both within philosophy and across a wide array of disciplines, continues unabated. This edition includes new essays by philosopher Michael Williams and literary scholar David Bromwich, as well as Rorty's previously unpublished essay "The Philosopher as Expert."
In this book, Christopher Hughes focuses on Aquinas’s thought from an analytic philosophical perspective. After an overview of Aquinas’s life and works, Hughes discusses Aquinas’s metaphysics, including his conception of substance, matter, and form, and his account of essence and existence; and his theory of the nature of human beings, including his critique of a substance dualism that Aquinas attributes to Plato, but is usually associated with Descartes. In the final chapters, Hughes discusses Aquinas’s account of the existence and nature of God, and his treatment of the problem of evil, as well as his ideas about the relation of goodness to being, choice, and happiness.
Aquinas on Being, Goodness, and Godis essential reading for students and scholars of Aquinas, and anyone interested in philosophy of religion or the history of medieval philosophy.