Faculty Bookshelf – A-J
— Plato and the Divided Self, ed. by Rachel Barney, Tad Brennan, and Charles Brittain, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
“Plato’s account of the tripartite soul is a memorable feature of dialogues like the Republic, Phaedrus and Timaeus: it is one of his most famous and influential yet least understood theories. It presents human nature as both essentially multiple and diverse – and yet somehow also one – divided into a fully human ‘rational’ part, a lion-like ‘spirited part’ and an ‘appetitive’ part likened to a many-headed beast. How these parts interact, how exactly each shapes our agency and how they are affected by phenomena like eros and education is complicated and controversial. The essays in this book investigate how the theory evolves over the whole of Plato’s work.”
— “Aristotle’s Argument for a Human Function”, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 34 (2008), 293-322.
— Names and Nature in Plato’s Cratylus, New York: Routledge, 2001.
“This study offers a comprehensive new interpretation of one of Plato’s dialogues, the Cratylus. Throughout, the book combines analysis of Plato’s arguments with attentiveness to his philosophical method.”
James Robert Brown
— Platonism, Naturalism, and Mathematical Knowledge (Routledge Studies in the Philosophy of Science), London: Routledge, 2012.
“This study addresses a central theme in current philosophy: Platonism vs Naturalism and provides accounts of both approaches to mathematics, crucially discussing Quine, Maddy, Kitcher, Lakoff, Colyvan, and many others. Beginning with accounts of both approaches, Brown defends Platonism by arguing that only a Platonistic approach can account for concept acquisition in a number of special cases in the sciences. He also argues for a particular view of applied mathematics, a view that supports Platonism against Naturalist alternatives.”
— Philosophy of Science, ed. by James Robert Brown (Key Thinkers), London: Continuum, 2012.
“All the great philosophers from Plato and Aristotle to the present day have been philosophers of science. However, this book concentrates on modern philosophy of science, starting in the nineteenth century and offering coverage of all the leading thinkers in the field including Whewell, Mill, Reichenbach, Carnap, Popper, Feyerabend, Putnam, van Fraassen, Bloor, Latour, Hacking, Cartwright and many more. Crucially the book demonstrates how the ideas and arguments of these key thinkers have contributed to our understanding of such central issues as experience and necessity, conventionalism, logical empiricism, induction and falsification, the sociology of science, and realism.”
— Thought Experiments in Philosophy, Science, and the Arts, ed. by Mélanie Frappier, Letitia Meynell, and James Robert Brown (Routledge Studies in the Philosophy of Science), London: Routledge, 2012.
“From Lucretius throwing a spear beyond the boundary of the universe to Einstein racing against a beam of light, thought experiments stand as a fascinating challenge to the necessity of data in the empirical sciences. Are these experiments, conducted uniquely in our imagination, simply rhetorical devices or communication tools or are they an essential part of scientific practice? This volume surveys the current state of the debate and explores new avenues of research into the epistemology of thought experiments.”
— “Logic and Semantics for Imperatives”, Journal of Philosophical Logic, forthcoming.
— “The Problem with the Frege-Geach Problem”, Philosophical Studies, forthcoming.
— “What We Know and What To Do”, Synthese 190 (2013), 2291-2323.
— “On the Grammar of First-Order Logic”, Romanian Journal of Analytic Philosophy 7 (2013), 5-18.
— “Two (or Three) Notions of Finitism”, The Review of Symbolic Logic 3 (2010), 119-144.
— “Burgess’ PV Is Robinson’s Q”, The Journal of Symbolic Logic 72 (2007), 619-624.
— From Plato to Platonism, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013.
“Was Plato a Platonist? While ancient disciples of Plato would have answered this question in the affirmative, modern scholars have generally denied that Plato’s own philosophy was in substantial agreement with that of the Platonists of succeeding centuries. In From Plato to Platonism, Lloyd P. Gerson argues that the ancients were correct in their assessment. He arrives at this conclusion in an especially ingenious manner, challenging fundamental assumptions about how Plato’s teachings have come to be understood.”
— Plotinus: Ennead 5.5, That the Intelligibles are not External to the Intellect and on the Good. Translation, with an Introduction, and Commentary (The Enneads of Plotinus with Philosophical Commentaries), Las Vegas: Parmenides, 2013.
“Platonists beginning in the Old Academy itself and up to and including Plotinus struggled to understand and articulate the relation between Plato’s Demiurge and the Living Animal which served as the model for creation. The central question is whether ‘contents’ of the Living Animal, the Forms, are internal to the mind of the Demiurge or external and independent. For Plotinus, the solution depends heavily on how the Intellect that is the Demiurge and the Forms or intelligibles are to be understood in relation to the first principle of all, the One or the Good.”
— The Cambridge History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity, ed. by Lloyd Gerson, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
“The Cambridge History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity comprises over forty specially commissioned essays by experts on the philosophy of the period 200–800 CE. Designed as a successor to The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy (ed. A. H. Armstrong), it takes into account some forty years of scholarship since the publication of that volume. The contributors examine philosophy as it entered literature, science and religion, and offer new and extensive assessments of philosophers who until recently have been mostly ignored.”
— (with Thomas Kroedel) “Counterfactual Dependence and Arrow”, Nous 47.3 (2013), 453-466.
— (with Peter Brössel and Anna-Maria A. Eder) “Evidential Support and Instrumental Rationality”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, forthcoming.
— “Assessing Theories, Bayes style”, Synthese 161 (2008), 89-118.
— “Spinoza’s thinking substance and the necessity of modes, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 89(3), (2014)
— “Spinoza on essences, universals and being of reason”, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 96(2), (2015)
— “Essence as power, or Spinoza on heartbreak”, Journal of the History of Philosophy, forthcoming
— The Best Things in Life, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
“In The Best Things in Life, distinguished philosopher Thomas Hurka takes a fresh look at these perennial questions as they arise for us now in the 21st century. Should we value family over career? How do we balance self-interest and serving others? What activities bring us the most joy? While religion, literature, popular psychology, and everyday wisdom all grapple with these questions, philosophy more than anything else uses the tools of reason to make important distinctions, cut away irrelevancies, and distill these issues down to their essentials.”
— Virtue, Vice, and Value, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001 (paperback 2003).
“What are virtue and vice, and how do they relate to other moral properties such as goodness and rightness? Thomas Hurka defends a distinctive perfectionist view according to which the virtues are higher-level intrinsic goods, ones that involve morally appropriate attitudes to other, independent goods and evils. He develops this highly original view in detail and argues for its superiority over rival views, including those given by virtue ethics.”
— Perfectionism, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.
“Perfectionism is one of the great moralities of the Western tradition. It holds that certain states of humans, such as knowledge, achievement, and friendship, are good apart from any pleasure they may bring, and that the morally right act is always the one that most promotes these states. Defined more narrowly, perfectionism identifies the human good by reference to human nature: if knowledge and achievement are good, it is because they realize aspects of human nature. This book gives an account of perfectionism, first in the narrower sense, analysing its central concepts and defending a theory of human nature in which rationality plays a central role.”
— Seneca: Selected Philosophical Letters, translated with introduction and commentary by Brad Inwood (Clarendon Later Ancient Philosophers), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
“Seneca’s Letters to Lucilius are a rich source of information about ancient Stoicism, an influential work for early modern philosophers, and a fascinating philosophical document in their own right. This selection of the letters aims to include those which are of greatest philosophical interest, especially those which highlight the debates between Stoics and Platonists or Aristotelians in the first century AD, and the issue, still important today, of how technical philosophical enquiry is related to the various purposes for which philosophy is practised.”
— Reading Seneca: Stoic Philosophy at Rome, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
“Brad Inwood presents a selection of his most influential essays on the philosophy of Seneca, the Roman Stoic thinker, statesman, and tragedian of the first century AD. Including two brand-new pieces, and a helpful introduction to orient the reader, this volume will be an essential guide for anyone seeking to understand Seneca’s fertile, wide-ranging thought and its impact on subsequent generations.”
— The Poem of Empedocles: A Text and Translation with a Commentary by Brad Inwood, 2nd edition (Phoenix Presocratics, vol. 3), Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.
“The Poem of Empedocles is a completely new edition of the fragments of Empedocles, which presents the Greek text and a new verse translation on facing pages. Also included are the testimonia from Diels-Kranz (for the first time translated into English), and a very full selection of frangment contexts, much of it material which has never before been translated into any modern language. The fragments are presented in their original contexts, which makes possible a fresh reading of the full evidence for Empedocles’ thought.”