Thought and Action

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Thought and Action
Thought and Action.JPG
Author Stuart Hampshire
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Subject Action theory
Published 1959 (Chatto and Windus)
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 276
ISBN 978-0268018474

Thought and Action is a 1959 book by Stuart Hampshire, his major work.[1] The book has received praise from commentators.

Summary[edit]

Hampshire develops in greater detail ideas about freedom and the philosophy of mind that he had already explored in his Spinoza (1951). He examines a set of contrasts between that which is unavoidable in human thought and that which is contingent, between knowledge and decision, criticism and practice, philosophy and experience.[1] He argues that empiricist theories of perception descending from George Berkeley and David Hume mistakenly represent people as passive observers receiving impressions from "outside" of the mind, where the "outside" includes their own bodies.[2]

Scholarly reception[edit]

Historian Peter Gay wrote that Thought and Action is a "brilliant" and "lucid" contribution to the philosophy of action, and a subtle vindication of free will.[3] Philosopher Roger Scruton, writing in Sexual Desire (1986), credited Hampshire with providing a seminal discussion of two contrasting outlooks on the future that can be called "predicting and deciding."[4] Philosopher Anthony Quinton wrote that Hampshire's "systematic aim and fine mandarin prose were both unusual for an Oxford philosopher of the time."[5]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Downie 2005. p. 358.
  2. ^ Hampshire 1959. p. 47.
  3. ^ Gay 1976. p. 237.
  4. ^ Scruton 1994. p. 333.
  5. ^ Quinton 2005. p. 546.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Downie, R. S. (2005). Honderich, Ted, ed. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-926479-1. 
  • Gay, Peter (1976). Art and Act: On Causes in History – Manet, Gropius, Mondrian. New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-430061-7. 
  • Hampshire, Stuart (1959). Thought and Action. London: Chatto and Windus. 
  • Quinton, Anthony (2005). Honderich, Ted, ed. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-926479-1. 
  • Scruton, Roger (1994). Sexual Desire: A Philosophical Investigation. London: Phoenix. ISBN 1-85799-100-1.