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  • Knowledge


    • Polity
    • 25 Avril 2013

    Introductions to the theory of knowledge are plentiful, but none introduce students to the most recent debates that exercise contemporary philosophers. Ian Evans and Nicholas D. Smith aim to change that. Their book guides the reader through the standard theories of knowledge while simultaneously using these as a springboard to introduce current debates. Each chapter concludes with a "Current Trends" section pointing the reader to the best literature dominating current philosophical discussion. These include: the puzzle of reasonable disagreement; the so-called "problem of easy knowledge"; the intellectual virtues; and new theories in the philosophy of language relating to knowledge.
    Chapters include discussions of skepticism, the truth condition, belief and acceptance, justification, internalism versus externalism, epistemic evaluation, and epistemic contextualism. Evans and Smith do not merely offer a review of existing theories and debates; they also offer a novel theory that takes seriously the claim that knowledge is not unique to humans. Surveying current scientific literature in animal ethology, they discover surprising sophistication and diversity in non-human cognition. In their final analysis the authors provide a unified account of knowledge that manages to respect and explain this diversity. They argue that animals know when they make appropriate use of the cognitive processes available to animals of that kind, in environments within which those processes are veridically well-adapted.
    Knowledge is a lively and accessible volume, ideal for undergraduate and post-graduate students. It is also set to spark debate among scholars for its novel approaches to traditional topics and its thoroughgoing commitment to naturalism.

  • Thomas Pynchon and the Postmodern Mythology of the Underworld is devoted to the work of one of the most highly acclaimed writers of the post-World War II period of American literature, Thomas Pynchon. Through close readings and broad amplification, this book illustrates that the descent to the underworld is the single most important myth in Pynchon's work, conferring shape and significance upon each of his novels. This book also offers a unique perspective on postmodernism, which is characterized by ludic syncretism - the playful synthesis of myths from a variety of cultures. In addition, Thomas Pynchon and the Postmodern Mythology of the Underworld is a major contribution to the study of myth and literature as a whole, through the definition of what Evans Lansing Smith calls necrotypes - archetypal images catalyzed by the mythology of the underworld. This book employs an interdisciplinary methodology that will be of critical interest to scholars of comparative literature, mythology, and religion; to theorists and critics of modernism and postmodernism; to depth psychologists in the traditions of Jung, Freud, and James Hillman; as well as to the broad base of Pynchon enthusiasts and exponents of popular culture.

  • Covers the latest competing theories in the field Get a handle on the fundamentals of biological and cultural anthropology When did the first civilizations arise? How many human languages exist? The answers are found in anthropology - and this friendly guide explains its concepts in clear detail. You'll see how anthropology developed as a science, what it tells us about our ancestors, and how it can help with some of the hot-button issues our world is facing today. Discover: How anthropologists learn about the past Humanity's earliest activities, from migration to civilization Why our language differs from other animal communication How to find a career in anthropology