September 17, 2009

Author: Duncan Pritchard

Edition: First

Publisher: Palgrave

Pages: 161

Price: £16.99

ISBN: 9780230019447

This slim little book consists of a series of imaginary scenarios intended to highlight “problems” with our definitions of knowledge. Both the series editor and the author make a particular point of saying that it contains little discussion of the views of the great philosophers, saying instead that it cuts straight to the “ideas”, alongside “Pritchard’s own important view”, as the blurb puts it. The advantage of the strategy is that it fits very well with the examples; the disadvantage is that it is skewed towards a technical, jargon-ridden style of analysis rather than anything more truly philosophical. Some of the stories are more thought-provoking than others: does Granny really know that her grandson is well, given that the relatives would always shield her from the news if he were not? Does Farmer Roddy, looking in his field, really see a sheep – or is it a large hairy dog?

Who is it for? Postgraduate philosophy students.

Presentation: Scenarios.

Would you recommend it? With reservations.

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