Skip navigation

Harry S. Silverstein

Harry S. Silverstein is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at Washington State University, and coeditor of three previous volumes in the Topics in Contemporary Philosophy series, Causation and Explanation (2007), Knowledge and Skepticism (2010), and Time and Identity (2010), all published by the MIT Press.

Titles by This Editor

Most philosophical explorations of responsibility discuss the topic solely in terms of metaphysics and the "free will" problem. By contrast, these essays by leading philosophers view responsibility from a variety of perspectives—metaphysics, ethics, action theory, and the philosophy of law. After a broad, framing introduction by the volume's editors, the contributors consider such subjects as responsibility as it relates to the "free will" problem; the relation between responsibility and knowledge or ignorance; the relation between causal and moral responsibility; the difference, if any, between responsibility for actions and responsibility for omissions; the metaphysical requirements for making sense of "collective" responsibility; and the relation between moral and legal responsibility. The contributors include such distinguished authors as Alfred R. Mele, John Martin Fischer, George Sher, and Frances Kamm, as well as important rising scholars. Taken together, the essays in Action, Ethics, and Responsibility offer a breadth of perspectives that is unmatched by other treatments of the topic.

Contributors: Joseph Keim Campbell, David Chan, Randolph Clarke, E.J. Coffman, John Martin Fischer, Helen Frowe, Todd Jones, Frances Kamm, Antti Kauppinen, Alfred R. Mele, Michael O’Rourke, Paul Russell, Robert F. Schopp, George Sher, Harry S. Silverstein, Saul Smilansky, Donald Smith, Charles T. Wolfe

There are two main questions in epistemology: What is knowledge? And: Do we have any of it? The first question asks after the nature of a concept; the second involves grappling with the skeptic, who believes that no one knows anything. This collection of original essays addresses the themes of knowledge and skepticism, offering both contemporary epistemological analysis and historical perspectives from leading philosophers and rising scholars. Contributors first consider knowledge: the intrinsic nature of knowledge—in particular, aspects of what distinguishes knowledge from true belief; the extrinsic examination of knowledge, focusing on contextualist accounts; and types of knowledge, specifically perceptual, introspective, and rational knowledge. The final chapters offer various perspectives on skepticism. Knowledge and Skepticism provides an eclectic yet coherent set of essays by distinguished scholars and important new voices. The cutting-edge nature of its contributions and its interdisciplinary character make it a valuable resource for a wide audience—for philosophers of language as well as for epistemologists, and for psychologists, decision theorists, historians, and students at both the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels.

Contributors: Kent Bach, Joseph Keim Campbell, Joseph Cruz, Fred Dretske, Catherine Z. Elgin, Peter S. Fosl, Peter J. Graham, David Hemp, Michael O’Rourke, George Pappas, John L. Pollock, Duncan Pritchard, Joseph Salerno, Robert J. Stainton, Harry S. Silverstein, Joseph Thomas Tolliver, Leora Weitzman

The concepts of time and identity seem at once unproblematic and frustratingly difficult. Time is an intricate part of our experience—it would seem that the passage of time is a prerequisite for having any experience at all—and yet recalcitrant questions about time remain. Is time real? Does time flow? Do past and future moments exist? Philosophers face similarly stubborn questions about identity, particularly about the persistence of identical entities through change. Indeed, questions about the metaphysics of persistence take on many of the complexities inherent in philosophical considerations of time. This volume of original essays brings together these two essentially related concepts in a way not reflected in the available literature, making it required reading for philosophers working in metaphysics and students interested in these topics. The contributors, distinguished authors and rising scholars, first consider the nature of time and then turn to the relation of identity, focusing on the metaphysical connections between the two, with a special emphasis on personal identity. The volume concludes with essays on the metaphysics of death, issues in which time and identity play a significant role. This groundbreaking collection offers both cutting-edge epistemological analysis and historical perspectives on contemporary topics.

Contributors: Harriet Baber, Lynne Rudder Baker, Ben Bradley, John W. Carroll, Reinaldo Elugardo, Geoffrey Gorham, Mark Hinchliff, Jenann Ismael, Barbara Levenbook, Andrew Light, Lawrence B. Lombard, Ned Markosian, Harold Noonan, John Perry, Harry S. Silverstein, Matthew H. Slater, Robert J. Stainton, Neil A. Tognazzini

This collection of original essays on the topics of causation and explanation offers readers a state-of-the-art view of current work in these areas. The book is notable for its interdisciplinary character, and the essays, by distinguished authors and important rising scholars, will be of interest to a wide readership, including philosophers, computer scientists, and economists. Students and scholars alike will find the book valuable for its wide-ranging treatment of two difficult philosophical topics.The volume focuses first on the development of theories of causation and explanation, and then on the application of those theories. Theoretical discussions include Patrick Suppes's investigation of the causal issues surrounding intentional activities such as computation and decision making, and Clark Glymour and Frank Wimberly's analysis of technical issues encountered in formulating an account of actual causation. The essays exploring applications include Nancy Cartwright's examination of the application of counterfactuals to economics and Alfred Mele's criticism of the work of Benjamin Libet on the applicability of experimental results in psychology to philosophical analyses of free will and self-control.Causation and Explanation offers a remarkably wide-ranging set of essays on two topics that present difficult philosophical issues.