A decent overview of the problems in the Philosophy of Science, with the arguments and problems laid out very clearly. The language is crisp and simpl...moreA decent overview of the problems in the Philosophy of Science, with the arguments and problems laid out very clearly. The language is crisp and simple to understand.
Particularly strong are discussions about the problems of induction and scientific gaps of knowledge from Kuhn's book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
For someone more acquainted with the main problems, this book is very simple, and he or she may like proceed to more difficult works.(less)
In this book Nagel addresses some of the moral dilemmas that arises from the self, synthesizing the different perspectives and ideas of moral theories...moreIn this book Nagel addresses some of the moral dilemmas that arises from the self, synthesizing the different perspectives and ideas of moral theories into a nuanced, coherent whole.
What is the status of moral questions that deal with our lives? He takes a candid and deeper view beyond the dichotomies that so often seem apparent.
Topics include the problem of consciousness, government behavior, death, equality, subjectivity vs. objectivity among others.
His famous essay on the problem of consciousness, 'What is it like to be a bat?', is included here.
Rather than strict categories between the moral and immoral, as is often espoused to be needed to be resolvable in moral dilemmas, he takes a more multi-layered view of moral problems, between theories such as Deontology (Kantian) and Utilitarianism.
Instead of saying either this or that, he analyzes the situations that individuals might be placed in, from various viewpoints, and tries to reconcile them in a analytical those situations where, when it might seem that that are strict differences, there may not actually be any. For instance, the problem of Moral Luck in the free will vs. determinism debate, Nagel finds that it is not so much a problem as it seems to be but rather a semantic problem of not clarifying what seems to be acute differences in what those stances take about reality.
By uncovering the deep mechanism of such seemingly stark differences, he sheds like on the difficulty of the many situations that, on the surface, present dilemmas.
I particularly enjoy how he clarifies what seems to be straightforward issues. It is not any groundbreaking work in philosophy, but it is thoroughly useful if you want to articulate the nagging feeling that things could be more complicated.
Leiter discusses Nietzsche's take on morality in a systematic, rigorous way. It definitely goes against the common stereotype presenting him as an eth...moreLeiter discusses Nietzsche's take on morality in a systematic, rigorous way. It definitely goes against the common stereotype presenting him as an ethical egoist and a precursor to fascism. (That by the way has been debunked - Nietzsche was exactly the opposite.)
'Beyond Good and Evil' and 'The Genealogy of Morals', the 2 books that characterizes most comprehensively Nietzsche's take on morality, is given full treatment here. (less)