The Nature of Things
Quinton (Anthony)
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Cover Blurb

  1. In this systematic treatise Anthony Quinton examines the concept of substance, a philosophical refinement of the everyday notion of a thing.
  2. Four distinct, but not unconnected, problems about substance are identified:
    • what accounts for the individuality of a thing;
    • what confers identity on a thing;
    • what is the relation between a thing and its appearances; and
    • what kind of thing is fundamental, in the sense that its existence is logically independent of that of any other kind of thing?
  3. In Part I, entitled ‘Substance', the first two problems are discussed, while in Part II, ‘Knowledge', the third and fourth problems are considered.
  4. In Part III, ‘Ideas', the author examines four kinds of thing that have been commonly held to be in some way non-material:
    • abstract entities;
    • the un-observable entities of scientific theory;
    • minds and their states; and, finally
    • values.
  5. He argues that theoretical entities and mental states are, in fact, material. He gives a linguistic account of universals1 and necessary truths and, in the final chapter, advances a naturalistic theory of value.
  6. Anthony Quinton has been a Fellow of New College, Oxford, since 1955. He is a University Lecturer in Philosophy, and has published several books on Philosophy. Professor-Quinton has been President of Trinity College, Oxford, since 1978.
Contents
    Preface and Acknowledgments – ix
    Part I Substance
    Introduction: The four problems of substance
  1. Individuation – 12
  2. Things – 33
  3. Identity – 57
  4. Ultimates – 81
    Part II Knowledge
    Introduction: Knowledge as a system – 109
  5. Intuition – 119
  6. Certainty – 143
  7. Perception – 172
  8. Coherence – 208
    Part III Ideas
    Introduction: Metaphysics – 235
  9. Essence – 252
  10. Theory – 282
  11. Mind – 314
  12. Value – 351
    Bibliography – 381
    Index – 387

BOOK COMMENT:

RKP, 1978 Paperback. First hardback printing 1973.



"Quinton (Anthony) - The Four Problems of Substance"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part I (Substance), Introduction



"Quinton (Anthony) - Individuation"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part I (Substance), Chapter 1


Sections
  • Substance and qualities – 12
  • Ordinal properties – 15
  • Positional properties – 17
  • The elimination of singular terms – 20
  • The identity of indiscernibles – 24
  • Position as substance – 28



"Quinton (Anthony) - Things"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part I (Substance), Chapter 2


Sections
  • Theories of reference – 33
  • Existence and indication – 37
  • The general idea of a thing – 41
  • Matter and extension – 46
  • Nouns and adjectives – 53



"Quinton (Anthony) - Identity"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part I (Substance), Chapter 3


Sections
  • Identity and the necessity of continuants – 57
  • Substance as identifier – 61
  • Spatial continuity – 66
  • The mutual dependence of things and places – 71
  • Non-temporal identity – 75



"Quinton (Anthony) - Ultimates"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part I (Substance), Chapter 4


Sections
  • Eternal things – 81
  • Atoms and infinity – 84
  • Personal identity – 88
  • The soul and personality – 92
  • Ownership and the subject of experience – 97
  • Two conceptions of personality – 103



"Quinton (Anthony) - Knowledge as a System"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part II (Knowledge), Introduction



"Quinton (Anthony) - Intuition"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part II (Knowledge), Chapter 5


Sections
  • The regress of justification – 119
  • The concept of intuition – 123
  • Ostensive statements – 126
  • Innate ideas – 130
  • Basic statements – 134
  • The correspondence theory – 139



"Quinton (Anthony) - Certainty"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part II (Knowledge), Chapter 6


Sections
  • The concept of certainty – 143
  • Scepticism and fallibilism – 149
  • Two arguments for certainty – 155
  • Incorrigibility and language – 161
  • The falsification of sense-statements – 166



"Quinton (Anthony) - Perception"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part II (Knowledge), Chapter 7


Sections
  • Theories of perception – 172
  • Illusions and appearances – 177
  • Certainty and inference – 184
  • Science and perception: space gap and time gap – 194
  • Secondary qualities and the fine structure of matter – 202



"Quinton (Anthony) - Coherence"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part II (Knowledge), Chapter 8


Sections
  • Against foundations – 208
  • The coherence theory – 213
  • Peirce on intuition and inquiry – 218
  • Popper's theory of knowledge – 223



"Quinton (Anthony) - Metaphysics"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part III (Ideas), Introduction



"Quinton (Anthony) - Essence"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part III (Ideas), Chapter 9


Sections
  • Abstract reference – 252
  • Universals1 – 257
  • Nominalism – 259
  • Natural classes – 263
  • Necessary truth – 265
  • Tautologies and convention – 270
  • Logical truths – 276



"Quinton (Anthony) - Theory"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part III (Ideas), Chapter 10


Sections
  • The nature of science – 282
  • Positivism and realism – 288
  • Critique of positivism – 294
  • Observability – 300
  • Causal connections – 307



"Quinton (Anthony) - Mind"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part III (Ideas), Chapter 11


Sections
  • Dualism – 314
  • Problems of dualism – 319
  • Behaviourism – 322
  • Materialism – 330
  • The mind and space – 334
  • Consciousness – 337



"Quinton (Anthony) - Value"

Source: Quinton - The Nature of Things; Part III (Ideas), Chapter 12


Sections
  • Fact, value and antinaturalism – 351
  • The practicality of value – 355
  • Refutation of noncognitivism – 362
  • Action, value and desire – 366
  • The nature of morality – 374



Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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