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Facing Facts Hardcover – February 7, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0199247158 ISBN-10: 0199247153 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition edition (February 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199247153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199247158
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,896,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Neale's book is written with such thoroughness, clarity, and rigor...No one with an interest in intensionality or the semantics of descriptions will want to miss this book."--John MacFarlane, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews


"Neale's book is meticulous in its scholarship, compellingly written and rigorously argued...It demands to be read by anyone interested in slingshot arguments."--New Books


About the Author


Stephen Neale is Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book made me see how hard formal philosophy is and also how rewarding it is when it's done well. Many philosophers today seem to take extreme positions and then justify them with clever (or not so clever arguments). S. Neale seems to have no time for this procedure. The "slingshot" arguments in logic have been used by famous philosophers (Quine, Godel, Davidson, Church) to justify extreme views, and other philosophers have tried to pick holes in the logic. Neale builds up everything very slowly. You can learn a lot by going carefully through his intro chapters, especially the one on D. Davidson. He shows in the end that the slinsghot arguments are much more compicated than the pro and anti folk thought because of issues with descriptions (the connection with Neale's other book). Both sides have been too vague and too careless. The slingshots do have real consequences but not as crushing as the pro folk thought. Neale's arguments and proofs are completely convincing. This is a very hard book (especially near the end) but it is totally clear and well written and really worth reading. It's impossible not to have great respect for such careful work.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Randall Helzerman on October 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Even the most jaded observer of philosophy as its practiced today has to be cheered by this book. For Neale shows that philosophy at its best can rise above the endless confusion and ego-driven obfuscation which is unfortunatly so prevalent. Neale's superpower is discernment; he can really frame an argument, and in this book he has what may very well be the last word on the slingshot.

One bonus of this book is Neale's chapter summarizing Donald Davidson's project. A must-read for those new to Davidson and wanting to quickly get a grip on the most important of Davidson's theses. Davidson himself had many nice things to say about this chapter and its ancestors. In one place Davidson calls it a "masterful" summary (in "Donald Davidson", edited by Urzula M. Zeglen) and in another place he says that "Fortunatly Stephen Neale has...expressed my view on truth and representation with great clarity, and has emphasized distinctions I apparently have not adequately stressed." If you're new to Davidson, reading this chapter can literally save you years of study, as Neale has done a lot of the heavy-lifting of synthesizing and summarizing for you.
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11 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Neale's second book, Facing Facts, is not in the same league as his first book, Descriptions, which had a justly large impact on the field. It is a repetitive slog through well-known territory. The problems with the Slingshot Argument against the existence of facts have been known for decades, and despite many pages advocating the importance and impact of this insipid and inconsequential footnote to 20th century philosophy, in the end, the Slingshot Argument is rejected for the reasons we've been familiar with for two decades.
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