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Philosophical Papers (Clarendon Paperbacks) Paperback – January 25, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0192830210 ISBN-10: 019283021X Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Series: Clarendon Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 3 edition (January 25, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019283021X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192830210
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

J. L. Austin is at University of Oxford.

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 1996
Format: Hardcover
After Wittgenstein's _Philosophical Investigations_ itself, no work more clearly demonstrates the power of using language analysis to begin to clarify traditional questions of philosophy.

Although Austin was not the originator of these techniques, he towered over everyone else in the field, setting new standards of subtelty and venturing into entirely new areas of inquiry. His papers, the most important of which are collected in this volume, are brilliant, witty and powerfully intellectual. For the general reader, they will show a new way of thinking about questions of philosophy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Austin, Professor of moral philosophy at Oxford, died in 1960 before reaching age 50. He was possibly one of the most influential abstract thinkers who ever thought an abstraction, but we have to gain our own knowledge of this brilliant mind from collections of his lectures and his articles in philosophical journals. The Philosophical Papers is a miscellaneous assemblage of his writings on a number of topics, and it has grown by several items since I last and first read it 45 years ago. The articles are of differing degrees of complexity, but Austin is never obscure and he has a delightful turn of phrase. Two pieces here partly address a couple of my own favourite conundrums - free will vs determinism is touched on in Ifs and Cans, and the first piece deals with a number of the questions that bother me in Aristotle's supposed identification of `happiness' as being the `end' or main objective of life. I would also have loved to set an exam question inviting candidates to discuss the proposition on p34 `myths are invented about our "contemplation" of ursaneivls' for the sake of seeing someone set about it; but alas this unfamiliar term is only a printer's pie for `universals'.

Whether or not Austin pronounced any doctrines, he certainly established a method. The great philosophers have in general tried to create or identify some over-arching theoretical scheme for organising human thought, and in general they finish up like mechanics with several parts left over after supposedly completing their work on the car - it never seems to fit exactly. You can read Austin's own basic manifesto here in A Plea for Excuses, the most relaxed and informal item in this collection.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Having a long interest in the philosophy of language (particularly Wittgenstein) this book was an exciting find! What I see in both authors is an appreciation for the fact that words have many meanings. Parts of this book suggest that the philosophical endeavor to isolate the 'singular' meaning of any given word may be futile. To people interested in the philosophy of language, this topic seems to have large implications for the history of philosophy. Books in this topic area or genre are not for everyone and are best appreciated given a background in the philosophy of language. The book covers lots of topics, and the author acknowledges that some chapters deal with questions that are not large in the larger philosophical scheme. Still the author's style is strait forward, and this is a plus.
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