WorldCat Identities

Kitcher, Philip 1947-

Works: 81 works in 403 publications in 4 languages and 17,765 library holdings
Genres: Popular works  History  Conference proceedings 
Roles: Author, Editor, Commentator, Other
Classifications: QH371, 575.01
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Philip Kitcher
Abusing science : the case against creationism by Philip Kitcher( Book )

21 editions published between 1982 and 1998 in English and held by 2,057 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The lives to come : the genetic revolution and human possibilities by Philip Kitcher( Book )

38 editions published between 1996 and 2002 in 3 languages and held by 1,865 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The Lives to Come is at once a concise and accessible guide to the research that scientists are conducting in the field of genetics, a realistic survey of the likely near-term contributions of that research to the treatment of disease, and a thoughtful probing of the deep moral and social issues raised by our increasing abilities to predict the onset of hereditary disease and to make decisions about the kinds of people who will be born. A distinguished scholar of the history and philosophy of science, Philip Kitcher insightfully addresses the practical and philosophical questions posed by the explosion of new discoveries in the field of genetics. As our ability to determine whether individuals are at risk for various diseases and disabilities increases, will medical treatments keep pace? Could widespread use of genetic tests lead to new forms of discrimination in insurance, employment, and how people are viewed by society? How can genetic knowledge improve law enforcement while protecting the rights of the innocent? As prenatal testing provides new opportunities to select the types of people brought into being, how can the abuse of that power be prevented so that we avoid the evils of the eugenic past? If scientists discover a genetic basis for traits deemed socially objectionable, might abortion become a tool for avoiding the birth of "undesirables"? To what extent do new discoveries support the idea that our destinies are written in our genes? More fundamentally, what will become of our self-image as we find out more and more about the mechanisms of our bodies and our brains?
Living with Darwin : evolution, design, and the future of faith by Philip Kitcher( Book )

24 editions published between 2007 and 2009 in English and German and held by 1,106 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Charles Darwin has been at the center of white-hot public debate for more than a century. In Living With Darwin, Philip Kitcher peers into the flames swirling around Darwin's theory, sifting through the scientific evidence for evolution, Creation Science, and Intelligent Design, and revealing why evolution has been the object of such vehement attack." "Evolution is a dangerous idea. In this volume, Philip Kitcher illuminates this idea while suggesting ways to defuse the danger, suggestions that embrace both the religious impulse and the force of scientific evidence."--Jacket
Vaulting ambition : sociobiology and the quest for human nature by Philip Kitcher( Book )

13 editions published between 1985 and 1990 in English and held by 1,061 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The advancement of science : science without legend, objectivity without illusions by Philip Kitcher( Book )

34 editions published between 1993 and 2004 in 3 languages and held by 880 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Setting a new agenda for the philosophy of science and for other "science studies" disciplines, in this book the well-known philosopher Philip Kitcher offers an innovative and detailed picture of the advancement of science." "During the last three decades, reflections on the growth of scientific knowledge have inspired historians, sociologists, and some philosophers to contend that scientific objectivity is a myth. In this book, Kitcher attempts to resurrect the notions of objectivity and progress in science by identifying both the limitations of idealized treatments of growth of knowledge and the overreactions to philosophical idealizations." "Recognizing that science is done not by logically omniscient subjects working in isolation, but by people with a variety of personal and social interests who cooperate and compete with one another, he argues that, nonetheless, we may conceive the growth of science as a process in which both our vision of nature and our ways of learning more about nature improve." "Undertaking a novel synthesis that preserves the very conceptions of objectivity and progress in epistemology and philosophy of science, this book accommodates and examines the insights of historians and sociologists of science who have criticized traditional philosophy of science. Pointing to a new way of discussing science, The Advancement of Science is of key interest to philosophers of science, historians of science, sociologists of science, and reflective scientists."--Jacket
The nature of mathematical knowledge by Philip Kitcher( Book )

40 editions published between 1983 and 2009 in 3 languages and held by 858 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This text develops and defends an empiricist approach to mathematical knowledge. After offering an account of a priori knowledge, it argues that none of the available accounts of a priori mathematical knowledge is viable
Science, truth, and democracy by Philip Kitcher( Book )

30 editions published between 2001 and 2004 in English and held by 754 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Closely examining some of our most deeply held notions about the role of science, distinguished philosopher Philip Kitcher engages the heated debate about how scientific knowledge should be pursued and employed. There currently exists a sharp divide between the purists who believe that the pursuit of scientific knowledge is always valuable and necessary and those who believe that it invariably serves the interests of the powerful. Kitcher rejects both perspectives, painting a pragmatic portrait of the sciences that allows for the possibility of scientific truth but nonetheless permits social consensus to determine which avenues to investigate."--Jacket
Finding an ending : reflections on Wagner's Ring by Philip Kitcher( Book )

17 editions published between 2004 and 2005 in English and held by 620 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Few musical works loom as large in Western culture as Richard Wagner's four-part Ring of the Nibelungs. In Finding an Ending, two eminent philosophers, Philip Kitcher and Richard Schacht, offer art look at this greatest of Wagner's achievements, focusing on its far-reaching and subtle exploration of problems of meanings and endings in this life and world."--Jacket
The ethical project by Philip Kitcher( Book )

15 editions published between 2011 and 2014 in 3 languages and held by 532 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Principles of right and wrong guide the lives of almost all human beings, but we often see them as external to ourselves, outside our own control. In a revolutionary approach to the problems of moral philosophy, Philip Kitcher makes a provocative proposal: Instead of conceiving ethical commands as divine revelations or as the discoveries of brilliant thinkers, we should see our ethical practices as evolving over tens of thousands of years, as members of our species have worked out how to live together and prosper. Elaborating this radical new vision, Kitcher shows how the limited altruistic tendencies of our ancestors enabled a fragile social life, how our forebears learned to regulate their interactions with one another, and how human societies eventually grew into forms of previously unimaginable complexity. The most successful of the many millennia-old experiments in how to live, he contends, survive in our values today. Drawing on natural science, social science, and philosophy to develop an approach he calls "pragmatic naturalism," Kitcher reveals the power of an evolving ethics built around a few core principles--including justice and cooperation--but leaving room for a diversity of communities and modes of self-expression. Ethics emerges as a beautifully human phenomenon--permanently unfinished, collectively refined and distorted generation by generation. Our human values, Kitcher shows, can be understood not as a final system but as a project--the ethical project--in which our species has engaged for most of its history, and which has been central to who we are. ---- Book Description
History and philosophy of modern mathematics( Book )

16 editions published between 1978 and 1988 in English and held by 527 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In Mendel's mirror : philosophical reflections on biology by Philip Kitcher( Book )

11 editions published between 2002 and 2003 in English and held by 507 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Philip Kitcher is one of the leading figures in the philosophy of science today. Here he collects, for the first time, many of his published articles on the philosophy of biology, spanning from the mid-1980's to the present. The book's title refers to Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian monk who was one of the first scientists to develop a theory of heredity. Mendel's work has been deeply influential to our understanding of our selves and our world, just as the study of genetics today will have a profound and long-term impact on future scientific research. Kitcher's articles cover a broad range of t
Scientific explanation by Philip Kitcher( Book )

18 editions published between 1962 and 2011 in English and Undetermined and held by 419 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Four decades of scientific explanation / Wesley C. Salmon -- Explanation and metaphysical controversy / Peter Railton -- Explanation : in search of the rationale / Matti Sintonen -- Scientific explanation : the causes, some of the causes, and nothing but the causes / Paul W. Humphreys -- Pure, mixed, and spurious probabilities and their significance for a reductionist theory of causation / David Papineau -- Capacities and abstractions / Nancy Cartwright -- The causal mechanical model of explanation / James Woodward -- Explanation in the social sciences / Merrilee H. Salmon -- Explanatory unification and the causal structure of the world / Philip Kitcher
Life after faith : the case for secular humanism by Philip Kitcher( Book )

6 editions published between 2014 and 2015 in English and held by 413 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Philip Kitcher constructs an original and persuasive secular perspective, one that answers human needs, recognizes the objectivity of values, and provides for the universal desire for meaningfulness. Kitcher thoughtfully and sensitively considers how secularism can respond to the worries and challenges that all people confront, including the issue of mortality. He investigates how secular lives compare with those of people who adopt religious doctrines as literal truth, as well as those who embrace less literalistic versions of religion. Whereas religious belief has been important in past times, Kitcher concludes that evolution away from religion is now essential. He envisions the successors to religious life, when the senses of identity and community traditionally fostered by religion will instead draw on a broader range of cultural items--those provided by poets, filmmakers, musicians, artists, scientists, and others. With clarity and deep insight, Kitcher reveals the power of secular humanism to encourage fulfilling human lives built on ethical truth
Joyce's kaleidoscope : an invitation to Finnegans wake by Philip Kitcher( Book )

11 editions published between 2007 and 2008 in English and held by 327 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

James Joyce's Ulysses, once regarded as obscure and obscene, is now viewed as one of the masterpieces of world literature. Yet Joyce's final novel, Finnegans Wake, to which he devoted seventeen years, remains virtually unread, except by scholarly specialists. Its linguistic novelties, apparently based on an immense learning that few can share, make it appear impenetrable. Joyce's Kaleidoscope attempts to dissolve the darkness and to invite lovers of literature to engage with Finnegans Wake. Philip Kitcher proposes that the Wake has at its core an age-old philosophical question, What makes a life worth living?, and that Joyce explores that question from the perspective of someone who feels that a long life is now ending. So the complex dream language is a way of investigating issues that are hard to face directly; the reader is invited to struggle with the novel's aging dreamer who seeks reassurance about the worth of what he has done and been. Joyce finds his way to reassurance. The sweeping music and the high comedy of Finnegans Wake celebrate the ordinary doings of ordinary people. With great humanity and a distinctive brand of humanism, Joyce points us to the things that matter in our lives. His final novel is a festival of life itself. From this perspective, the supposedly opaque, or nonsensical, language opens up as a rich source for the reader's reflections: though readers won't all approach it the same way, or with the same set of references, there is meaning in it for everyone. Kitcher's detailed study of the entire text brings out its musical resonances and its musical structures. It analyzes the novel overall while bringing deep insight to the reading of key individual passages. This engaging guide will aid readers not just to make sense of the novel, but to relish the remarkable accomplishment of Joyce's least appreciated work
Science in a democratic society by Philip Kitcher( Book )

8 editions published in 2011 in English and Undetermined and held by 271 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Are ghosts real' Are there truly haunted places, only haunted people, or both' And how can we know' Taking neither a credulous nor a dismissive approach, this first-of-its-kind book solves those perplexing mysteries and more-even answering the question of why we care so very much. From the most ancient times, people have experienced apparent contact with spirits of the dead. Some have awakened to see a ghost at their bedside or encountered a spectral figure gliding through a medieval castle. Others have seemingly communicated with spirits, like the Old Testament's Witch of Endor, the spiritualists whose darkroom sEances provoked scientific controversy in the last two centuries, or today's "psychic mediums," like John Edward or Sylvia Browne, who seem to reach the "Other Side" even under the glare of television lights. Currently, equipment-laden ghost hunters stalk their quarry in haunted places-from urban houses to country graveyards-recording "anomalies" they insist cannot be explained. Putting aside purely romantic tales, this book examines the actual evidence for such contact-from eyewitness accounts to mediumistic productions (such as diaphanous forms materializing in dim light), spirit photographs, ghost-detection phenomena, and even CSI-type trace evidence. Offering numerous exciting case studies, this book engages in serious investigation rather than breathless mystifying. Pseudoscience, folk legends, and outright hoaxes are challenged and exposed, while the historical, cultural, and scientific aspects of ghost experiences and haunting reports are carefully explored. The author-the world's only professional paranormal investigator-brings his skills as a stage magician, private detective, folklorist, and forensic science writer to bear on a topic that demands serious study
Preludes to pragmatism : toward a reconstruction of philosophy by Philip Kitcher( Book )

12 editions published between 2012 and 2013 in English and held by 216 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Over the last two decades the distinguished philosopher Philip Kitcher has started to make a serious case for pragmatism as the source of a new life in contemporary philosophy. There are some, like Kitcher, who view today's analytic philosophy as mired in narrowly focused, technical disputes of little interest to the wider world. What is the future of philosophy, and what would it look like? While Classical Pragmatism -- the American philosophy developed by John Dewey, Charles Peirce, and William James in the 19th century-- has a mixed reputation today, Kitcher admires the way its core ideas provide a way to prioritize avenues of inquiry. As he points out, both James and Dewey shared a wish to eliminate 'insignificant questions' from philosophy, and both harbored suspicion of 'timeless' philosophical problems handed down generation after generation. Rather, they saw philosophy as inherently embedded in its time, grappling with pressing issues in religion, social life, art, politics, and education. Kitcher has become increasingly moved by this reformist approach to philosophy, and the published essays included here, alongside a detailed introduction setting out Kitcher's views, provide motivation for his view of the "reconstruction of philosophy." These essays try to install the pragmatic spirit into contemporary philosophy, renewing James and Dewey for our own times
Deaths in Venice : the cases of Gustav von Aschenbach by Philip Kitcher( Book )

8 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 213 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Science, vérité et démocratie by Philip Kitcher( Book )

1 edition published in 2010 in French and held by 64 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Scientific realism and democratic society : the philosophy of Philip Kitcher by Wenceslao J González( Book )

1 edition published in 2011 in English and held by 37 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Philip Kitcher is among the key philosophers of science of our times. This volume offers an up to date analysis of his philosophical perspective taking into account his views on scientific realism and democratic society. The contributors to the volume focus on four different aspects of Kitcher's thought: the evolution of his philosophy, his present views on scientific realism, the epistemological analysis of his modest ("real" or "piecemeal") realism, and his conception of scientific practice. In the final chapter, the philosopher replies to his critics. The volume will be of interest to philosophers as well as anyone interested in the relation between science and society
PSA 1984 : proceedings of the 1984 biennial meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association by Philosophy of Science Association( Book )

in English and held by 19 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

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Alternative Names
Kitcher, Philip

English (318)

Spanish (8)

German (7)

French (1)

The lives to come : the genetic revolution and human possibilitiesLiving with Darwin : evolution, design, and the future of faithVaulting ambition : sociobiology and the quest for human natureThe advancement of science : science without legend, objectivity without illusionsThe nature of mathematical knowledgeScience, truth, and democracyFinding an ending : reflections on Wagner's RingIn Mendel's mirror : philosophical reflections on biology