Philosophical Devices by David Papineau

I was recently able to get my hands on Philosophical Devices: Proofs, Probabilities, Possibilities, and Sets.

Philosophical Devices

The purpose of this book is that it intends to be an introduction to technical ideas that are used in contemporary philosophical discussions. So if you look at the basic outline of the chapters, which have subsections in the book, you’ll figure there is going to be a discussion involving naive set theory, infinite sets, probability, modality, epistemology, logic, etc.

When I bought this book I actually thought it was going to be more technical than what it was, but I think for the intended audience it’s at about the right level. If I remember right, all but two chapters have exercises at the end with answers in the back of the book. Additionally, there is a further reading section right before the exercises so if you are interested in studying a topic in more depth you are given resources to do so. I found that to be very helpful. Now, I think if you have studied set theory, probability, epistemology, logic, and metaphysics then chances are good that you already know most of the material in this book.

I really do not … Read more