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Epistemology: Contemporary Readings (Routledge Contemporary Readings in Philosophy) Paperback – 11 Apr 2002

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Epistemology: Contemporary Readings (Routledge Contemporary Readings in Philosophy) + Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy) + Epistemology: An Anthology
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'A very useful volume - a user-friendly way of exposing students to classic readings plus more recent considerations of those debates.' - Miranda Fricker, Heythrop College, London 'An excellent collection of essays. It has a nice balance between traditional and contemporary sources.' - Peter Klein, Rutgers University 'An excellent anthology.' - Quentin Smith, University of Michigan

About the Author

Michael Huemer is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is the author of Skepticism and the Veil of Perception (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001).
Robert Audi is Professor of Philosophy at Lincoln University, Nebraska. He is regarded as one of the top experts in epistemology. His numerous previous publications include Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge 1998), Practical Reasoning (Routledge, 1996), Moral Knowledge and Moral Character (OUP, 1997). He is also editor of the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (CUP, 1999).

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According to common sense, perception, the exercise of the five senses, is the chief means by which we know about the world around us. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Anthology of Epistemology and Its History 30 May 2004
By ctdreyer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Huemer's anthology is intended to complement Robert Audi's introduction to the epistemology in the Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy series. And, as one would expect, it is an ideal text to be read in conjunction with Audi's book. Almost all the subjects discussed in that book--the exceptions being moral and religious knowledge--are given corresponding sections in this anthology. Nevertheless, I see no reason why this book needs to be used in conjunction with the other book. It is a perfectly fine selection of readings for a person who wants a picture of some of the main areas of debate in epistemology. For those who may be coming to the book without the background provided by reading Audi's introductory text, Huemer provides a short introduction to the subject matter of each chapter. And it seems he has chosen historical selections that help the reader to understand the nature of the problems being discussed in each of the sections and why someone might think those problems are important ones.
A signal virtue of this book is that it is helpful in introducing both contemporary and historical work in epistemology. Is it somewhat paradoxical that almost half of a volume in a series called Routledge Contemporary Readings in Philosophy should consist of historical papers? Somewhat so, perhaps, but it isn't all that surprising in a philosophy text. For, as any student of philosophy can tell you, the history of philosophy isn't just history; it's also crucial for understanding the nature of the problems with which philosophers are dealing and the possible solutions that can be offered in response to those problems. And this volume is quite good at introducing the history of philosophical thought about the nature, structure, and varieties of human knowledge. Its coverage of the history of the subject in modern philosophy is especially good, as it includes several selections from Hume and from Reid, along with selections from Locke, Berkeley, Kant. It also provides the reader with a introduction to the history of epistemological thought in the twentieth century, as it includes work by important figures from the earlier part of the century--Russell, Moore, and Ayer--and work by important mid-century figures, like Quine, Austin, and Goodman. Huemer also throws in a few selections from the ancients.
Though this volume is not edited by the author of the Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy, it is intended as a companion volume to that book. It takes its form Audi's introduction, in that it shifts the usual focus in introducing epistemology to the beginning student of the subject. Instead of beginning with skeptical challenges and with general issues about the nature and structure of knowledge, this volume, like Audi's introduction, begins by focusing on more particular forms of knowledge and the ways in which we can acquire them. Huemer has included sections on each of the following types of knowledge: knowledge acquired through perception, through memory, through the testimony of others, through reason (i.e. and a priori knowledge), and through inductive inferences. Most of the historical material is in these sections of the anthology--but all of these sections include at least a couple papers by contemporary figures as well.
The latter half of the volume concerns the general issues about the nature and structure of knowledge on which contemporary epistemologists tend to focus their research. Here the discussion is on the usual topics: foundationalism vs. coherentism, skepticism, the analysis of knowledge. These sections tend to include more readings than the sections discussed above, and thus, even though only half the anthology is concerned with these general issues, it still provides an excellent introduction to them. The reader should note that there isn't any separate section on internalist vs. externalist accounts of knowledge, though this topic comes up in both the section on skepticism and the section on the analysis of knowledge.
This is a very good anthology, and it's especially good for the price. It covers quite a bit of material, and it covers it quite well. The only possible problem one might have with this anthology is that its coverage of contemporary epistemology isn't as extensive as it might have been. But, importantly, it is intended as an introduction to work in both contemporary and historical epistemology rather than as an exhaustive survey of the subject. (For a more in-depth anthology in contemporary epistemology, check out the Epistemology volume edited by Sosa and Kim and published in Blackwell's Philosophy Anthologies series.)
I'd recommend this anthology for classes aimed at undergraduate students and for anyone with some philosophical background who's interested in epistemology.
Four Stars 15 Feb. 2015
By Brittany Prather - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A good emersion into epistomology 7 Mar. 2006
By Iam Bloom - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is great for an overview of the different issues that are dealt with in the study of knowledge. It takes a great sampling of those philosophers that have made a lot of contributions to the field. My only issue with the text is that it only seems to wet your appetite for the material before they move on to the next topic.
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