Constructing the world

David J. Chalmers

David Chalmers develops a picture of reality on which all truths can be derived from a limited class of basic truths. The picture is inspired by Rudolf Carnap's construction of the world in Der Logische Aufbau Der Welt. Carnap's Aufbau is often seen as a noble failure, but Chalmers argues that a version of the project can succeed. With the right basic elements and the right derivation relation, we can indeed construct the world. The focal point of Chalmers' project is scrutability: the thesis that ideal reasoning from a limited class of basic truths yields all truths about the world. Chalmers first argues for the scrutability thesis and then considers how small the base can be. The result is a framework in "metaphysical epistemology": epistemology in service of a global picture of the world. The scrutability framework has ramifications throughout philosophy. Using it, Chalmers defends a broadly Fregean approach to meaning, argues for an internalist approach to the contents of thought, and rebuts W.V. Quine's arguments against the analytic and the a priori. He also uses scrutability to analyze the unity of science, to defend a sort of conceptual metaphysics, and to mount a structuralist response to skepticism. Based on Chalmers's 2010 John Locke lectures, Constructing the World opens up debate on central philosophical issues concerning knowledge, language, mind, and reality.

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  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • How to Read this Book
  • 1. Scrutability and the Aufbau
  • 2. Varieties of Scrutability
  • 3. Adventures with a Cosmoscope
  • 4. The Case for A Priori Scrutability
  • 5. Revisability and Conceptual Change
  • 6. Hard Cases
  • 7. Minimizing the Base
  • 8. The Structure of the World
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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書名 Constructing the world
著作者等 Chalmers, David John
出版元 Oxford University Press
刊行年月 2012
ページ数 xxvi, 494 p.
大きさ 24 cm
ISBN 9780199608577
NCID BB10770209
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言語 英語
出版国 イギリス