Naming and Necessity
Paperback ISBN: 0674598466
If there is such a thing as essential reading in metaphysics or in philosophy of language, this is it. Ever since the publication of its original version, Naming and Necessity has had great and increasing influence. It redirected philosophical attention to neglected questions of natural and metaphysical necessity and to the connections between these and theories of reference, in particular of naming, and of identity. From a critique of the dominant tendency to assimilate names to descriptions and more generally to treat their reference as a function of their Fregean sense, surprisingly deep and widespread consequences may be drawn. The largely discredited distinction between accidental and essential properties, both of individual things (including people) and of kinds of things, is revived. So is a consequent view of science as what seeks out the essences of natural kinds. Traditional objections to such views are dealt with by sharpening distinctions between epistemic and metaphysical necessity; in particular by the startling admission of necessary a posteriori truths. From these, in particular from identity statements using rigid designators whether of things or of kinds, further remarkable consequences are drawn for the natures of things, of people, and of kinds; strong objections follow, for example to identity versions of materialism as a theory of the mind. This seminal work, to which today's thriving essentialist metaphysics largely owes its impetus, is here published with a substantial new Preface by the author.
Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977
Paperback ISBN: 039473954x
Study of the intersection of history and philosophy as it relates to recent French political change, evidenced in essays concerning popular justice, power struggles, and the history of sexuality
The Birth of Tragedy and the Case of Wagner
Paperback ISBN: 0394703693
The Birth of Tragedy (1872) was Nietzsche's first book. Its youthful faults were exposed by Nietzsche in the brilliant "Attempt at a Self-Criticism" which he added to the new edition of 1886. But the book, whatever its excesses, remains one of the most relevant statements on tragedy ever penned. It exploded the conception of Greek culture that was prevalent down through the Victorian era, and it sounded themes developed in the twentieth century by classicists, existentialists, psychoanalysts, and others. The Case of Wagner (1888) was one Nietzsche's last books, and his wittiest. In attitude and style it is diametrically opposed to The Birth of Tragedy. Both works transcend their ostensible subjects and deal with art and culture, as well as the problems of the modern age generally. Each book in itself gives us an inadequate idea of its author; together, they furnish a striking image of Nietzsche's thought. The distinguished new translations by Walter Kaufmann superbly reflect in English Nietzsche's idiom and the vitality of his style. Professor Kaufmann has also furnished running footnote commentaries, relevant passages from Nietzsche's correspondence, a bibliography, and, for the first time in any edition, an extensive index to each book.
Guide for the Perplexed
Paperback ISBN: 0486203514
Complete text of crucial medieval work of philosophy: reconciliation of Aristotle and Scripture. Includes Life of Maimonides, analysis of The Guide, indexes of quotations from Scripture, Talmud. Maimonides, brilliant forerunner of Aquinas.