1st Edition

Extreme Philosophy Bold Ideas and a Spirit of Progress

Edited By Stephen Hetherington Copyright 2024
    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    Philosophy’s value and power are greatly diminished when it operates within a too closely confined professional space. Extreme Philosophy: Bold Ideas and a Spirit of Progress serves as an antidote to the increasing narrowness of the field. It offers readers–including students and general readers–twenty internationally acclaimed philosophers who highlight and defend odd, extreme, or ‘mad’ ideas. The resulting conjectures are often provocative and bold, but always clear and accessible.

    Ideas discussed in the book, include:

    • propaganda need not be irrational
    • science need not be rational
    • extremism need not be bad
    • tax evasion need not be immoral
    • anarchy need not be uninviting
    • democracy need not remain as it generally is
    • humans might have immaterial souls
    • human minds might have all-but-unlimited powers
    • knowing might be nothing beyond being correct
    • space and time might not be ‘out there’ in reality
    • value might be the foundational part of reality
    • value might differ in an infinitely repeating reality
    • reality is One
    • reality is vague

    In brief, the volume pursues adventures in philosophy. This spirit of philosophical risk-taking and openness to new, ‘large’ ideas were vital to philosophy’s ancient origins, and they may also be fertile ground today for philosophical progress.

    1. Extreme Philosophy: Some Exploratory Words

    Stephen Hetherington

    2. Monism and the Ontology of Logic

    Samuel Z. Elgin

    3. From Plotinus to Rorty: A History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps

    Shamik Dasgupta

    4. Spatiotemporal Projectivism

    Kristie Miller

    5. Nonsense + Unintelligibility = How to Understand Vagueness

    Nicholas J.J. Smith

    6. Science Is Irrational – and a Good Thing, Too

    Michael Strevens

    7. Knowing as Merely Being Correct

    Stephen Hetherington

    8. Is Philosophy Possible?

    Neil Levy

    9. Mind Unlimited?

    Andy Clark

    10. Disembodied Souls Are People, Too

    Michael Huemer

    11. Repetition and Value in an Infinite Universe

    Eric Schwitzgebel

    12. The Fatalist Is the Most Extreme Extremist

    Roy A. Sorensen

    13. A Defence of Extremism

    David Coady

    14. The (Ir)Rationality of Propaganda

    Catarina Dutilh Novaes

    15. Is Inclusion Good?

    Holly Lawford-Smith

    16. Corruption Empowers: Political Leadership and Moral Degeneracy

    Crispin Sartwell

    17. Power Inversion Democracy

    Alexander Guerrero

    18. Evading and Aiding: The Moral Case Against Paying Taxes

    Jason Brennan, Jessica Flanigan, and Christopher Freiman

    19. Suicide, Organ Donation, and Meaning in Life: Some Disturbing Reflections

    Saul Smilansky


    Stephen Hetherington is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and former Editor-in-Chief of Australasian Journal of Philosophy. His recent books include What Is Epistemology? (Polity, 2019) and Defining Knowledge (Cambridge UP, 2022).