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Princeton Foundations of Contemporary Philosophy

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Princeton Foundations of Contemporary Philosophy

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Philosophical Logic

John P. Burgess

Philosophical Logic is a clear and concise critical survey of nonclassical logics of philosophical interest written by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject. After giving an overview of classical logic, John Burgess introduces five central branches of nonclassical logic (temporal, modal, conditional, relevantistic, and intuitionistic), focusing on the sometimes problematic relationship between formal apparatus and intuitive motivation. Requiring minimal background and arranged to make the more technical material optional, the book offers a choice between an overview and in-depth study, and it balances the philosophical and technical aspects of the subject.

The book emphasizes the relationship between models and the traditional goal of logic, the evaluation of arguments, and critically examines apparatus and assumptions that often are taken for granted. Philosophical Logic provides an unusually thorough treatment of conditional logic, unifying probabilistic and model-theoretic approaches. It underscores the variety of approaches that have been taken to relevantistic and related logics, and it stresses the problem of connecting formal systems to the motivating ideas behind intuitionistic mathematics. Each chapter ends with a brief guide to further reading.

Philosophical Logic addresses students new to logic, philosophers working in other areas, and specialists in logic, providing both a sophisticated introduction and a new synthesis.

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Philosophy of Biology

Peter Godfrey-Smith

This is a concise, comprehensive, and accessible introduction to the philosophy of biology written by a leading authority on the subject. Geared to philosophers, biologists, and students of both, the book provides sophisticated and innovative coverage of the central topics and many of the latest developments in the field. Emphasizing connections between biological theories and other areas of philosophy, and carefully explaining both philosophical and biological terms, Peter Godfrey-Smith discusses the relation between philosophy and science; examines the role of laws, mechanistic explanation, and idealized models in biological theories; describes evolution by natural selection; and assesses attempts to extend Darwin’s mechanism to explain changes in ideas, culture, and other phenomena. Further topics include functions and teleology, individuality and organisms, species, the tree of life, and human nature. The book closes with detailed, cutting-edge treatments of the evolution of cooperation, of information in biology, and of the role of communication in living systems at all scales.

Authoritative and up-to-date, this is an essential guide for anyone interested in the important philosophical issues raised by the biological sciences.

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Philosophy of Language

Scott Soames

In this book one of the world's foremost philosophers of language presents his unifying vision of the field--its principal achievements, its most pressing current questions, and its most promising future directions. In addition to explaining the progress philosophers have made toward creating a theoretical framework for the study of language, Scott Soames investigates foundational concepts--such as truth, reference, and meaning--that are central to the philosophy of language and important to philosophy as a whole. The first part of the book describes how philosophers from Frege, Russell, Tarski, and Carnap to Kripke, Kaplan, and Montague developed precise techniques for understanding the languages of logic and mathematics, and how these techniques have been refined and extended to the study of natural human languages. The book then builds on this account, exploring new thinking about propositions, possibility, and the relationship between meaning, assertion, and other aspects of language use.

An invaluable overview of the philosophy of language by one of its most important practitioners, this book will be essential reading for all serious students of philosophy.

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Philosophy of Law

Andrei Marmor

In Philosophy of Law, Andrei Marmor provides a comprehensive analysis of contemporary debates about the fundamental nature of law—an issue that has been at the heart of legal philosophy for centuries. What the law is seems to be a matter of fact, but this fact has normative significance: it tells people what they ought to do. Marmor argues that the myriad questions raised by the factual and normative features of law actually depend on the possibility of reduction—whether the legal domain can be explained in terms of something else, more foundational in nature.

In addition to exploring the major issues in contemporary legal thought, Philosophy of Law provides a critical analysis of the people and ideas that have dominated the field in past centuries. It will be essential reading for anyone curious about the nature of law.

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Truth

Alexis G. Burgess

This is a concise introduction to current philosophical debates about truth. Combining philosophical and technical material, the book is organized around, but not limited to, the view known as deflationism. In clear language, Burgess and Burgess cover a wide range of issues, including the nature of truth, the status of truth-value gaps, the relationship between truth and meaning, relativism and pluralism about truth, and semantic paradoxes from Alfred Tarski to Saul Kripke and beyond. The book provides a rich picture of contemporary philosophical theorizing about truth, one that will be essential reading for philosophy students as well as philosophers specializing in other areas.

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