Reactions and Reviews



Reviews are forthcoming in

Philosophy of Science, by Greg Wheeler, 2007
The Philosophers Magazine, by Vincent F. Hendricks and John Symons, 2006
The Australasian Journal of Philosophy, by Alan Hajek
Philosophy in Review, by Hannes Leitgeb
Theoria, by John Cantwell, 2007
Studia Logica, by Klaus Frovin Jørgensen
Logic and Logical Philosophy, by Amorouche Moktefi, 2007
American Philosophical Quarterly, by Duncan Pritchard
Philosophical Books, by Heinrich Wansing
Weekendavisen, by Frederik Stjernfelt, February 10, 2006
Formal Epistemology on 

This is a fabulous collection. Hendricks and Symons have performed an important service to the entire philosophical community. The interviews are not only rewarding in and of themselves but they will help the reader understand what has been going on and has been achieved in the past fifty years.

Ernie Lepore, Rutgers, NJ, USA

Why do you do philosophy that way? Do you believe all philosophy could be done that way? Do you think it should be done that way? These are questions one seldom asks, except perhaps at dinner. Yet there is a lot  one could learn from the answers, especially when they come from philosophers who do have a distinguished way of doing their job. Formal Philosophy identifies one such way and collects the answers of its eminent practitioners—not the quick answers one might give over an entrecôte, but the answers one gives when seriously prompted to reflect upon their daily profession. An enticing, provocative, completely novel way of surveying the landscape of contemporary philosophy.

Achille Varzi, Columbia University, NY, USA


An interesting collection, and the website has excerpts of interviews with many well-known philosophers and logicians. The autobiographical remarks by Clark Glymour (Carnegie-Mellon) are especially entertaining, but also check out the excerpts from interviews with Dagfinn Follesdal (Stanford/Oslo) discussing the relationship between philosophy and other disciplines; Wolfgang Spohn (Konstanz) reflecting on, as it were, the political economy of the discipline of philosophy over the last 50 years; and Patrick Suppes (Stanford) and Timothy Williamson (Oxford) on "open problems" in philosophy.

Brian Leiter, Leiter Reports, November 11, 2005


More Interviews with Philosophers
From the folks who brought us the book of (often entertaining) interviews with practitioners of "formal philosophy" that we noted some time ago, there now come books of interviews with those who work on philosophy of mathematics, political philosophy, normative ethics, legal philosophy, philosophy of technology, and game theory. As with the formal philosophy volume, excerpts from interviews should be available on-line at the site. I'll post links as I become aware of them.

Brian Leiter, Leiter Reports, August 10, 2006


I just ran across Formal Philosophy, edited by Vincent Hendricks and John Symons (Automatic Press, 2005). It's a priced, printed book consisting of interviews with a large number of philosophers who use formal (i.e. logical and mathematical) methods in their work. What's interesting here is that the publisher has posted substantial excerpts from many of the interviews free online, presumably as an advertisement to help sell the book. Note how much larger these excerpts are than the Google Library snippets that have frightened some publishers into a litigious frenzy. There are probably many books like Formal Philosophy and publishers like Automatic Press. Of course there are also many books for which free online full-text coexists with a priced, print edition and helps boost its sales. This is just a reminder that Pat Schroeder and the AAP don't speak for all book publishers, just as Nick Taylor and the Authors Guild don't speak for all book authors.

Peter Suber, Open Access News, November 17, 2005


What to put under the X-mas tree this year? Vincent F. Hendricks' 'Formal Philosophy'. A series of interviews with some of the top people in formal philosophy the last decades, e.g., van Benthem, S. Haack, D. Føllesdal, J. Hintikka, P. Suppes and T. Williamson. If you want to read some abstracts of the interviews, why don't go here or maybe, if you want the book in time for Christmas, this is where you should go. Mine is already on its way.

Ole Thomassen Hjortland,
Nothing of Consequence, November 16, 2005


Vincent Hendricks and John Symons have a nice edited collection.

Greg Restall, November  2005


There is an interesting book out titled Formal Philosophy. The purpose of the book is to get the views of prominent philosophers on the role of formal methods in philosophy, and philosophy's relation to other fields of inquiry.

John Basl, Normal Science, November 14, 2005


What is the task of philosophy? And what are philosophical methods? Do they differ from scientific methods? And what are the characteristics of a good philosopher? The last question Dagfin Follesdal answers as follows:

"In fact, what characterizes the good philosopher is problem awareness. It is good if a philosopher has imagination and creativity and can communicate clearly and well. However, problem awareness is a sine qua non for a philosopher."

Much more on this topic you can find in the new book "Formal Philosophy", edited by Vincent F. Hendricks and John Symons. Check it out.

Vanessa Morlock, enwe's weblog, November 13, 2005


"No Mere Formality", Vincent F. Hendricks & John Symons.

The Philosophers Magazine, July 2006

Formal Philosophy - the site contains a series of excerpts from a new book of the same name - has been receiving an amount of attention, with That Logic Blog, Log Blog, and Leiter all claiming that it is an interesting collection of interviews with philosophers.

Dialectic, November 16, 2005


The soon-to-be-released Formal Philosophy has a teaser website with some terrific excerpts by philosophers about technical philosophy. See below for highlights, including Clark Glymour's exercises with Spinoza, Jaakko Hintikka on speaking logic like a native, and Krister Segerberg on how to go beyond Aristotle.

Texas A&M University, November 11, 2005




ISBN-10    87-991013-1-9    hardcopy
ISBN-10    87-991013-0-0    paperback
Published by Automatic Press ● VIP, 2005

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