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Hardcover | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780262192330 | 187 pp. | 6 x 9 in | October 1984
Paperback | $27.00 Text | £18.95 | ISBN: 9780262691130 | 187 pp. | 6 x 9 in | March 1987

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The abstract structure of inquiry - the process of acquiring and changing beliefs about the world - is the focus of this book which takes the position that the "pragmatic" rather than the "linguistic" approach better solves the philosophical problems about the nature of mental representation, and better accounts for the phenomena of thought and speech. It discusses propositions and propositional attitudes (the cluster of activities that constitute inquiry) in general and takes up the way beliefs change in response to potential new information, suggesting that conditional propositions should be understood as projections of epistemic policies onto the world.

A Bradford Book.

About the Author

Robert C. Stalnaker is a professor in the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University.


“During the past fifteen years, Robert Stalnaker has published an important series of papers on issues concerning conditionals, possible worlds, and belief. In Inquiry, he brings together themes from these papers and attempts to weave them together into a single line of thought. The result is a book which ... is densely argued and full of interest. One of its admirable features is its style: Stalnaker manages to write lucidly and economically on difficult topics without assuming undue familiarity with the literature and its jargon.”—Mind
“This is an important work which will be widely discussed.”—Ethics