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The Hidden Necessities
James F. Ross is a creative and independent thinker in contemporary metaphysics and philosophy of mind. In this concise metaphysical essay, he argues clearly and analytically that meaning, truth, impossibility, natural necessity, and our intelligent perception of nature fit together into a distinctly realist account of thought and world. Ross articulates a moderate realism about repeatable natural structures and our abstractive ability to discern them that poses a challenge to many of the common assumptions and claims of contemporary analytic philosophy. He develops a broadly Aristotelian metaphysics that recognizes the "hidden necessities" of things, which are disclosed through the sciences, which ground his account of real impossibility as a kind of vacuity, and which require the immateriality of the human ability to understand. Those ideas are supported by a novel account of false judgment. Ross aims to offer an analytically and historically respectable alternative to the prevailing positions of many British-American philosophers.
Normativity and the Limits of Self-Criticism
The View from Within examines the character of reason and the ability of an individual to effectively distance himself from the normative framework in which he functions in order to be self-critical and innovative. To accomplish this task, Menachem Fisch and Yitzhak Benbaji critically employ or reject the recent writings of Brandom, Friedman, Frankfurt, Walzer, Davidson, Williams, Habermas, Rorty, and McDowell to offer a fundamental analysis of the character of reason and the problem of relativism. This ambitious book forcefully raises the problem of rational normative change and makes the unique and insightful claim that although we cannot be convinced by normative criticism to modify or replace our norms, we can be rationally motivated to do so by the effect of exposure to trusted critics. Its unprecedented analysis, with its solution to the problem of normative self-criticism that has baffled philosophers for the past sixty years, will be welcomed by both students and scholars of philosophy.
Kierkegaard's Pluralist Epistemology
While Kierkegaard is one of the most important thinkers of the nineteenth century, until now very little scholarly attention has been paid to his epistemology. As M. G. Piety explains, this is a serious problem, as Kierkegaard’s views on our ways of knowing are, and must be, intimately related to his view on religious faith and its role in human experience. Thus, in Ways of Knowing, Piety offers the first book-length exploration of Kierkegaard’s views on knowledge, an epistemology that she argues is both foundationalist and nonfoundationalist, substantive and procedural, and includes both internalist and externalist theories of belief justification. In developing, then, a general outline of Kierkegaard’s views, Piety provides the foundational material for future contextualizing and comparative scholarship.
Wittgenstein’s Account of Truth challenges the view that semantic antirealists attribute to Wittgenstein: that we cannot meaningfully call verification-transcendent statements “true.” Ellenbogen argues that Wittgenstein would not have held that we should revise our practice of treating certain statements as true or false, but instead would have held that we should revise our view of what it means to call a statement true. According to the dictum “meaning is use,” what makes it correct to call a statement “true” is not its correspondence with how things are, but our criterion for determining its truth. What it means for us to call a statement “true” is that we currently judge it true, knowing that we may some day revise the criteria whereby we do so.