In the year 2060, sophisticated investigative tools can help catch a killer. But there are some questions even the most advanced technologies cannot answer... Harlan Coben says, “J.D. Robb’s In Death novels are can’t-miss pleasures.” Her latest is no exception, as the priest at a Catholic funeral mass brings the chalice to his lips—and falls over dead... When Detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas confirms that the consecrated wine contained potassium cyanide, she’s determined to solve the murder of Father Miguel Flores, despite (...) her discomfort with her surroundings. It’s not the bodegas and pawn shops of East Harlem that bother her, though the neighborhood is a long way from the stone mansion she shares with her billionaire husband Roarke. It’s all that holiness flying around at St. Christobal’s that makes her uneasy. A search of the victim’s sparsely furnished room reveals little—except for a carefully hidden religious medal with a mysterious inscription, and a couple of underlined Bible passages. The autopsy reveals more: faint scars of knife wounds, a removed tattoo—and evidence of plastic surgery suggesting “Father Flores” may not be the man his parishioners thought. Now, as Eve pieces together clues that suggest identity theft, gang connections, and a deeply personal act of revenge, she hopes to track down whoever committed this unholy act. Until a second murder—in front of an even larger crowd of worshippers—knocks the whole investigation sideways. Raves for the In Death novels: “A taut, nerve-jangling, thriller.”—Ridley Pearson “A thrills-to-chills ratio that will raise the neck hairs of even the most jaded reader.”—Dennis Lehane “An authentic page-turner.”—Stephen King. (shrink)
Analytic philosophy is difficult to define since it is not so much a specific doctrine as a loose concatenation of approaches to problems. As well as having strong ties to scientism -the notion that only the methods of the natural sciences give rise to knowledge -it also has humanistic ties to the great thinkers and philosophical problems of the past. Moreover, no single feature characterizes the activities of analytic philosophers. Undaunted by these difficulties, Avrum Stroll investigates the "family resemblances" between (...) that impressive breed of thinkers known as analytic philosophers. In so doing, he grapples with the point and purpose of doing philosophy: What is philosophy? What are its tasks? What kind of information, illumination, and understanding is it supposed to provide if it is not one of the natural sciences? Imbued with clarity, liveliness, and philosophical sophistication, Stroll´s book presents a synoptic picture of the main developments in logic, philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics in the past century. It does this by concentrating on the individual thinkers whose ideas have been most influential. Major themes in Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy include: · the innovation of mathematical logic by Gottlob Frege at the close of the nineteenth century and its independent development by Bertrand Russell; · the impact of advancements in science on the world of philosophy and its importance for understanding such doctrines as logical positivism, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and eliminative materialism; · the refusal by such thinkers as Wittgenstein, Moore, and Austin to treat logic as an ideal language superior to natural languages; and · a conjecture about which, if any, of the philosophers discussed in the book will enter the pantheon of philosophical gods. Along the way, Stroll also covers the theories of Rudolf Carnap, W. V. O. Quine, Gilbert Ryle, J. L. Austin, Hilary Putnam, Saul Kripke, John Searle, Ruth Marcus, and Patricia and Paul Churchland. Stroll´s approach to his subject treats the critical movements in analytic philosophy in terms of the philosophers who defined them. The notoriously complex realm of analytic philosophy emerges less as an abstract enterprise than as a domain of personalities and their competing methods and arguments. The book´s inventive presentations of complex logical doctrines relate them to the traditional problems of philosophy, seeking the continuity between them rather than polemical distinctions so as to bring the true differences of their respective achievements into sharper focus. (shrink)
Fiction, Reference, and Nonexistence contains a new, contemporary theory of fiction and discusses the connection between language and reality. Martinich and Stroll, two of America's leading philosophers, explore fiction and undertake an analytic philosophical study of fiction and its reference, and its relation to truth.
In this new book, acclaimed scholar Avrum Stroll introduces the legendary philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, first through his unconventional lifestyle, and secondly through Wittgenstein's own greatest works.
In this third edition, the chapter on ethics has been expanded and updated to include material on euthanasia, abortion and censorship. The impact of the break-up of the former communist countries is discussed in the chapter on political philosophy. The book contains new material on artificial intelligence, logic and contemporary philosophy.
The paper deals with Wittgenstein’s treatment of radical skepticism. He holds from his earliest work to his last that skepticism is senseless and therefore no rebuttal, such as G.E. Moore offered, is necessary.
SummaryA new form of expiricism has developed recently which drives a wedge between the principles that science alone will provide a true account of reality and that any such account must be grounded in observation. These empiricists hold firm to the first principle, but have qualified adherence to the second. Using arguments like Putnam's Twin Earth scenario, they contend that a search for reality must go beneath the observable to find the microstructure of substances . Their arguments are fallacious and (...) are susceptible to definite counter‐examples, as the author shows. (shrink)
Avrum Stroll accepts the ancient tradition that one of the tasks of philosophy is to give an accurate account of the world's features, both animate and inanimate. But, he contends, because these features are inexhaustibly complex, no single theory or conceptual model can provide a complete account. Stroll's approach is piecemeal and example-oriented. In stressing the importance of examples, his work runs counter to one of the most powerful and seductive ways of thinking about the world--the Platonic tradition, which denigrates (...) examples in the search for qualities or essences. Stroll favors pluralism, on the ground that this is how the world is.The "landscapes" of the title refers to various conceptual landscapes. Using the methodological approach he calls philosophy by example, the author discusses seven major problems of epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of language: skepticism, direct reference theories and natural kinds, the relationship between the microscopic and macroscopic, the logic of examples, direct reference and fiction, holistic theories of meaning, and direct versus indirect realism in perception. It is the author's method that binds together the different topics, but the method is not the message. What matters are the substantive results. His unique analyses reveal new understandings of some difficult problems. (shrink)
In his article, “Stroll on Russell's ‘Proof’”, Robert Fahrnkopf takes issue with four comments I made about Russell's theory of descriptions in a paper, “Russell's ‘Proof,’” which appeared in the June 1975 issue of this Journal. Though I disagree with Fahrnkopf on the points in question, there would be no point in washing our private conceptual linen in a public place were it not for the ingenious and highly original suggestions he makes in his defense of Russell. I think some (...) additional discussion may be useful in carrying the current debate about the theory a step further. In what follows, I will therefore deal with each of the four points he speaks to. (shrink)
In this paper, I wish to revisit some familiar terrain, namely an argument that occurs in many of Russell's writings on the theory of descriptions and which he repeatedly describes as a “proof.” For the past two decades this argument has been the subject of considerable philosophical controversy. The prevailing view has been that it is invalid. Leonard Linsky, for instance, maintains that it is circular, while Peter Geach, W.V.O. Quine, and Alan White have argued that it equivocates on two (...) different senses of the word “means” and is therefore fallacious. Yet the argument has also had its defenders. In an acute and persuasive paper, R.K. Perkins has recently contended that some of these critics fail to understand that Russell is employing the term “means” in a special and technical sense, where it is equivalent to “naming”, and that when so understood, the argument does in fact go through. (shrink)
In Parts I, II, and III of the paper, the authors show that an argument essential to Alan White's defense of the Correspondence Theory of truth is unsuccessful. They argue that some of the premises of White's argument are false, and others incoherent. They show, further, that certain widely accepted assumptions in the philosophy of language, which underlie White's argument, must also be abandoned. In Part IV, they attempt to say something new about 'true', 'false', truth and falsity, and related (...) notions. They do not offer a competing theory to White's, but instead stress features of the use of these words and concepts which philosophers have either ignored or insufficiently emphasized. (shrink)
Foundationalism, the idea that there is a basic kind of knowledge which is ground-level and hence beyond proof or justification, is one of the oldest themes in philosophy. It has been held by such great philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Wittgenstein and Moore inter alia\ but exactly what they mean by "foundationalism" is seldom carefully or fully articulated. This paper attempts to give such an explication. It holds that a foundationalist theory must satisfy at least nine conditions, vagueness, stratification, (...) nondependence, particularism or methodism, publicity, negational absurdity, absorption, certitude, and the concept of 'standing fast', the last idea deriving from Wittgenstein's On Certainty. (shrink)
Can there be a first-order, philosophical or psychological theory that explains all the facts of surface perception? By ‘first-order’ I mean a theory about the constituents of what J.J. Gibson called ‘the ecological environment’; and by ‘surface perception,’ I mean the perception of the surfaces of any of those ecological constituents that have surfaces. The question about surfaces is important for two reasons. First, as we shall see, they are complex features and, as such, provide a difficult test case for (...) any theory of perception. And, of course, if no theory can handle the case of surface perception it will follow by existential generalization that no first order theory of perception is possible. Second, surfaces play a key, virtually unique, role in human perception. Some account of that role is thus necessary; but if no first order theory is possible, that account will have to be something other than a theory. Since I shall be arguing that no first order theory is possible, I shall propose an alternative way of approaching the topic of surface perception. That surfaces play such an important role in the human perception of the ambient environment has been recognized by many writers. (shrink)
The early formal logicians (Frege, Russell, Peano et al.) were worried about differentiating logic from psychology. As a result, they interpreted logic in the most abstract way possible: as a theory about inference patterns whose terms lacked descriptive content. Such a theory was also acontextual. What they did not realize was that psychological concepts like expecting someone, doubting, pain etc. each had their own logic, a logic that had two features: it was contextually oriented and its concepts had a restricted (...) sensible application. This is still a recognizable sense of logic but broader in scope than the conceptions that Frege and Russell had in mind. (shrink)
SummaryThere is an enormous literature on Moore's so‐called “proof”per se, but practically nothing has been written on the distinctions upon which the proof is bases, such as “being presented in space” and “being met with in space”. These are crucial to the argument, since Moore wishes to draw the line between the external and internal world via such distinctions. The author argues that these distinctions themselves crucially depend on a point that Moore does not argue for, but assumes, namely that (...) afterimages, negative after‐images, some sense‐data and pains are private to those that have them, and that two different people cannot sense numerically the same after‐images, pains etc. The author shows that this assumption is nonsense and that the entire proof, based upon it, therefore fails. (shrink)