Michael O'Rourke

Michael O'Rourke is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University.

  • Reference and Referring

    Reference and Referring

    William P. Kabasenche, Michael O'Rourke, and Matthew H. Slater

    Original essays on reference and referring by leading scholars that combine breadth of coverage with thematic unity.

    These fifteen original essays address the core semantic concepts of reference and referring from both philosophical and linguistic perspectives. After an introductory essay that casts current trends in reference and referring in terms of an ongoing dialogue between Fregean and Russellian approaches, the book addresses specific topics, balancing breadth of coverage with thematic unity.

    The contributors, all leading or emerging scholars, address trenchant neo-Fregean challenges to the direct reference position; consider what positive claims can be made about the mechanism of reference; address the role of a theory of reference within broader theoretical context; and investigate other kinds of linguistic expressions used in referring activities that may themselves be referring expressions.

    The topical unity and accessibility of the essays, the stage-setting introductory essay, and the comprehensive index combine to make Reference and Referring, along with the other books in the Topics in Contemporary Philosophy series, appropriate for use in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses.

    • Hardcover $19.75 £14.99
  • The Environment

    The Environment

    Philosophy, Science, and Ethics

    William P. Kabasenche, Michael O'Rourke, and Matthew H. Slater

    Original essays by leading scholars consider the environment from biological and ethical perspectives.

    Philosophical reflections on the environment began with early philosophers' invocation of a cosmology that mixed natural and supernatural phenomena. Today, the central philosophical problem posed by the environment involves not what it can teach us about ourselves and our place in the cosmic order but rather how we can understand its workings in order to make better decisions about our own conduct regarding it. The resulting inquiry spans different areas of contemporary philosophy, many of which are represented by the fifteen original essays in this volume.

    The contributors first consider conceptual problems generated by rapid advances in biology and ecology, examining such topics as ecological communities, adaptation, and scientific consensus. The contributors then turn to epistemic and axiological issues, first considering philosophical aspects of environmental decision making and then assessing particular environmental policies (largely relating to climate change), including reparations, remediation, and nuclear power, from a normative perspective.

    Contributors Katie McShane, Robert Brandon, Rachel Bryant, Michael Trestman, Brian Steverson, Denis Walsh, Lorraine Code, Jay Odenbaugh, Joseph Cannon, Mariam Thalos, Chrisoula Andreou, Clare Palmer, Ben Hale, Kristin Shrader-Frechette, Andrew Light

    • Hardcover $19.75 £14.99
  • Carving Nature at Its Joints

    Carving Nature at Its Joints

    Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science

    Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Matthew H. Slater

    Reflections on the metaphysics and epistemology of classification from a distinguished group of philosophers.

    Contemporary discussions of the success of science often invoke an ancient metaphor from Plato's Phaedrus: successful theories should "carve nature at its joints." But is nature really "jointed"? Are there natural kinds of things around which our theories cut? The essays in this volume offer reflections by a distinguished group of philosophers on a series of intertwined issues in the metaphysics and epistemology of classification.

    The contributors consider such topics as the relevance of natural kinds in inductive inference; the role of natural kinds in natural laws; the nature of fundamental properties; the naturalness of boundaries; the metaphysics and epistemology of biological kinds; and the relevance of biological kinds to certain questions in ethics. Carving Nature at Its Joints offers both breadth and thematic unity, providing a sampling of state-of-the-art work in contemporary analytic philosophy that will be of interest to a wide audience of scholars and students concerned with classification.

    • Hardcover $13.75 £11.95
    • Paperback $32.00 £25.00
  • Action, Ethics, and Responsibility

    Action, Ethics, and Responsibility

    Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Harry S. Silverstein

    Leading philosophers explore responsibility from a variety of perspectives, including metaphysics, action theory, and philosophy of law.

    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

    • Hardcover $13.75 £10.99
    • Paperback $7.75 £6.99
  • Knowledge and Skepticism, Volume 5

    Knowledge and Skepticism, Volume 5

    Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Harry S. Silverstein

    New essays by leading philosophers explore topics in epistemology, offering both contemporary philosophical analysis and historical perspectives.

    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

    • Hardcover $15.75 £12.99
    • Paperback $8.75 £6.99
  • Time and Identity

    Time and Identity

    Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Harry S. Silverstein

    Original essays on the metaphysics of time, identity, and the self, written by distinguished scholars and important rising philosophers.

    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

    • Hardcover $15.75 £11.95
    • Paperback $19.75 £14.99
  • Causation and Explanation

    Causation and Explanation

    Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Harry S. Silverstein

    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.

    • Hardcover $90.00 £74.95
    • Paperback $8.75 £6.99
  • Situating Semantics

    Situating Semantics

    Essays on the Philosophy of John Perry

    Michael O'Rourke and Corey Washington

    Original commentary on the work of philosopher John Perry by prominent contemporary analytic philosophers, with Perry's detailed and original responses; topics include the metaphysics of identity, semantics, and philosophy of mind.

    John Perry, Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, is one of a handful of contemporary analytic philosophers to combine the focused approach of most current work in analytic philosophy with the more expansive systems-building of earlier analytic philosophers and contemporary philosophers in other disciplines. Perry, like W.V.O. Quine, Donald Davison, David Lewis, and Hilary Putnam, focuses on narrow topics across a broad range of subjects. In this volume, leading contemporary analytic philosophers contribute original essays in each of the areas that have been most influenced by Perry's work—metaphysics, language, and mind. Perry himself contributes detailed and original replies. After a comprehensive introduction to Perry's work by the editors that places semantics at the heart of Perry's philosophical strategy, the essays discuss Perry's contributions to the metaphysics of identity, the philosophy of language—in particular, contributions related to reference and unarticulated constituents—and the philosophy of mind. The essays and replies provide new perspectives on Perry's philosophical contributions over the last four decades, and yield insights into contemporary debates on these topics.

    Contributors Robert Audi, Kent Bach, Patricia Blanchette, Herman Cappelen, Eros Corazza, Ernie Lepore, Brian Loar, Peter Ludlow, Genoveva Marti, Michael McKinsey, Stephen Neale, Michael O'Rourke, John Perry, François Recanati, Cara Spencer, Kenneth A. Taylor, Corey Washington

    • Hardcover $17.75 £13.99
    • Paperback $9.75 £7.99
  • Law and Social Justice

    Law and Social Justice

    Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and David Shier

    These essays by leading scholars illustrate the complexity and range of philosophical issues raised by consideration of law and social justice. The contributors to Law and Social Justice examine such broad foundational issues as instrumentalist versus Kantian conceptions of rights as well as such specific problems as the admissibility or inadmissibility of evidence of causation in toxic tort cases. They consider a variety of subjects, including the implications of deliberative democracy for privacy rights, equality as a principle of distributive justice, the paradox of "moral luck," the treatment of intellectual property in China and its roots in Chinese tradition, and the extent to which initial acquisition of goods yields full property rights. Two special sections at the end of the volume discuss the treatment of law and social justice issues in the work of two philosophers: "Wittgenstein and Legal Theory," on the influence of Wittgenstein's thought on legal philosophy, and a discussion of Jules L. Coleman's The Practice of Principle, which concludes with a contribution, "Facts, Fictions, and the Grounds of Law," by Coleman himself.

    • Hardcover $74.00 £61.95
    • Paperback $8.75 £6.99
  • Freedom and Determinism

    Freedom and Determinism

    Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and David Shier

    This collection of contemporary essays by prominent contemporary thinkers on the topics of determinism and free agency concentrates primarily on two areas: the compatibility problem and the metaphysics of moral responsibility. There are also essays on the related fields of determinism and action theory. The book is unique in that it contains up-to-date summaries of the life-work of five influential philosophers: John Earman, Ted Honderich, Keith Lehrer, Robert Kane, and Peter van Inwagen. There are also contributions by other familiar and distinguished authors, including Richard Feldman, John Martin Fischer, Carl Ginet, and John Perry, as well as important rising philosophers. While most of the articles are written from a Western, analytic perspective, the volume includes a paper that addresses Buddhist perspectives on freedom of the will. With an opening essay written by the editors—"Freedom and Determinism: A Framework"—that sets the terms of the discussion, the book provides a remarkably comprehensive set of articles that are of value to a wide audience, from students of philosophy to scholars.

    • Hardcover $90.00 £74.95
    • Paperback $8.75 £7.95