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Empty Ideas


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Table of Contents

1. How Empty is Mainstream Philosophy? 2. Promising Examples of Concretely Substantial Philosophy 3. Thinkers and What They Can Think About: Empty Issues and Individualistic Powers 4. The Origins of Material Individuals: Empty Issues and Sequentialistic Powers 5. The Persistence of Material Individuals: Empty Issues and Self-Directed Propensity 6. Empty Debates About Material Matters 7. Individuals, Properties and Time: A Few Substantial Thoughts and Many Empty Ideas 8. What Will Become of Us: Empty Issues and Substantial Speculations 9. When Will There Be Some Serious New Substantial Philosophy?

About the Author

Peter Unger is a Professor of Philosophy at New York University. He is the author of five previous self-standing books, all currently available from the Oxford University Press: Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism; Philosophical Relativity; Identity, Consciousness and Value; Living High and Letting Die: Our Illusion of Innocence; and All the Power in the World. As well, Oxford has published his Philosophical Papers, a two-volume collection of shorter works previously published elsewhere.


"Unger is careful and generous with most of the positions he is criticizing. He succeeds in shifting the burden of proof onto analytic philosophy's defenders...Essential. Upper-level undergraduates and above." --Choice "Empty Ideas has several virtues, all characteristic of good analytic philosophy. It is often bold, clear, intelligent, ingenious, and independent-minded." --Timothy Williamson, Times Literary Supplement "This incisive book lays crucial challenges at the door of mainstream analytic philosophy, for Unger argues persuasively that (contrary to its explicit self-conception), a great deal of recent philosophy has been concerned with merely conceptual issues-nothing 'concretely substantial'. The book is sure to provoke controversy and healthy debate about the role and value of philosophy." - Amie L. Thomasson, Professor of Philosophy and Cooper Fellow, University of Miami "Please read Peter Unger's Empty Ideas. I imagine an incredible amount of debate not just on this work, but based on this work. Well done Unger for starting a kind of philosophical fire, even if you didn't think it would start just the kind of fire you have imagined!" -- Philosophy in Review

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