I'm too tired (and too busy) for a proper review right now. All I'll say is that this is a great overview of some of the formal tools needed to undersI'm too tired (and too busy) for a proper review right now. All I'll say is that this is a great overview of some of the formal tools needed to understand philosophical issues: set theory, infinity, Turing machines and computability, formal semantics, probability theory. It's not a book on philosophical issues, it's a book on math and logic that is motivated by philosophical issues. The attempt is not to tackle these philosophical issues themselves, but rather to present the purely formal mathematical (not philosophical) tools needed to understand the debates going on regarding the philosophical issues. It's a sort of "mathematics for philosophers" book, and a very good one....more
This is a fairly good overview of the subject, covering several different areas. A decent understanding of some main problems and approaches is obtainThis is a fairly good overview of the subject, covering several different areas. A decent understanding of some main problems and approaches is obtained by reading it, but a more in-depth treatment would have been nice. As it is, it comes of as something of a "philosophy of mind for dummies". There probably is room for such a book, perhaps as an overview for people not studying the subject of philosophy who just want to know a little of what it is all about, but it strikes me as lacking as an introductory treatment for philosophy students, which is how I came to read it. In its favor I should say that it is a very easy read and has a pedagogical approach. Since it is such a quick read it will certainly be worth reading it for anyone interested in the subject, but don't expect much in the way of philosophical discussions, it mostly contains overviews of different philosophical positions along with some basic lists of pros and cons of the theories presented....more
I'm too tired to write anything substantial about this right now. It's a good (not great) book about the philosophy of science, at the introductory leI'm too tired to write anything substantial about this right now. It's a good (not great) book about the philosophy of science, at the introductory level but probably presupposing some familiarity with basic philosophical terminology and some understanding of related fields such as logic and epistemology. It is divided into two parts: the first one dealing with the scientific method (inductivism, falsificationism, theories and observations, the underdetermination problem) both also discussing the debate about scientific change, dealing with Kuhn and his "revolutions" and "paradigms" among other things; the second one dealing with scientific realism, its subtleties and variants and its critics. The second part also connects, naturally, to other issues not falling directly under the subject of scientific realism but being relevant in a discussion of it such as: underdetermination (again), theory change (which at least touches upon the issues raised in the earlier chapter on scientific change) and the role of explanation in scientific theories, all discussed in the context of how they are relevant in the debate regarding the viability of scientific realism.
Another thing I should mention is that something that makes it stand out at least a little bit is that each chapter is ended by showing a fragment of an ongoing discussion between two persons (apparently not highly knowledgeable in philosophy, sometimes espousing very naive views, seemingly an attempt to give the novice reader someone to identify with). It is a bit original, but I never felt that these very brief fragments contributed anything to the discussion or the understanding of it. It's a nice introduction to the subject, definitely a good book, but not excellent....more