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Surfaces

1988
Author:

Avrum Stroll

Surfaces

Provides novel answers to two age-old philosophical problems-the epistemological problem of how perception is able to generate knowledge, and the metaphysical problem of what it is that we perceive.

Provides novel answers to two age-old philosophical problems-the epistemological problem of how perception is able to generate knowledge, and the metaphysical problem of what it is that we perceive.

In Surfaces, Avrum Stroll does something that is rare: he provides novel answers to two age-old philosophical problem

the epistemological problem of how perception is able to generate knowledge, and the metaphysical problem of what it is that we perceive... This is almost certain to be regarded as one of the major books dealing with philosophical issues of perception and can most profitably be compared with Roderick Chisholm’s classical work Perceiving.”

Despite its importance in the sciences and the plastic arts, the concept of a surface has been virtually ignored by philosophers - mentioned in the philosophical literature since the time of Aristotle, but never accorded the full investigation that Avrum Stroll provides in this book. Stroll shows that the concept plays an essential role in many philosophical problems (our knowledge of the external world, abstract ideas, foundationalism); it is also important in its own right and for its bearing on future research projects in philosophy and in the psychology of perception. Stroll’s first line of questioning - how we define and perceive a surface - issues in a powerful challenge to one of the main assumptions of traditional epistemology. Then he looks into “the geometry of ordinary speech” - the terms we use to organize and structure the world we inhabit (“margin,” “border,” “limit,” “boundary,” “edge”) - and shows how this informal topological system resembles and differs from the mathematical science of geometry. In so doing, he opens up a novel philosophical issue to further discussion and research.

Surfaces

Avrum Stroll is a professor of philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. His many books include The Emotive Theory of Ethics and Epistemology: New Essays in the Theory of Knowledge.

Surfaces

In Surfaces, Avrum Stroll does something that is rare: he provides novel answers to two age-old philosophical problem

the epistemological problem of how perception is able to generate knowledge, and the metaphysical problem of what it is that we perceive... This is almost certain to be regarded as one of the major books dealing with philosophical issues of perception and can most profitably be compared with Roderick Chisholm’s classical work Perceiving.”