Thursday, July 05, 2012

Philosophy: Traditional and Experimental Readings

I just received notice of a new intro to philosophy reader from OUP, Philosophy: Traditional and Experimental Readings, edited by Fritz Allhoff, Ron Mallon, and Shaun Nichols. The table of contents looks quite interesting, and I may be looking for a new book in the near future. (I'm very peeved about the new edition of Kessler's Voices of Wisdom--very few changes except for the addition of completely pointless color inserts that do nothing but drive up the cost.) The book I currently use is much more "multicultural" and I make some use of that aspect (and it also has very good introductions). But I like OUP products because they're generally good (enough) and the price is usually more right than with other publishers.

The way the book is organized is kind of (not incredibly) funky--which might be good--although one could always complain about what is left out. (And that, no doubt, is dictated in this case by what philosophical topics have received attention and been written about by x-phi folks.)

"Experimental Readings" might be fun. Even though I'm not myself an armchair-burner. Might be an interesting and different way to challenge students to think beyond their initial responses and "intuitions." But I wonder whether such a book might be, as it were, "too fashionable"--too wedded to a still relatively recent hot trend. And whether adopting a book like this already does too much in the way of communicating the idea (which I don't tend to agree with) that philosophy is a "science." ("Experimental" being in the title might be a problem here...but then again, this could be a good way to start various conversations about philosophical method...)

Well, I requested an examination copy, and perhaps I'll follow up on this once I've had a closer look.


  1. one wonders what exactly the wittgenstein excerpt is doing there.

  2. Right. I want to see what kind of material there is (like introductions to readings) surrounding the texts, how much the book is a "pitch" for x-phi.