The Possibility of Philosophical Understanding

The Possibility of Philosophical Understanding : Reflections on the Thought of Barry Stroud

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Barry Stroud's work has had a profound impact on a very wide array of philosophical topics, including epistemological skepticism, the nature of logical necessity, the interpretation of Hume, the interpretation of Wittgenstein, the possibility of transcendental arguments, and the metaphysical status of color and value. And yet there has heretofore been no book-length treatment of his work. The current collection aims to redress this gap, with 13 essays on Stroud's work by a diverse group of contributors including some of his most distinguished interlocutors and promising recent students. All but one essay is new to this volume. The essays cover a range of topics, with a particular focus on Stroud's treatments of skepticism and subjectivism. There are also chapters on Stroud's views on meaning and rule-following, on Hume on personal identity, and on the role of desires in the explanation of action. Despite the diversity, the essays are unified by the thematic unity in Stroud's own writings. Stroud approaches every philosophical problem by attempting to get as clear as possible on the nature and source of that problem. He aims to determine what kind of understanding philosophical questions are after, and what the prospects for achieving that understanding might be. This theme-of the nature and possibility of philosophical understanding-is introduced in the opening essay of this volume and recurs in different ways throughout the remaining chapters. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the philosophy of philosophy. As these essays show, one important source of insight on this subject is the thought of Barry Stroud, for whom pursuit of the philosophy of philosophy has always been indistinguishable from pursuit of philosophy as more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 162.56 x 238.76 x 30.48mm | 294.83g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195381653
  • 9780195381658
  • 1,672,194

Review quote

This is a wonderful collection of papers on the important and influential thought of Barry Stroud. While Stroud will probably always be best known for his appreciation of the significance of skeptical arguments, he has written on a wide range of topics, and the authors in this collection advance discussion on many of the diverse issues raised in Stroud's workEL I haven't come anywhere near to doing justice to the many quality papers in this volume. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in Stroud's work, and that should be anyone interested in philosophy. * Richard Fumerton, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *show more

About Jason Bridges

Bridges: Philosophy, University of Chicago; Kolodny: Philosophy, UC Berkeley; Wong: Philosophy, CSU Chicoshow more

Table of contents

1. Introduction: The Question to Understand Philosophy ; 2. Rethinking Hume's Second Thoughts about Personal Identity ; Skepticism and Knowledge ; 3. External World Scepticism and the Structure of Epistemic Entitlement ; 4. Stroud and Pyrrhonism ; 5. Transcendental and Circular Reasoning ; 6. Stroud's Proposal for Removing the Threat of Skepticism ; 7. What the Skeptic Still Can't Learn from How We Use the Word 'Know' ; Meaning and Reason ; 8. Inside and Outside Language: Stroud's Nonreductionism about Meaning ; 9. Dispositions and Rational Explanation ; Subjectivism and Reality ; 10. Colours as Secondary Qualities ; 11. Intelligible Causation ; 12. Unsettling Subjectivism about Value ; 13. Subjectivism and the Metaphysics of Timeshow more