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All We Need Is a Paradigm 

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ISBN 0-8126-9635-2
ISBN-13 978-0-8126-9635-6


428 pages


All We Need Is a Paradigm

Essays on Science, Economics, and Logic from The Harvard Review of Philosophy

Edited by S. Phineas Upham

with contributions by

  • Nick Bostrom
  • George S. Boolos
  • Luciano Berio
  • Rupert Read
  • Ned Hall
  • Julian Barbour
  • Israel M. Kirzner
  • Simon Saunders
  • Michael D. Resnik
  • Marie Mcginn
  • Warren Goldfarb
  • Peter Hylton
  • Richard G.Heck, Jr.
  • William Taschek

All We Need Is a Paradigm collects for the first time in one place some of the most important essays from the Harvard Review of Philosophy. The chapters provide insights into the philosophical underpinnings of the way our world works. Whether they explore rationality, quantum physics, mathematics, or music, the authors strive to deepen our ability to understand the what and how of our surroundings. Do we view the world as it is and can we trust our intuitions about it? How can math and science help us structure and make sense of the world around us, and what are the limitations of this approach? This book asks questions that are crucial to the general reader as well as philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, and other scholars.

Israel Kirzner examines the assumptions about human nature made by economists and the “science of human action.” George Boolos challenges us with the “hardest logic puzzle ever” and gives us its subtle solution. The avant-garde composer Luciano Berio writes about music as a text open to remembering and forgetting, a process which involves developing a personal and active relationship with the text. Simon Saunders looks at the inescapable and disquieting consequences of holding quantum mechanics to be fundamental and suggests solutions. Rupert Read explores the usefulness and limitations of Kuhn’s paradigms for social scientists.

All We Need Is a Paradigm consists of challenging and often entertaining articles, mostly on the philosophy of language, science, and mathematics, but also on economics and music. The authors prove among other things that if you think cars in the other lanes are going faster than yours, they probably are and that you ought to change to another. Any book that solves 'The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever' and contains verse to and about W.V. Quine is worth reading.”

—Al P. Martinich, author of Hobbes: A Biography

“This fine collection of essays from The Harvard Review of Philosophy is representative of the best contemporary work in Anglo-American philosophy. It presents an image of philosophy as a humanistic practice intimately bound up with the sciences according to which philosophy retains a distinctive and important role as a discipline of interpretation, understanding, and conceptual problem-solving. Taken together the chapters deepen our understanding of the logical, mathematical, and metaphysical underpinnings of the physical and human sciences as well as providing powerful interpretations of such modern masters as Frege, Wittgenstein, Quine, Kuhn, and Davidson. The issues are topical and the line-up of philosophers and scholars is first-rate.”

—David Macarthur, co-editor of Naturalism in Question

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