The Empiricists represent the central tradition in British philosophy as well as some of the most important and influential thinkers in human history. Their ideas paved the way for modern thought from politics to science, ethics to religion. The British Empiricists is a wonderfully clear and concise introduction to the lives, careers and views of Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Mill, Russell, and Ayer.
Stephen Priest examines each philosopher and their views on a wide range of topics including mind and matter, ethics and emotions, freedom and the physical world, language, truth and logic. The book is usefully arranged so that it can be read by thinker or by topic, or as a history of key philosophical problems and equips the reader to:
- recognize and practice philosophical thinking
- understand the methods of solving philosophical problems used by the British Empiricists
- appreciate the role of empiricism in the history of Western philosophy.
For any student new to philosophy, Western philosophy or the British Empiricists, this masterly survey offers an accessible engaging introduction.
Table of Contents
What is Empiricism? 1. Doing Philosophy and Doing History 2. Defining Empiricism 3. Ants and Spiders 4. Ancient Greek Empiricism and Rationalism 5. Empiricism and Rationalism in Medieval Philosophy 6. The Flight of the Bee 7. Empiricism and American Pragmatism 8. The Logic of Empiricism Hobbes 1. Hobbes in History 2. Mind 3. Language 4. Reason 5. Science 6. Freedom 7. Emotion 8. Religion 9. Nature 10. Ethics 11. Politics Locke 1. Locke in History 2. Innate Ideas 3. Sensation and Reflection 4. Physical Objects 5. Minds 6. Personal Identity 7. Space and Time 8. Numbers 9. Language 10. Causation 11. God 12. Politics Berkeley 1. Berkeley in History 2. Matter 3. Abstract Ideas 4. The Self 5. God and Other Minds 6. Space and Time 7. Numbers 8. Language Hume 1. Hume in History 2. Impressions and Ideas 3. Physical Objects 4. Space and Time 5. Knowledge 6. Causation 7. Personal Identity 8. Mind and Body 9. Freedom 10. Induction 11. Memory and Imagination 12. Religion 13. Ethics 14. Politics 15. Art Mill 1. Mill in History 2. Language 3. Causation 4. Induction 5. Deduction 6. Knowledge 7. Freedom 8. Mind 9. Ethics 10. Politics Russell 1. Russell in History 2. Perception 3. Knowledge 4. Induction 5. Universals 6. Mind and Matter 7. Logical Atomism 8. Meaning and Truth 9. Mathematics 10. Causation 11. Religion Ayer 1. Ayer in History 2. Meaning and Metaphysics 3. Philosophical Analysis 4. Perception 5. Causation 6. Induction 7. Mind and Body 8. Personal Identity 9. Religion 10. Ethics
Stephen Priest is Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford.