Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

The Analytic Tradition in Philosophy, Volume 2: A New Vision

2019.07.13 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Scott Soames, The Analytic Tradition in Philosophy, Volume 2: A New Vision, Princeton University Press, 2018, 423pp., $65.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780691160030. Reviewed by Gregory Landini, University of Iowa This volume continues the history of analytic philosophy of Volume 1 (2014). A few of the chapters (p. viii) are explained as updated and substantially expanded parts of his two-volume Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century (2003). Almost everything in it is wonderfully engaging and controversial as is expected of important works on the history of philosophical ideas. Since we are entering in the second volume of Scott Soames's account, a short prologue coming from a revisionist Russell scholar may help orient the discussion. It is not often appreciated that in The Problems of Philosophy (1912), Russell accepted synthetic a priori knowledge in logic, mathematics, probability and ethics. Its sequel, dropping ethics from the list (since, unlike the others, its purported... Read [More]

Epiphenomenal Mind: An Integrated Outlook on Sensations, Beliefs, and Pleasure

2019.07.08 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews William S. Robinson, Epiphenomenal Mind: An Integrated Outlook on Sensations, Beliefs, and Pleasure, Routledge, 2019, 202pp., $140.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781138351370. Reviewed by Richard Fumerton, University of Iowa Any philosopher interested in the philosophy of mind should read William S. Robinson's book. It is a clear, thoughtful, well-argued, and sophisticated discussion of how to understand our talk about such mental states as sensation, belief, and pleasure. Robinson takes the arguments where they lead him, and they lead him to provide a quite different analysis of sensation from the one he offers of belief and other intentional states. In Chapters 1 through 4, the emphasis is on sensations. Here Robinson rejects various attempts to identify sensations with physical states or functional states realized only by physical phenomena. The dualism he defends is a form of epiphenomenalism. While Robinson thinks we must embrace the fact that we cannot successfully reduce sensations... Read [More]