What Philosophers Know

What Philosophers Know : Case Studies in Recent Analytic Philosophy

3.81 (21 ratings by Goodreads)
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Philosophy has never delivered on its promise to settle the great moral and religious questions of human existence, and even most philosophers conclude that it does not offer an established body of disciplinary knowledge. Gary Gutting challenges this view by examining detailed case studies of recent achievements by analytic philosophers such as Quine, Kripke, Gettier, Lewis, Chalmers, Plantinga, Kuhn, Rawls, and Rorty. He shows that these philosophers have indeed produced a substantial body of disciplinary knowledge, but he challenges many common views about what philosophers have achieved. Topics discussed include the role of argument in philosophy, naturalist and experimentalist challenges to the status of philosophical intuitions, the importance of pre-philosophical convictions, Rawls' method of reflective equilibrium, and Rorty's challenge to the idea of objective philosophical truth. The book offers a lucid survey of recent analytic work and presents a new understanding of philosophy as an important source of knowledge.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 14mm | 420g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521672228
  • 9780521672221
  • 728,359

Table of contents

Introduction; Part I. How Does That Go? The Limits of Philosophical Argument: 1. Quine's 'Two Dogmas': argument or imagination?; 2. Argument and intuition in Kripke's Naming and Necessity; 3. The rise and fall of counterexamples: Gettier, Goldman, and Lewis; 4. Reflection: pictures, intuitions, and philosophical knowledge; Part II. Arguments and Convictions: 5. Turning the tables: Plantinga and the rise of the philosophy of religion; 6. Materialism and compatibilism: two dogmas of analytic philosophy?; 7. Was there a Kuhnian revolution? Convictions in the philosophy of science; 8. Conviction and argument in Rawls' A Theory of Justice; Part III. Philosophical Truth and Knowledge: 9. Rorty against the world: philosophy, truth, and objectivity; 10. Philosophical knowledge: summary and application; References.
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Review quote

'This series of case studies of problems and advances in philosophical thinking argues effectively that philosophy can make progress and that philosophers do have distinctive substantial knowledge. The treatment is excellent: sophisticated and of interest to experts while also clearly-written and engaging for readers generally.' David Sosa, University of Texas at Austin
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About Gary Gutting

Gary Gutting holds the Notre Dame Chair in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. His most recent publications include The Cambridge Companion to Foucault, 2nd Edition (2005), Foucault: A Very Short Introduction (2005) and French Philosophy in the Twentieth Century (2001).
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Rating details

21 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 29% (6)
4 43% (9)
3 14% (3)
2 10% (2)
1 5% (1)
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