Constructing the World Hardback
David Chalmers develops a picture of reality on which all truths can be derived from a limited class of basic truths. The picture is inspired by Rudolf Carnap's construction of the world in Der Logische Aufbau Der Welt. Carnap's Aufbau is often seen as a noble failure, but Chalmers argues that a version of the project can succeed. With the right basic elements and the right derivation relation, we can indeed construct the world.
The focal pointof Chalmers' project is scrutability: the thesis that ideal reasoning from a limited class of basic truths yields all truths about the world. Chalmers first argues for the scrutability thesis and then considers how small the base can be. The result is a framework in "metaphysical epistemology": epistemology inservice of a global picture of the world.
The scrutability framework has ramifications throughout philosophy.
Using it, Chalmers defends a broadly Fregean approach to meaning, argues for an internalist approach to the contents of thought, and rebuts W.V.
Quine's arguments against the analytic and the a priori.
He also uses scrutability to analyze the unity of science, to defend a sort of conceptual metaphysics, and to mount a structuralist response to skepticism.
Based on Chalmers's 2010 JohnLocke lectures, Constructing the World opens up debate on central philosophical issues concerning knowledge, language, mind, and reality.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 528 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- Publication Date: 03/12/2012
- Category: Philosophy of language
- ISBN: 9780199608577