Books by Brights
A Somewhat Sceptical Philosophy
Author: Keith D. Palmer
To Purchase: http://members.tripod.com/~kdpalmer/skeptical.html, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Price: $10 per copy plus $2 postage ($4 airmail).
Specs: Published 1998. Bibliography. 252 pages. Softcover.
A philosophical paperback for questioners. Because it is written at the level of an introduction for high school and college students, "A Somewhat Sceptical Philosophy" skirts by design much historical philosophy. It accepts and explains modern pragmatism based on recent American philosophical pragmatists from Quine to Rorty. Its powerful influence derives from combining this with to-day's view of twentieth-century science which is explained only so far as to appreciate its contribution to philosophy. It devotes considerable space to an inquiry into the pragmatic meanings of such important words as truth, reality and existence so that common ground is established for their use among conversants. It considers four frameworks within each of which the underlying assumptions for speech must be understood: these are the man-in-the-street, the scientist, the philosopher and the religious. It recognizes the value of discipline and reliability as qualities for discourse which when present contribute to the settling of arguments and reconciliation of disputes within a community. More challenging of thought than dogmatic, it asks the reader to examine her own thinking in the light of what she reads here and, if she sees fit, to change.
About the Author
Keith Palmer, born in the United States in 1930, was reared and educated in England, attending Blundells School and Cambridge University. He served in peacetime in the British Army and Royal Air Force and later worked at rough but exciting outdoor occupations in Alberta, Canada, before deciding that for him science teaching was an irresistible way of life. The larger part of his career was spent at the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor Connecticut. His interest in a philosophy of science and its extraordinary story of "man-created reality" aroused an expanding curiosity . But it was the emergence of philosophy as a High School subject, together with the bandying about in class of important words little understood, which triggered this book.