Second Philosophy: A Naturalistic Method

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Overview

Many philosophers these days consider themselves naturalists, but it's doubtful any two of them intend the same position by the term. In Second Philosophy, Penelope Maddy describes and practices a particularly austere form of naturalism called "Second Philosophy". Without a definitive criterion for what counts as "science" and what doesn't, Second Philosophy can't be specified directly ("trust only the methods of science" for example), so Maddy proceeds instead by illustrating the behaviors of an idealized inquirer she calls the "Second Philosopher". mhis Second Philosopher begins from perceptual common sense experimentation, theory formation and testing, working all the while to asses, correct and improve her methods as she goes. Second Philosophy is then the result of the Second Philosopher's investigations.

Maddy delineates the Second Philosopher's approach by tracing her reactions to various familiar skeptical and transcendental views (Descartes, Kant, Carnap, late Putnam, van Fraassen), comparing her methods to those of other self-described naturalists (especially Quine), and examining a prominent contemporary debate (between disquotationalists and correspondence theorists in the theory of truth) to extract a properly second-philosophical line of thought. She then undertakes to practice Second Philosophy in her reflections on the ground of logical truth, the methodology, ontology and epistemology of mathematics, and the general prospects for metaphysics naturalized.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book is excellent: the thesis is refreshing, the presentation clear and forthright, the argumentation careful, the research thorough and informed. It contains a wealth of material that should appeal to far more readers than those of us who are already susceptible to second philosophy. It presents the best exploration and defense of naturalism I know of."—Michael Liston, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199273669
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Penelope Maddy is UCI Distinguished Professor of Logic & Philosophy of Science and of Mathematics at the University of California at Irvine.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Part I: What is Second Philosophy?
1. Descartes' first philosophy
2. Neo-Cartesian skepticism
3. Hume's naturalism
4. Kant's transcendentalism
5. Carnap's rational reconstruction
6. Quine's naturalism
7. Putnam's anti-naturalism
Part II: The Second Philosopher at Work
8. What's left to do?
9. An illustration: truth and reference
10. Reconfiguring the debate
11. Disquotation
12. Minimalism
13. Correlation
Part III: A Second Philosophy of Logic
14. Naturalistic options
15. Kant on logic
16. Undoing the Copernican revolution
17. The logical structure of the world
18. The logical structure of cognition
19. The status of rudimentary logic
20. From rudimentary to classical logic
21. Caveats
Part IV: Second Philosophy and Mathematics
22. Second philosophy of science
23. Mathematics in application
24. Second methodology of mathematics
25. Second philosophy of mathematics
26. Second metaphysics
Bibliography

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