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12 Modern Philosophers

12 Modern Philosophers

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By (author) Christopher Belshaw, By (author) Gary Kemp

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Featuring essays from leading philosophical scholars, 12 Modern Philosophers explores the works, origins, and influences of twelve of the most important late 20th Century philosophers working in the analytic tradition. Draws on essays from well-known scholars, including Thomas Baldwin, Catherine Wilson, Adrian Moore and Lori Gruen Locates the authors and their oeuvre within the context of the discipline as a whole Considers how contemporary philosophy both draws from, and contributes to, the broader intellectual and cultural milieu

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Author information

Christopher Belshaw is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Staff Tutor with the Open University. He works mainly at the theoretical end of applied ethics. He is the author of Ideas (Open University 1998), Environmental Philosophy (Acumen, 2001) and 10 Good Questions About Life and Death (Blackwell, 2005). Another book, Annihilation: The Sense and Significance of Death , is forthcoming. Gary Kemp is Senior Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at the University of Glasgow. He works in the philosophy of logic and language, on Frege, Russell, Quine and Davidson, and on aesthetics and philosophical themes in literature. He is the author of Quine: A Guide for the Perplexed (2005) and, with Tracy Bowell, of Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide (2002, 2005, 2009).

Review quote

"The 12 essays by 12 different authors are clear and concise; they offer both summaries and critiques that give valuable guidance to those who are new to the writings of these thinkers." (CHOICE, 2009) “It is recommended not only to readers not yet familiar with philosophical discourse and concerns, but also to 'insiders' who wish to get a clearer view of the various debates and discussions that are taking place in philosophy today." (Metapsychology, August 2009) "This book was a superb idea and has been superbly done." Brad Hooker, University of Reading "This engaging collection of incisive and lucid essays on twelve major contemporary contributors to the subject elegantly delivers a synoptic view that, in making this work readily comprehensible to the non-specialist without a hint of oversimplification, shows philosophy for what it is at its best: enlivening, stimulating, exacting, and -- true to the promise of its Socratic origins -- ever capable of provocatively unsettling the otherwise unexamined presumptions that would blind us to life's absorbing complexities. Informative, illuminating reading." Garry L. Hagberg, University of East Anglia

Back cover copy

"12 Modern Philosophers" explores the ideas of twelve of the most influential contemporary thinkers tackling the fundamental concerns of philosophy, from logic and metaphysics to ethics and political philosophy. Each major figure is examined by a specialist in the field, offering an accessible overview of their key ideas, works, and influences. What emerges is a rich and illuminating portrait of the current state of academic philosophy in the broadly Anglo-American, or "analytic," tradition. With a careful and critical assessment of modern philosophers' ideas about truth, morality, logic, and meaning, we see how contemporary philosophical thought has drawn from, and contributes to, the broader intellectual and cultural milieu. Stimulating and challenging, "12 Modern Philosophers" is an important and timely guide to some of the most influential thinkers of the late twentieth century.

Table of contents

Acknowledgments. Notes on Contributors. Introduction (Christopher Belshaw, Open University and Gary Kemp, University of Glasgow). 1. Quine (A. W. Moore, University of Oxford). 2. Rawls (Thomas Baldwin, University of York). 3. Davidson (Ernie Lepore, Rutgers University and Kirk Ludwig, University of Florida). 4. Williams (Catherine Wilson, City University of New York). 5. Rorty (Alan Malachowski, University of East Anglia). 6. Fodor (Jose Luis Bermudez, Washington University, St Louis). 7. Nagel (Sonia Sedivy, University of Toronto). 8. Kripke (Alexander Bird, University of Bristol). 9. Nozick (A. R. Lacey). 10. Parfit (Jacob Ross, University of Southern California). 11. McDowell (Marie McGinn, University of York). 12. Singer (Lori Gruen, Wesleyan University). Index.