Case Studies in Recent Analytic Philosophy
Drawing upon the work of Quine, Rawls, Rorty and others, Gutting challenges the standard view about what philosophers have achieved.
Philosophy has never delivered on its promise to settle the great moral and religious questions of human existence, and even most philosophers conclude that it does not offer an established body of disciplinary knowledge. Gary Gutting challenges this view by examining detailed case studies of recent achievements by analytic philosophers such as Quine, Kripke, Gettier, Lewis, Chalmers, Plantinga, Kuhn, Rawls, and Rorty. He shows that these philosophers have indeed produced a substantial body of disciplinary knowledge, but he challenges many common views about what philosophers have achieved. Topics discussed include the role of argument in philosophy, naturalist and experimentalist challenges to the status of philosophical intuitions, the importance of pre-philosophical convictions, Rawls' method of reflective equilibrium, and Rorty's challenge to the idea of objective philosophical truth. The book offers a lucid survey of recent analytic work and presents a new understanding of philosophy as an important source of knowledge.
Introduction; Part I. How Does That Go? The Limits of Philosophical Argument: 1. Quine's 'Two Dogmas': argument or imagination?; 2. Argument and intuition in Kripke's Naming and Necessity; 3. The rise and fall of counterexamples: Gettier, Goldman, and Lewis; 4. Reflection: pictures, intuitions, and philosophical knowledge; Part II. Arguments and Convictions: 5. Turning the tables: Plantinga and the rise of the philosophy of religion; 6. Materialism and compatibilism: two dogmas of analytic philosophy?; 7. Was there a Kuhnian revolution? Convictions in the philosophy of science; 8. Conviction and argument in Rawls' A Theory of Justice; Part III. Philosophical Truth and Knowledge: 9. Rorty against the world: philosophy, truth, and objectivity; 10. Philosophical knowledge: summary and application; References.