From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis

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Clarendon Press, 2000 - Philosophy - 174 pages
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Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as a basic method of philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and, Jackson suggests, widely misunderstood; he argues that there is nothing especially mysterious about it and a whole range of important questions cannot be productively addressed without it. He anchors his argument in discussion of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on,via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion and change, to the philosophy of colour and to ethics. The significance of different kinds of supervenience theses, Kripke and Putnam's work in the philosophy of modality and language, and the role of intuitions about possible cases receive detailed attention. Jackson concludes with a defence of a version of analytical descriptivism in ethics. In this way the book not only offers a methodological programme for philosophy, but also throws fascinating new light on some much-debated problems and their interrelations.

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References to this book

Paul Horwich
Limited preview - 1998
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About the author (2000)

Frank Jackson is Professor of Philosophy in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University.

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