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Cover

Philosophical Devices

Proofs, Probabilities, Possibilities, and Sets

David Papineau

October 2012

ISBN: 9780199651733

224 pages
Paperback
203x135mm

Price: £14.99

Philosophical Devices introduces the technical ideas that are taken for granted in contemporary philosophical writing. It offers simple explanations and covers a wealth of material that is normally available only to specialists. This original, distinctive book will appeal to anyone who is curious about the technical infrastructure of philosophy.

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Description

Philosophical Devices introduces the technical ideas that are taken for granted in contemporary philosophical writing. It offers simple explanations and covers a wealth of material that is normally available only to specialists. This original, distinctive book will appeal to anyone who is curious about the technical infrastructure of philosophy.

  • A clear, concise explanation of key technical ideas in philosophy
  • An invaluable resource for students
  • Stimulating and entertaining—works to improve the reader's argumentative skills
  • No prior knowledge assumed—will be of interest to anyone who wants to understand contemporary philosophy

About the Author(s)

David Papineau, King's College London

David Papineau was educated in Trinidad, England, and South Africa. He has a BSc in mathematics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a BA and PhD in philosophy from Cambridge. He has lectured at Reading University, Macquarie University, Birkbeck College London, and Cambridge University. Since 1990 he has been Professor of Philosophy at King's College London. He was President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science from 1993 to 1995. In 1999-2000 he was a Leverhulme Research Fellow and in 2007 a Mind Fellow. He was President of the Mind Association for 2009-10. In 2010 he gave the Rudolf Carnap Lectures in Bochum, Germany and in 2011 the Gottlob Frege Lectures in Tartu, Estonia.

Table of Contents

    Preface
    Introduction
    Part I: Sets and Numbers
    1:Naïve Sets and Russell's Paradox
    2:Infinite Sets
    3:Orders of Infinity
    Part II: Analyticity, a prioricity, and necessity
    4:Kinds of Truths
    5:Possible Worlds
    6:Naming and Necessity
    Part III: The Nature and Uses of Probability
    7:Kinds of Probability
    8:Constraints on Credence
    9:Correlations and Causes
    Part IV: Logics and Theories
    10:Syntax and Semantics
    11:Soundness and Completeness
    12:Theories and Gödel's Theorem

Reviews

"an engaging, genuinely expository text. It is hard to imagine a better execution of the project of introducing the basics of technical philosophy non-technically. ... an invaluable addition to undergraduate reading lists, and I certainly will make use of it in my teaching." - A.C. Paseau, Philosophia Mathematica

"The book is a clear and straightforward introduction to technical methods and concepts that have widespread applications in analytic philosophy and other sciences. For this reason it is an excellent introductory text." - Arif Ahmed, University of Cambridge

"Papineau has written a suprising book. Though small in size it can serve as a template for a variety of undergraduate philosophy courses as instructors choose to emphasize various parts of the presentation. The text is clearly and accurately written. The pedagogy sets out concepts in a sequential order that works well. This is a highly recommended text." - Michael Boylan, Professor and Chair, Philosophy, Marymount University, Virginia

"This is a very good book for students learning about philosophical methods. The sections are concise, easily accessible and well well-written. I've been looking for a book like this on philosophical methods for a while now and this is one of the few that I've found so it is covering a needed gap in the market. I will definitely be recommending it to my library for purchase and to students." - Emily Ryall, University of Gloucestershire