Antony Flew is one of the most well-known and respected philosophers alive today. In Philosophical Essays, twelve of Flew's most significant works are gathered together for the first time, creating a unique and valuable collection. The book begins with a new autobiographical sketch of Flew's life and career. In addition to some of the distinguished scholar's most influential and famous articles, Philosophical Essays includes a number of rare works that have not been available to a wide audience until now. This important book will be an essential addition to the library of any philosopher.
The two volumes of Philosophical Essays bring together the most important essays written by one of the world's foremost philosophers of language. Scott Soames has selected thirty-one essays spanning nearly three decades of thinking about linguistic meaning and the philosophical significance of language. A judicious collection of old and new, these volumes include sixteen essays published in the 1980s and 1990s, nine published since 2000, and six new essays. The essays in Volume 1 investigate what linguistic meaning is; how the meaning of a sentence is related to the use we make of it; what we should expect from empirical theories of the meaning of the languages we speak; and how a sound theoretical grasp of the intricate relationship between meaning and use can improve the interpretation of legal texts. The essays in Volume 2 illustrate the significance of linguistic concerns for a broad range of philosophical topics--including the relationship between language and thought; the objects of belief, assertion, and other propositional attitudes; the distinction between metaphysical and epistemic possibility; the nature of necessity, actuality, and possible worlds; the necessary a posteriori and the contingent a priori; truth, vagueness, and partial definition; and skepticism about meaning and mind. The two volumes of Philosophical Essays are essential for anyone working on the philosophy of language.
These papers cover important themes such as extensionality, the necessity of identity, the conception of proper names as 'tags', essentialism, substitutional quantification, and possibilia and possible worlds. What emerges from them is a robust defence of quantified modal logic in the light of a host of objections, particularly from Quine.
The essays in this collection are not confined to any one period or any one subject. Nearly every one, in the author's words, is "an attempt to understand some short passage from the work of some philosopher, teasing the passage with analogies of sense. If one were to describe the method, as Descartes described his method, the method of doubt, perhaps it might best be described as the method of failure."
Donald Davidson has prepared a new edition of his classic 1980 collection of Essays on Actions and Events, including two additional essays. In this seminal investigation of the nature of human action, Davidson argues for an ontology which includes events along with persons and other objects. Certain events are identified and explained as actions when they are viewed as caused and rationalized by reasons; these same events, when described in physical, biological, or physiological terms, may be explained by appeal to natural laws. The mental and the physical thus constitute irreducibly discrete ways of explaining and understanding events and their causal relations. Among the topics discussed are: freedom to act; weakness of the will; the logical form of talk about actions, intentions, and causality; the logic of practical reasoning; Hume's theory of the indirect passions; and the nature and limits of decision theory. The introduction, cross-references, and appendices emphasize the relations between the essays and explain how Davidson's views have developed.
What counts as health or ill health? How do we deal with the fallibility of our own bodies? Should illness and disease be considered simply in biological terms, or should considerations of its emotional impact dictate our treatment of it? Our understanding of health and illness had become increasingly more complex in the modern world, as we are able to use medicine not only to fight disease but to control other aspects of our bodies, whether mood, blood pressure, or cholesterol. This collection of essays foregrounds the concepts of health and illness and patient experience within the philosophy of medicine, reflecting on the relationship between the ill person and society. Mental illness is considered alongside physical disease, and the important ramifications of society's differentiation between the two are brought to light. Health, Illness and Disease is a significant contribution to shaping the parameters of the evolving field of philosophy of medicine and will be of interest to medical practitioners and policy-makers as well as philosophers of science and ethicists.
Although Leibniz's writing forms an enormous corpus, no single work stands as a canonical expression of his whole philosophy. In addition, the wide range of Leibniz's work--letters, published papers, and fragments on a variety of philosophical, religious, mathematical, and scientific questions over a fifty-year period--heightens the challenge of preparing an edition of his writings in English translation from the French and Latin.