This book is based on previously unpublished lectures that Wisdom delivered at the University of Virginia. Its content goes significantly beyond that of his other books. Here he is concerned with how misunderstandings about what it is to prove something or what it is to explain something can infect our thinking in many different fields.
Professor Wisdom gives an elementary introduction to the applications in philosophy of the analytical method. He believes that the aim of analysis is clarity, whereas the aim of speculative philosophy is truth. After a brief introduction on what analysis is, he discusses the relation of body and mind and seeks for causal relations between mental and material events. He concludes this section with a chapter on Free will, before turning to perception and the external world.
Originally published in 1952. This book is a critical survey of the views of scientific inference that have been developed since the end of World War I. It contains some detailed exposition of ideas – notably of Keynes – that were cryptically put forward, often quoted, but nowhere explained. Part I discusses and illustrates the method of hypothesis. Part II concerns induction. Part III considers aspects of the theory of probability that seem to bear on the problem of induction and (...) Part IV outlines the shape of this problem and its solution take if transformed by the present approach. (shrink)