Essentialism: A Wittgensteinian Critique

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
After tracing the recent decline in explicitly essentialistic theories, Hallett (Dean of the College of Philosophy and letters, St. Louis U.) critically surveys the essentialism still strongly operative in much philosophical reasoning, then undertakes a fuller inquiry into the sources of essentialism than has previously been attempted. Paper edition (unseen), $16.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. The Decline of Explicit Essentialism

A Theoretical Sampling

Wittgenstein's Critique

Carnapian "Explication"

Essences and "Rigid Designators"

Variations

Summary Reflections

2. The Persistence of Essentialistic Theorizing

Cajetan on Analogy

Wittgenstein on Language and Propositions

Williams on Knowledge

Dretske on Knowledge

Overview

3. Calculus and Mosaic

Meaning and Use

Second Series

Samples from the Other Side

Signs of Something Larger

4. Network-Reasoning

A Problematic Paradigm

Language as an Interlocking Calculus

An Alternate Line of Critique

One-Directional Reasoning

Back to the Beginning

5. Other Worlds

Real Concepts, Unreal Worlds

A Systematic Sampling

Gettier's Counter-Examples

Robot Cats, Sleek Toads, Etc.

Cartesian Selves, Bracketed Worlds

Kripke and Possible Worlds

Retrospect

6. Sources of Essentialism

A First Source: Language

A Second Source: Disregard for Language

A Third Source: The Will

A Fourth Source: Contagion

A Fifth Source: Argument

Alternatives

7. Diagnoses and Prognosis

General Theories: Scheler

Particular Theories: Wittgenstein

Calculus-Reasoning: Pitcher

Network-Reasoning: Graham

Other-Worlds Reasoning: Kripke

Overview

Notes

Works Cited

Index

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