What are philosophers trying to achieve? How can they succeed? Does philosophy make progress? Is it in competition with science, or doing something completely different, or neither?In Doing Philosophy, Timothy Williamson tackles some of the key questions surrounding philosophy in new and provocative ways, showing how philosophy begins in common sense curiosity, and develops through our capacity to dispute rationally with each other. Discussing philosophy's ability to clarify our thoughts, he explains why such clarification depends on the development of philosophical theories, and how those theories can be tested by imaginative thought experiments, and compared against each other by standards similar to those used in the natural and social sciences. He also shows how logical rigor can be understood as a way of enhancing the explanatory power of philosophical theories. Drawing on the history of philosophy to provide a track record of philosophical thinking's successes and failures, Williams overturns widely held dogmas about the distinctive nature of philosophy in comparison to the sciences, demystifies its methods, and considers the future of the discipline. From thought experiments, to deduction, to theories, this little book will cause you to totally rethink what philosophy is.
Already a classic, this landmark study of early Western thought now appears in a new edition with expanded coverage of the Middle Ages. This landmark study of Western thought takes a fresh look at the writings of the great thinkers of classic philosophy and questions many pieces of conventional wisdom. The book invites comparison with Bertrand Russell's monumentalHistory of Western Philosophy, "but Gottlieb's book is less idiosyncratic and based on more recent scholarship" (Colin McGinn, Los Angeles Times). A New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Best Book, and a Times Literary Supplement Best Book of 2001.
How philosophy transformed human knowledge and the world we live in
Philosophical investigation is the root of all human knowledge. Developing new concepts, reinterpreting old truths, and reconceptualizing fundamental questions, philosophy has progressed--and driven human progress--for more than two millennia. In short, we live in a world philosophy made. In this concise history of philosophy's world-shaping impact, Scott Soames demonstrates that the modern world--including its science, technology, and politics--simply would not be possible without the accomplishments of philosophy.
Firmly rebutting the misconception of philosophy as ivory-tower thinking, Soames traces its essential contributions to fields as diverse as law and logic, psychology and economics, relativity and rational decision theory. Beginning with the giants of ancient Greek philosophy, The World Philosophy Made chronicles the achievements of the great thinkers, from the medieval and early modern eras to the present. It explores how philosophy has shaped our language, science, mathematics, religion, culture, morality, education, and politics, as well as our understanding of ourselves.
Philosophy's idea of rational inquiry as the key to theoretical knowledge and practical wisdom has transformed the world in which we live. From the laws that govern society to the digital technology that permeates modern life, philosophy has opened up new possibilities and set us on more productive paths. The World Philosophy Made explains and illuminates as never before the inexhaustible richness of philosophy and its influence on our individual and collective lives.
The Second Edition of Wittgenstein: Rules, Grammar and Necessity (the second volume of the landmark analytical commentary on Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations) now includes extensively revised and supplemented coverage of the Wittgenstein's complex and controversial remarks on following rules.
- Includes thoroughly rewritten essays and the addition of one new essay on communitarian and individualist conceptions of rule-following
- Includes a greatly expanded essay on Wittgenstein's conception of logical, mathematical and metaphysical necessity
- Features updates to the textual exegesis as the result of taking advantage of the search engine for the Bergen edition of the Nachlass
- Reflects the results of scholarly debates on rule-following that have raged over the past 20 years
An introduction to Western philosophy incorporates excerpts from the writings of important philosophers and thinkers, arranged according to such disciplines as the philosophy of religion, art and culture, and metaphysics.
From 1971 until his death in 1984, Foucault gave public lectures at the world-famous College de France. Attended by thousands, these were seminal events in the world of French letters. Picador is proud to be publishing the lectures in thirteen volumes.
The lectures comprising Abnormal begin by examining the role of psychiatry in modern criminal justice, and its method of categorizing individuals who "resemble their crime before they commit it." Building on the themes of societal self-defense in "Society Must Be Defended," Foucault shows how and why defining "abnormality" and "normality" were preorogatives of power in the nineteenth century.
The College de France lectures add immeasurably to our appreciation of Foucault's work and offer a unique window into his thinking.
Adam Smith's major work of 1759 develops the foundation for a general system of morals, and is a text of central importance in the history of moral and political thought. Through the idea of sympathy and the mental construct of an impartial spectator, Smith formulated highly original theories of conscience, moral judgment and the virtues. This volume offers a new edition of the text with helpful notes for the student reader, and a substantial introduction that establishes the work in its philosophical and historical context.
Syllogism is a form of logical argument allowing one to deduce a consistent conclusion based on a pair of premises having a common term. Although Aristotle was the first to conceive and develop this way of reasoning, he left open a lot of conceptual space for further modifications, improvements and systematizations with regards to his original syllogistic theory. From its creation until modern times, syllogism has remained a powerful and compelling device of deduction and argument, used by a variety of figures and assuming a variety of forms throughout history.
The Aftermath of Syllogism investigates the key developments in the history of this peculiar pattern of inference, from Avicenna to Hegel. Taking as its focus the longue dur e of development between the Middle Ages and the nineteenth century, this book looks at the huge reworking scientific syllogism underwent over the centuries, as some of the finest philosophical minds brought it to an unprecedented height of logical sharpness and sophistication.
Bringing together a group of major international experts in the Aristotelian tradition, The Aftermath of Syllogism provides a detailed, up to date and critical evaluation of the history of syllogistic deduction.
In this outstanding collection of essays, Isaiah Berlin, one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century, discusses the importance of dissenters in the history of ideas--among them Machiavelli, Vico, Montesquieu, Herzen, and Sorel. With his unusual powers of imaginative re-creation, Berlin brings to life original minds that swam against the current of their times--and still challenge conventional wisdom.
In a new foreword to this corrected edition, which also includes a new appendix of letters in which Berlin discusses and further illuminates some of its topics, noted essayist Mark Lilla argues that Berlin's decision to give up a philosophy fellowship and become a historian of ideas represented not an abandonment of philosophy but a decision to do philosophy by other, perhaps better, means. "His instinct told him," Lilla writes, "that you learn more about an idea as an idea when you know something about its genesis and understand why certain people found it compelling and were spurred to action by it." This collection of fascinating intellectual portraits is a rich demonstration of that belief.