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The Quest for Reality: Subjectivism & the Metaphysics of Colour Paperback – March 14, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0195151886 ISBN-10: 0195151887

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"This strange and absorbing book sets out to undermine the central metaphysical ambition which has dominated philosophy since the 17th century - that of reachinga comprehensive understanding of the world, consistent with modern science, which distinguishes between what exists objectively, independent of our minds, and what is merely subjective - due to the effects of the world on our minds and our responses to it.
Barry Stroud writes against the temper of the times. [His] style is clear, explicit, methodical and relentless. He tries to block every exit. The Quest for Reality displays a profound grasp of the history and logical structure of philosophical problems and theories, and a feeling for the derangement of thought that underlies them.
Whatever one thinks of the conclusion, it is illuminating to think through the argument. This is philosophy of an exemplary purity, tenacity, and depth." -- Thomas Nagel, The London Review of Books


About the Author


Barry Stroud is Mills Professor of Metaphysics and Epistemology at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Hume (1977) and The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism (1984).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195151887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195151886
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.7 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,881,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Flounder on November 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This text reflects Stroud in top form. Clear. Direct. No nonsense. His methodological approach to philosophical inquiry is "descriptive" and quietist. He addresses several concerns in metaphysics: color perception, realism, reductionism, and subjectivism. The main strength of Quest is Stroud's rigorous identification of subjectivism as a serious philosophical problem. If you read one philosophy book written in the last five years, I would put this one at the top of the list. If you get no further in your reading than the Preface and Introduction (which would be a shame), that alone would delight and serve you well.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ramon Casares on May 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
The book explores the reduction of colors to physics. The conclusion is that it is not possible to say that things are really colorless without knowledge of what color really is. As Stroud writes it, "you cannot [...] say that you are not talking without talking" (page 67). But, as he notes wisely, this does not mean that it is impossible for you not to talk. In the case of colors, the impossibility of the metaphysical reduction of colors does not imply that things are really colored nor imply that things are really colorless.
The book keeps its focus and does not go further. Or, at first, it seemed so to me. Because after finishing the book I realized that its title, "The Quest for Reality", is much more general. Perhaps the book intention is to show an example that reality---the world as it is independently of us---is out of our reach. But I am not sure, because the author rejects explicitly Kant's theory (page 196).
The book deserves full five stars, but I would only recommend it to someone interested in metaphysics.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Cohen on October 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Quest for Reality is clearly and forcefully written, and poses important challenges to the varieties of color irrealism and color subjectivism it discusses. While I don't regard these challenges as uniformly successful, what Stroud says about these topics is engaging and fresh.
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