Thursday, September 27, 2018

Books by friends of the blog

Sean Wilson and Stuart Mirsky, who you may know from the comments section here, have books either out or coming out soon.

New Critical Thinking

What Wittgenstein Offered


Ludwig Wittgenstein changed everything. To understand how, we need to understand what he did to the subject of critical reasoning. 

Wittgenstein didn’t leave us “philosophy”; he left a pathway for a more perspicuous intellect. This was caused by a psychological condition that made him meticulous and hypersensitive. He could abnormally perceive three natural phenomena: (a) the social traits implicated in word use; (b) the task-functions signified in communication; and (c) the pictures that flash before the mind’s eye. With this unique acuity, he showed us how post-analytic thinking was to occur. 

And this discovery changes everything. It revolutionizes how we must argue with one another and what we believe is “true.” Instead of focusing primarily upon premises or facts, we must point people to how their intellect behaves during a speech act—something called “therapy.” And this has radical implications for analysis, conceptual investigation, value judgments, political ideology, ethics and even religion. 

This book is both an explanation of, and a blueprint for, the new critical thinking. Written for both a lay and special audience, and for all fields of study, it shows what Wittgenstein invented and how it affects us all.
 Value and Representation: Three Essays Exploring the Implications of a Pragmatic Epistemology for Moral Thought 
by Stuart W. Mirsky
Consisting of three essays examining the role of valuation in assertoric discourse, and its implications for epistemology, value theory and moral philosophy, this book explores the ways in which valuation enables referential behavior and so makes it possible to live and operate within a world. Examining the different dimensions of valuational activity, it situates moral concerns within a broader constellation of human behavior to show how our moral judgments arise and attain credibility in a world of facts. 


  1. Sean's book may be written to include a general audience but priced only for uni libraries
    Hardback • December 2018 • $90.00 • (£60.00)

    1. The library model is about "wait." After the purchase cycle goes through (2 years?), the paperback comes out, and then reselling. If all goes well, it's about $30 in three years. I wish the system was different. But book publishing (and access) has become quite messy.

    2. hi Sean there isn't just one system in fact there are too many low cost to open-access options available to keep track of so the responsibility falls to authors whether they want to serve public interests or not.
      see for example:

  2. Thanks for the mention Duncan. That's the book I've been mentioning for a couple of years now. Finally felt confident enough in what I'd put together to pull the trigger. There's a brief section in it near the end dealing with Stokhof's interpretation of the early Wittgenstein's ethical view (as seen in the Tractatus and ancillary material from his work in that era). Stokhof views Wittgenstein as heavily influenced by Schopenhauer's otherworldly or transcendental account of ethical judgments and seeks to interpret his references to ethics in the Tractatus in that light. Having considered Schopenhauer's essay on ethics in some detail in the book, I thought I could not close that section out without also taking up the Wittgensteinian variation Stokhof convincingly (to my mind anyway) presents in his assessment.

  3. It's probably not unreasonable to link this post with this one. (And thanks for both).