Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press (2019)
Bertrand Russell famously distinguished between ‘Knowledge by Acquaintance’ and ‘Knowledge by Description’. For much of the latter half of the Twentieth Century, many philosophers viewed the notion of acquaintance with suspicion, associating it with Russellian ideas that they would wish to reject. However in the past decade or two the concept has undergone a striking revival in mainstream ‘analytic’ philosophy – acquaintance is, it seems, respectable again. This is the first collection of new essays devoted to the topic of acquaintance, featuring contributions from many of the world’s leading experts in this area. The volume showcases the great variety of topics in philosophy of mind, epistemology and philosophy of language for which philosophers are currently employing the concept of acquaintance. This book features an extensive introduction by one of the editors, which provides some historical background as well as summarizing the main debates and issues in contemporary philosophy where appeals to acquaintance are currently being made. The remaining thirteen essays are grouped thematically into the following four sections: (1) Phenomenal Consciousness, (2) Perceptual Experience, (3) Reference, (4) Epistemology.