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Philosophical Method

A Very Short Introduction

Timothy Williamson (University of Oxford)

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Oxford University Press
10 September 2020
What are philosophers trying to achieve? How can they succeed? Does philosophy make progress? Is it in competition with science, or doing something completely different, or neither?

Timothy Williamson tackles some of the key questions surrounding philosophy in new and provocative ways, showing how philosophy begins in common sense curiosity, and develops through our capacity to dispute rationally with each other. Discussing philosophy's ability to clarify our thoughts, he explains why such clarification depends on the development of philosophical theories, and how those theories can be tested by imaginative thought experiments, and compared against each other by standards similar to those used in the natural and social sciences. He also shows how logical rigour can be understood as a way of enhancing the explanatory power of philosophical theories. Drawing on the history of philosophy to provide a track record of philosophical thinking's successes and failures, Williams overturns widely held dogmas about the distinctive nature of philosophy in comparison to the sciences, demystifies its methods, and considers the future of the discipline.

From thought experiments, to deduction, to theories, this Very Short Introduction will cause you to totally rethink what philosophy is.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Previously published in hardback as Doing Philosophy
By:   Timothy Williamson (University of Oxford)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 175mm,  Width: 114mm,  Spine: 9mm
Weight:   124g
ISBN:   9780198810001
ISBN 10:   0198810008
Series:   Very Short Introductions
Pages:   160
Publication Date:   10 September 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Timothy Williamson is the Wykeham Professor of Logic at the University of Oxford, and A. Whitney Griswold Visiting Professor at Yale University. Previously he was the Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at Edinburgh University. He has published books and articles on many branches of philosophy, some of which have been translated into German, Spanish, French, Italian, Hungarian, Serbian, Turkish, Chinese, Korean, and other languages. He frequently writes on philosophy in the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times blog The Stone, and newspapers in various countries.

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