An important theme of the collection is the role of knowledge in religion, including a detailed argument for agnosticism. A number of the essays touch upon issues in philosophical logic, among them a fascinating new counter-example to Modus Ponens. The collection is rounded out with essays on causality and the philosophy of mind.
The author’s perspective on the philosophy of human knowledge is fresh and challenging, as evidenced by essays entitled “On Epistemic Preferability;” “On Being Unjustified;” “The Logic of ‘Unless’” and “Is ‘This sentence is true.’ True?”
An interesting feature of The Logic of Philosophy: Pesky Essays is the inclusion of responses to several of its key essays, contributed by such prominent contemporary philosophers as Roderick Chisholm, Ted Sider and Tomas Kapitan.
Given the situation, I examined many infinite regress arguments to clarify the various aspects of the derivation of infinite regresses, and explain the different ways in which certain infinite regresses are unacceptable. My general approach consisted of collecting and evaluating as many infinite regress arguments as possible, comparing and contrasting many of the formal and non-formal properties, looking for recurring patterns, and identifying the properties that appeared essential to those patterns. The six chapters of this book gradually emerged from this approach. Two very general questions guided this work: (1) How are infinite regresses generated in infinite regress arguments? (2) How do infinite regresses logically function in an argument? In answering these questions I avoided as much as possible addressing the philosophical content and historical background of the arguments examined. Due to the already extensive work done on causal regresses and regresses of justification, only a few references are made to them. However, the focus is on other issues that have been neglected, and that do contribute to a general theory of infinite regress arguments: I clarify the notion of an infinite regress; identify different logical forms of infinite regresses; describe different kinds of infinite regress arguments; distinguish the rhetoric from the logic in infinite regress arguments; and discuss the function of infinite regresses in arguments. The unexamined derivation of infinite regresses is worth deriving – to discover what we have kept hidden from ourselves, improve our ways of constructing and evaluating these arguments, and sharpen and strengthen one of our argumentative tools. This work is one example of empirical logic applied to infinite regress arguments: "the attempt to formulate, to test, to clarify, and to systematize concepts and principles for the interpretation, the evaluation, and the sound practice of reasoning" (Finocchiaro, M. Arguments about Arguments, Systematic, Critical and Historical Essays in Logical Theory. P48).
Parts of the book are mathematical, parts philosophical. A reader interested in (modal) type theory can safely skip ontological issues, just as one interested in Gödel's argument can omit the more mathematical portions, such as the completeness proof for tableaus. There should be something for everybody (and perhaps everything for somebody).