Saturday, January 03, 2009

Sitting in the UL tearoom ...

Actually, I fib: I'm not in the University Library tearoom right now -- I meant to post from there, but I got talking to one of our grad students (about Parsons on impredicativity, what else?), and the opportunity passed. But I'd been musing a bit earlier, sitting in the book stacks, on why -- with one of the greatest lending libraries in the English-speaking world more or less on my doorstep -- I should still be so tempted to buy philosophy books. Of course it is good having a "working library" at home: but that only excuses buying books you know you need, rather than buying in a much more speculative way. There are no doubt some deep irrational motivations at work: but despite myself, I keep being tempted. Here's what I've just bought, on the basis of browsing in Heffers:

  1. Penelope Maddy, Second Philosophy (OUP, 2007). Well, a student who'd in the past done some work on earlier Maddy wanted to write another paper on naturalism -- so I suggested we both read this.
  2. C. S. Jenkins, Grounding Concepts: An Empirical Bass for Arithmetical Knowledge (OUP, 2008). Carrie gently chided me for not mentioning her book in my 'What have missed?' post. Knowing a bit about 'where she is coming from' I'm not sure I'm going be persuaded; but this is written with entirely admirable directedness and clarity, so it will be a pleasure to read.
  3. E. J. Lowe and A. Rami (eds) Truth and Truth-making (Acumen, 2009). Well, I'll read this just because I should get more on top of this stuff.
  4. W. V. Quine, Confessions of a Confirmed Extensionalist and Other Essays, ed D. Follesdal and D. B. Quine (Harvard U.P., 2008). I guess in lots of ways my instincts are still quite Quinean, such was his influence when I was a lad! So a must-have, for old times sake. And not that expensive for such a beautifully produced book.
  5. Alexander Bird, Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties (OUP, 2007). Like the Maddy book, another rather belated bit of catching up.
  6. Jonathan Barnes, Truth, etc.: Six Lectures on Ancient Logic (OUP, 2007). This was the serendipitous find from browsing. Just looks a fascinating and a fun read.
So now I simply need the time to read them .... I keep telling myself that I don't really believe in too much of this philosophy stuff: but then I get drawn back in!


Carrie Jenkins said...

"Carrie gently chided me for not mentioning her book ... "

Well, seeing as it's still technically the season of goodwill, I'm prepared to overlook this (albeit grave) mistake on the basis of what you say here. :)

Happy New Year, and feel free to send me any comments you might have (good or bad) on GC.

Peter Smith said...

[A rather unnecessarily rude comment -- not about me, but about one of the mentioned authors -- deleted.]