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Penelope Maddy, A Plea for Natural Philosophy: And Other Essays, Oxford University Press, 2022, 313pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780197508855.
Reviewed by Gary Hatfield, University of Pennsylvania
Over the past twenty-five years or so, Penelope Maddy has been developing a naturalistic position in the philosophy of mathematics and in philosophy of science more generally. Finding that “naturalism” has many aspects, including some she does not endorse or even address, she re-fashioned this project as something called “Second Philosophy,” as manifested by a figure dubbed “the Second Philosopher.” This project was the subject of her 2007 book, Second Philosophy: A Naturalistic Method. The Second Philosopher is someone “born native to our contemporary scientific world-view,” who “begins from common sense,” which means that “she trusts her perceptions, subject to correction.” Her curiosity about the world and her place in it leads her to develop more precise observations, purposeful experimentation, hypothesis testing, and…
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