Connections to the World: The Basic Concepts of Philosophy

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9780060916411: Connections to the World: The Basic Concepts of Philosophy

Arthur C. Danto's lucid introduction to the central topics of Western philosophical thought remains an unparalleled guide to problems in metaphysics and epistemology that have engaged philosophers for several millennia. Examining the work of Plato, Berkeley, Descartes, Hume, and Wittgenstein, Danto explores debates about empiricism, the mind/body problem, the nature of matter, and the status of language, consciousness, and scientific explanation. In a new preface to this edition he considers the current relationship between philosophy and the humanities.

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Review:

Reading Connections to the World is like ascending the stairs of an observatory and listening to an astronomer explain the latest theories of cosmology. Philosopher Arthur Danto turns his telescope on the distant notions of appearance and reality and explains how they have shaped certain key philosophical debates, especially in regard to knowledge, mind, language, and causation. His writing is so clear and free of philosophical jargon that readers imperceptibly finds themselves beyond just an introduction and on the very forefront of modern philosophy. Unusual in a philosopher, Danto has a knack for getting right to the point and never weighs down his writing with impressive words or outworn theories.

About the Author:

Arthur C. Danto is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Columbia University and art critic for The Nation. He is a past president of the American Philosophical Association and the author of more than fifteen books, including Encounters and Reflections (California paperback, 1996) and Playing with the Edge: The Photographic Achievement of Robert Mapplethorpe (California, 1995).

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