- Paperback: 636 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (11 April 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415259215
- ISBN-13: 978-0415259217
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.7 x 23.4 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 731,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Epistemology: Contemporary Readings (Routledge Contemporary Readings in Philosophy) Paperback – 11 Apr 2002
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"An excellent collection of essays. It has a nice balance between traditional and contemporary sources."
-Peter Klein, Rutgers University
"A very useful volume- a user-friendly way of exposing students to classic readings plus more recent continuations of those debates."
-Miranda Fricker, Heythrop College, London
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).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
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.