Understanding Empiricism
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Series: Understanding Movements in Modern Thought
Author(s): Robert G. Meyers  
ISBN: 1844650596
ISBN-13: 9781844650590
Publication Date: 31/07/2006
Pages: 192 (216 x 138mm)
Format: Paperback
Published Price: £16.99
Discount Price: £13.59
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Understanding Empiricism is an introduction to empiricism and the empiricist tradition in philosophy. The book examines the most important philosophical issues bearing on the subject, while maintaining enough distance from the intricacies of Locke, Berkeley, Hume scholarship to allow readers to gain a clear overview of empiricism without being lost in the details of exegetical disputes concerning particular philosophers.

Robert Meyers begins by distinguishing between the epistemological and psychological versions of empiricism, showing how the former is of primary interest to philosophers. Meyers then provides a lucid introduction to the main protagonists in the British empiricist tradition from this perspective before focusing on some central issues such as foundationalism, the notion of the a priori, the challenge of skepticism, and the status of religious belief within empiricism. The ideas of recent philosophers, including Sellars, Goodman and Quine, are considered alongside the earlier criticisms of Leibniz, Mill and Peirce. The discussions are kept at an introductory level throughout in order to help readers locate the principles of empiricism in relation to modern philosophy.

Understanding Empiricism introduces current problems in the theory of knowledge as well as offering a concise survey of the history of empiricist ideas. It will be welcome reading for courses on epistemology as well as on the history of philosophy.

"A welcome addition to the introductory literature on empiricism, filling a gap between the books that are very heavy on Locke, Berkeley, Hume scholarship, and those that focus purely on contemporary epistemology. I would definitely recommend this book to my undergraduate students." – Graham Stevens, University of Manchester

Robert G. Meyers is Professor of Philosophy at the University at Albany, SUNY.

Introduction: empiricism and rationalism
1. Locke, knowledge and the innate
2. Berkeley's defence of idealism
3. Induction and Hume's empiricism
4. Foundations and empiricism
5. Empiricism and the a priori
6. Empiricism and skepticism
7. Empiricism and religious belief
8. Conclusion: naturalism and empiricism
Questions for discussion and revision
Further reading

Also available in Hardback (1844650588), priced 50.00

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