Peter Ludlow

Peter Ludlow, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto, is the author of Semantics, Tense, and Time: An Essay in the Metaphysics of Natural Language (MIT Press, 1999), among other books, and the editor of Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias (MIT Press, 2001) and High Noon on the Electronic Frontier (MIT Press, 1996).

  • The Second Life Herald

    The Second Life Herald

    The Virtual Tabloid that Witnessed the Dawn of the Metaverse

    Peter Ludlow and Mark Wallace

    How a virtual journalist in the virtual world of online gaming landed on the real-world front page of the New York Times and how his virtual newspaper chronicled the emergence of the next generation of the World Wide Web.

    When a virtual journalist for a virtual newspaper reporting on the digital world of an online game lands on the real-world front page of the New York Times, it just might signal the dawn of a new era. Virtual journalist Peter Ludlow was banned from The Sims Online for being a bit too good at his job—for reporting in his virtual tabloid The Alphaville Herald on the cyber-brothels, crimes, and strong-arm tactics that had become rife in the game—and when the Times, the BBC, CNN, and other media outlets covered the story, users all over the Internet called the banning censorship. Seeking a new virtual home, Ludlow moved the Herald to another virtual world—the powerful online environment of Second Life—just as it was about the explode onto the international mediascape and usher in the next iteration of the Internet.

    In The Second Life Herald, Ludlow and his colleague Mark Wallace take us behind the scenes of the Herald as they report on the emergence of a fascinating universe of virtual spaces that will become the next generation of the World Wide Web: a 3-D environment that provides richer, more expressive interactions than the Web we know today. In 1992, science fiction writer Neal Stephenson imagined “the Metaverse,” a virtual space that we would enter via the Internet and in which we would conduct important parts of our daily lives. According to Ludlow and Wallace, that future is coming sooner than we may think. They chronicle its chaotic, exhilarating, frightening birth, including the issue that the mainstream media often ignore: conflicts across the client-server divide over who should write the laws governing virtual worlds.

    • Hardcover $29.95 £20.95
    • Paperback $35.00 £27.00
  • The Philosophy of Mind, Second Edition

    The Philosophy of Mind, Second Edition

    Classical Problems/Contemporary Issues

    Brian Beakley and Peter Ludlow

    The Philosophy of Mind remains the only sourcebook of primary readings offering in-depth coverage of both historical works and contemporary controversies in philosophy of mind. This second edition provides expanded treatment of classical as well as current topics, with many additional readings and a new section on mental content. The writers included range from Aristotle, Descartes, and William James to such leading contemporary thinkers as Noam Chomsky, Paul and Patricia Churchland, and Jaegwon Kim. The 83 selections provide a thorough survey of five areas of enduring controversy: the mind-body problem, mental causation, mental content, innatism and modularity, and associationism and connectionism. Each section includes an introductory overview of the topic by the editors as well as suggestions for further reading.

    The selections added for the second edition serve both to enhance historical coverage and to update contemporary issues, especially in areas of current empirical research such as connectionism and innatism. Changes to historical coverage include a wider array of readings on classic positions as well as neglected precursors to views often considered recent innovations. The section on the mind-body problem in particular has been greatly expanded, including numerous selections on consciousness and phenomenal qualities (qualia). The book is ideal for both undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy and the history of psychology and will be useful both as a reference for researchers and a self-contained survey for the general reader.

    • Hardcover $26.75 £21.00
    • Paperback $19.75 £14.99
  • There's Something About Mary

    There's Something About Mary

    Essays on Phenomenal Consciousness and Frank Jackson's Knowledge Argument

    Peter Ludlow, Yujin Nagasawa, and Daniel Stoljar

    In Frank Jackson's famous thought experiment, Mary is confined to a black-and-white room and educated through black-and-white books and lectures on a black-and-white television. In this way, she learns everything there is to know about the physical world. If physicalism—the doctrine that everything is physical—is true, then Mary seems to know all there is to know. What happens, then, when she emerges from her black-and-white room and sees the color red for the first time? Jackson's knowledge argument says that Mary comes to know a new fact about color, and that, therefore, physicalism is false. The knowledge argument remains one of the most controversial and important arguments in contemporary philosophy.There's Something About Mary—the first book devoted solely to the argument—collects the main essays in which Jackson presents (and later rejects) his argument along with key responses by other philosophers. These responses are organized around a series of questions: Does Mary learn anything new? Does she gain only know-how (the ability hypothesis), or merely get acquainted with something she knew previously (the acquaintance hypothesis)? Does she learn a genuinely new fact or an old fact in disguise? And finally, does she really know all the physical facts before her release, or is this a "misdescription"? The arguments presented in this comprehensive collection have important implications for the philosophy of mind and the study of consciousness.

    • Hardcover $80.00 £55.95
    • Paperback $40.00 £30.00
  • Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias

    Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias

    Peter Ludlow

    A wide-ranging collection of writings on emerging political structures in cyberspace.

    In Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias, Peter Ludlow extends the approach he used so successfully in High Noon on the Electronic Frontier, offering a collection of writings that reflects the eclectic nature of the online world, as well as its tremendous energy and creativity. This time the subject is the emergence of governance structures within online communities and the visions of political sovereignty shaping some of those communities. Ludlow views virtual communities as laboratories for conducting experiments in the construction of new societies and governance structures. While many online experiments will fail, Ludlow argues that given the synergy of the online world, new and superior governance structures may emerge. Indeed, utopian visions are not out of place, provided that we understand the new utopias to be fleeting localized "islands in the Net" and not permanent institutions.

    The book is organized in five sections. The first section considers the sovereignty of the Internet. The second section asks how widespread access to resources such as Pretty Good Privacy and anonymous remailers allows the possibility of "Crypto Anarchy"—essentially carving out space for activities that lie outside the purview of nation states and other traditional powers. The third section shows how the growth of e-commerce is raising questions of legal jurisdiction and taxation for which the geographic boundaries of nation-states are obsolete. The fourth section looks at specific experimental governance structures evolved by online communities. The fifth section considers utopian and anti-utopian visions for cyberspace.

    Contributors Richard Barbrook, John Perry Barlow, William E. Baugh Jr., David S. Bennahum, Hakim Bey, David Brin, Andy Cameron, Dorothy E. Denning, Mark Dery, Kevin Doyle, Duncan Frissell, Eric Hughes, Karrie Jacobs, David Johnson, Peter Ludlow, Timothy C. May, Jennifer L. Mnookin, Nathan Newman, David G. Post, Jedediah S. Purdy, Charles J. Stivale

    • Hardcover $85.00 £66.00
    • Paperback $46.00 £36.00
  • Semantics, Tense, and Time

    Semantics, Tense, and Time

    An Essay in the Metaphysics of Natural Language

    Peter Ludlow

    According to Peter Ludlow, there is a very close relation between the structure of natural language and that of reality, and one can gain insights into long-standing metaphysical questions by studying the semantics of natural language. In this book Ludlow uses the metaphysics of time as a case study and focuses on the dispute between A-theorists and B-theorists about the nature of time. According to B-theorists, there is no genuine change, but a permanent sequence of events ordered by an earlier-than/later-than relation. According to the version of the A-theory adopted by Ludlow (a position sometimes called "presentism"), there are no past or future events or times; what makes something past or future is how the world stands right now.

    Ludlow argues that each metaphysical picture is tied to a particular semantical theory of tense and that the dispute can be adjudicated on semantical grounds. A presentism-compatible semantics, he claims, is superior to a B-theory semantics in a number of respects, including its abilities to handle the indexical nature of temporal discourse and to account for facts about language acquisition. Along the way, Ludlow develops a conception of "E-type" temporal anaphora that can account for both temporal anaphora and complex tenses without reference to past and future events. His view has philosophical consequences for theories of logic, self-knowledge, and memory. As for linguistic consequences, Ludlow suggests that the very idea of grammatical tense may have to be dispensed with and replaced with some combination of aspect, modality, and evidentiality.

    • Hardcover $50.00 £34.95
    • Paperback $21.50 £16.99
  • Readings in the Philosophy of Language

    Readings in the Philosophy of Language

    Peter Ludlow

    Throughout the history of ideas, various branches of philosophy have spun off into the natural sciences, including physics, biology, and perhaps most recently, cognitive psychology. A central theme of this collection is that the philosophy of language, at least a core portion of it, has matured to the point where it is now being spun off into linguistic theory. Each section of the book contains historical (twentieth-century) readings and, where available, recent attempts to apply the resources of contemporary linguistic theory to the problems under discussion. This approach helps to root the naturalization project in the leading questions of analytic philosophy. Although the older readings predate the current naturalization project, they help to lay its conceptual foundations. The main sections of the book, each of which is preceded by an introduction, are Language and Meaning, Logical Form and Grammatical Form, Descriptions, Names, Demonstratives, and Attitude Reports.

    The collection is not intended as a final report on a mature line of philosophical inquiry. Rather, its purpose is to show students what doing real philosophy is all about and to let them share in the excitement as philosophers enter a period in which how philosophy of language is conducted could change in fundamental ways.

    • Hardcover $105.00 £77.95
    • Paperback $64.00 £50.00
  • High Noon on the Electronic Frontier

    High Noon on the Electronic Frontier

    Conceptual Issues in Cyberspace

    Peter Ludlow

    Peter Ludlow has culled from various sources, both print and electronic, key articles on hot cyberspace policy issues, together with lively extracts from online discussions of these issues. These include the standard academic pieces along with "rants and manifestos" on a broad range of issues from the denizens of cyberspace and reflect the discourse of cyberspace itself. At times they have what Ludlow terms "a certain gonzo quality," but nonetheless they raise serious conceptual issues in a way that illustrates precisely what is at stake. The topics covered in this timely compilation include privacy, property rights, hacking and cracking, encryption, censorship, and self and community on-line.

    • Hardcover $65.00
    • Paperback $48.00 £37.00
  • The Philosophy of Mind

    Classical Problems/Contemporary Issues

    Brian Beakley and Peter Ludlow

    Bringing together the best classical and contemporary writings in the philosophy of mind and organized by topic, this anthology allows readers to follow the development of thinking in five broad problem areas—the mind/body problem, mental causation, associationism/connectionism, mental imagery, and innate ideas—over 2500 years of philosophy. The writings range from Plato and Descartes to Fodor and the PDP research group, showing how many of the current concerns in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science are firmly rooted in history. The editors have provided helpful introductions to each of the main sections.

    Readings from: Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, René Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, Nicolas Malebranche, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Henry Huxley, William James, Oswald Külpe, John Watson, jean Piaget, Gilbert Ryle, U.T. Place, Hilary Putnam, Daniel Dennett, Donald Davidson, Jerry Fodor, Roger Shepard, Jacqueline Metzler, Saul Kripke, Ned Block, Noam Chomsky, Stephen Kosslyn, Zenon Pylyshyn, Patricia Churchland, James McClelland, David Rumelhart, Geoffrey Hinton, Paul Smolensky, Seymour Papert.

    • Hardcover $57.00
    • Paperback $40.00 £27.95

Contributor

  • Conditionals in Context

    Conditionals in Context

    Christopher Gauker

    "If you turn left at the next corner, you will see a blue house at the end of the street." That sentence—a conditional—might be true even though it is possible that you will not see a blue house at the end of the street when you turn left at the next corner. A moving van may block your view; the house may have been painted pink; a crow might swoop down and peck out your eyes. Still, in some contexts, we might ignore these possibilities and correctly assert the conditional. In this book, Christopher Gauker argues that such context-relativity is the key to understanding the semantics of conditionals. Contexts are defined as objective features of the situation in which a conversation takes place, and the semantic properties of sentences—conditionals included—are defined in terms of assertibility in a context. One of the primary goals of a theory of conditionals has to be to distinguish correctly between valid and invalid arguments containing conditionals. According to Gauker, an argument is valid if the conclusion is assertible in every context in which the premises are assertible. This runs counter to what Gauker sees as a systematic misreading of the data by other authors, who judge arguments to be invalid if they can think of a context in which the premises are judged true and some other context in which the conclusion is judged false. Different schools of thought on conditionals reflect fundamentally different approaches to semantics. Gauker offers his theory as a motive and test case for a distinctive kind of semantics that dispenses with reference relations and possible worlds.

    • Hardcover $17.75 £14.95
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  • Anti-Individualism and Knowledge

    Anti-Individualism and Knowledge

    Jessica Brown

    Contemporary philosophy of mind is dominated by anti-individualism, which holds that a subject's thoughts are determined not only by what is inside her head but also by aspects of her environment. Despite its dominance, anti-individualism is subject to a daunting array of epistemological objections: that it is incompatible with the privileged access each subject has to her thoughts, that it undermines rationality, and, absurdly, that it provides a new route to a priori knowledge of the world. In this rigorous and persuasive study, Jessica Brown defends anti-individualism from these epistemological objections. The discussion has important consequences for key epistemological issues such as skepticism, closure, transmission, and the nature of knowledge and warrant.

    According to Brown's analysis, one main reason for thinking that anti-individualism is incompatible with privileged access is that it undermines a subject's introspective ability to distinguish types of thoughts. So diagnosed, the standard focus on a subject's reliability about her thoughts provides no adequate reply. Brown defuses the objection by appeal to the epistemological notion of a relevant alternative. Further, she argues that, given a proper understanding of rationality, anti-individualism is compatible with the notion that we are rational subjects. However, the discussion of rationality provides a new argument that anti-individualism is in tension with Fregean sense. Finally, Brown shows that anti-individualism does not create a new route to a priori knowledge of the world. While rejecting solutions that restrict the transmission of warrant, she argues that anti-individualists should deny that we have the type of knowledge that would be required to use a priori knowledge of thought content to gain a priori knowledge of the world.

    • Hardcover $13.75 £10.99
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99
  • Words without Meaning

    Words without Meaning

    Christopher Gauker

    According to the received view of linguistic communication, the primary function of language is to enable speakers to reveal the propositional contents of their thoughts to hearers. Speakers are able to do this because they share with their hearers an understanding of the meanings of words. Christopher Gauker rejects this conception of language, arguing that it rests on an untenable conception of mental representation and yields a wrong account of the norms of discourse.

    Gauker's alternative starts with the observation that conversations have goals and that the best way to achieve the goal of a conversation depends on the circumstances under which the conversation takes place. These goals and circumstances determine a context of utterance quite apart from the attitudes of the interlocutors. The fundamental norms of discourse are formulated in terms of the conditions under which sentences are assertible in such contexts.

    Words without Meaning contains original solutions to a wide array of outstanding problems in the philosophy of language, including the logic of quantification, the logic of conditionals, the semantic paradoxes, the nature of presupposition and implicature, and the nature and attribution of beliefs.

    • Hardcover $70.00 £48.95
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.95
  • Complex Demonstratives

    Complex Demonstratives

    A Quantificational Account

    Jeffrey C. King

    Since the late 1970s, the orthodox view of complex 'that' phrases (e.g., 'that woman eating a granola bar') has been that they are contextually sensitive devices of direct reference. In Complex Demonstratives, Jeffrey King challenges that orthodoxy, showing that quantificational accounts not only are as effective as direct reference accounts but also handle a wider range of data.

    After providing arguments against direct reference accounts of 'that' phrases and developing a quantificational theory of them, King looks at the interaction of 'that' phrases with modal operators, negation, and verbs of propositional attitude. He argues for evidence of scope interaction between 'that' phrases and other scoped elements. King also addresses semantic properties of 'that' and other determiners, and the possibility of extending the semantics of 'that' phrases to 'that' as a syntactically simple demonstrative. Finally, he argues against what he calls ambiguity approaches, theories that hold that the various uses of 'that' phrases cannot be treated by a single semantical theory.

    • Hardcover $55.00
    • Paperback $5.75 £4.99
  • A Slim Book about Narrow Content

    A Slim Book about Narrow Content

    Gabriel M. A. Segal

    A good understanding of the nature of a property requires knowing whether that property is relational or intrinsic. Gabriel Segal's concern is whether certain psychological properties—specifically, those that make up what might be called the "cognitive content" of psychological states—are relational or intrinsic. He claims that content supervenes on microstructure, that is, if two beings are identical with respect to their microstructural properties, then they must be identical with respect to their cognitive contents.

    Segal's thesis, a version of internalism, is that being in a state with a specific cognitive content does not essentially involve standing in any real relation to anything external. He uses the fact that content locally supervenes on microstructure to argue for the intrinsicness of content. Cognitive content is fully determined by intrinsic, microstructural properties: duplicate a subject in respect to those properties and you duplicate their cognitive contents.

    The book, written in a clear, engaging style, contains four chapters. The first two argue against the two leading externalist theories. Chapter 3 rejects popular theories that endorse two kinds of content: "narrow" content, which is locally supervenient, and "broad" content, which is not. Chapter 4 defends a radical alternative version of internalism, arguing that narrow content is a variety of ordinary representation, that is, that narrow content is all there is to content. In defending internalism, Segal does not claim to defend a general philosophical theory of content. At this stage, he suggests, it should suffice to cast reasonable doubt on externalism, to motivate internalism, and to provide reasons to believe that good psychology is, or could be, internalist.

    • Hardcover $66.00 £54.95
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