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A World of States of Affairs (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy) Hardcover – March 13, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0521580649 ISBN-10: 0521580641

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book is a work of philosophy in the grand tradition." James O. Young, Philosophy in Review

"The book is simply first rate." Dialogue

Book Description

In this important study D. M. Armstrong offers a comprehensive system of analytical metaphysics that synthesizes but also develops his thinking over the last twenty years. Armstrong's analysis, which acknowledges the 'logical atomism' of Russell and Wittgenstein, makes facts (or states of affairs, as the author calls them) the fundamental constituents of the world, examining properties, relations, numbers, classes, possibility and necessity, dispositions, causes and laws. It will appeal to a wide readership in analytical philosophy.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Philosophy
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (March 13, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521580641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521580649
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,339,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on November 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Never mind that I am dismayed by the entire "analytic turn" in twentieth-century philosophy; never mind that I disagree with the physicalist view of the mind; never mind that I regard some form of rationalism as, in the final analysis, the only genuinely empirical philosophical outlook. I really enjoy reading David Malet Armstrong's work.

Not that I agree with him very often! But he is a wonderfully engaging writer on philosophical topics. And in this volume he is recapping (and building on) some two or three decades' worth of effort in the construction of what he hopes is a plausible empiricist metaphysics.

He expounds clearly and lucidly on the sorts of things there ultimately are; whether there are universals; the nature of causality and scientific law; what empiricists should do with problematic entities like numbers and sets; the nature of possibility and necessity, and what in the world an empiricist can mean by either one; and any number of interesting side points -- always clearly, always interestingly, and always ordered by Armstrong's tremendous organizational skills.

(The title of the book, by the way, expresses his view that the universe consists of "states of affairs," a state of affairs being one of the following: (a) the possession of a property -- which he takes, I think correctly, to be a universal -- by what he calls a "thin particular," which is a sort of coat-hanger for properties; or (b) the obtaining of a relation between/among two or more such particulars.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Moustafa on August 2, 2014
Format: Paperback
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