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Philosophical Interpretations

Robert J. Fogelin

Published in print April 1992 | ISBN: 9780195071627
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833221 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019507162X.001.0001
Philosophical Interpretations

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The essays in this volume are, with some exceptions, efforts to make sense out of difficult or problematic philosophical texts. Some of these readings depart, sometimes radically, from standard readings. Yet the principles of interpretation that underlie these essays are not themselves radical. The interpretations are governed by a semantic principle of charity, namely, that there is a very strong presumption in favor of holding that philosophers meant to say precisely what they did say, and that what they did say means precisely what it seems to mean. This approach encourages close reading of the text.

Six of these essays exhibit this “close reading” approach: “Three Platonic Analogies,” “A Reading of Aquinas's Five Ways,” “Hume and Berkeley on the Proofs of Infinite Divisibility,” “Hume on the Missing Shade of Blue,” “Hume's Worries about Personal Identity,” and, “Wittgenstein on Identity.”

Though driven by the same principle of interpretation, other essays have a broader scope: “The Tendency of Hume's Skepticism,” and “Wittgenstein and Classical Skepticism.” Only two of these essays are technical: “Hamilton's Quantification of the Predicate” and “[Wittgenstein on] Negative Elementary Proposition.”

Keywords: Aquinas; Berkeley; The Divided Line; Hamilton; Hume; identity; Kant; Plato; Wittgenstein

Book.  264 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Philosophical Interpretations

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Three Platonic Analogies in Philosophical Interpretations

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A Reading of Aquinas's Five Ways in Philosophical Interpretations

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Hume and the Missing Shade of Blue in Philosophical Interpretations

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Hume's Worries About Personal Identity in Philosophical Interpretations

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What Hume Actually Said About Miracles in Philosophical Interpretations

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The Tendency of Hume's Skepticism in Philosophical Interpretations

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