David Malet Armstrong


David Malet Armstrong
David Malet Armstrong

David M. Armstrong receiving his doctor of letters (h.c.) at the Nottingham University, UK on 13th December 2007
Full name David Malet Armstrong
Born 8 July 1926
Melbourne
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Australian Realism, Analytic philosophy
Main interests metaphysics, philosophy of mind

David Malet Armstrong (born 8 July 1926), often D. M. Armstrong, is an Australian philosopher. He is well-known for his work on metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, and for his defence of a factualist ontology, a functionalist theory of the mind, an externalist epistemology, and a necessitarian conception of the laws of nature.[1] He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008.[2]

Contents

Philosophy

Armstrong's philosophy is broadly naturalistic. Armstrong's view of knowledge is that the conditions of knowledge are satisfied when you have a justified true belief that you arrived at through a reliable process: that is, the belief was caused by some factor in the external world (hence the label of externalism). Armstrong uses the analogy of a thermometer: as a thermometer changes to reflect the temperature of the environment it is in, so must one's belief if they are reliably formed. The connection between knowledge and the external world, for Armstrong, is a nomological relationship (that is, a law of nature relationship).[3] Here, Armstrong's view is broadly similar to that of Alvin Goldman and Robert Nozick.[4] The intuitions that lead to this kind of externalism led Alvin Plantinga towards an account of knowledge that added the requirement for 'properly-functioning' cognitive systems operating according to a design plan.[5]

Armstrong's philosophical development has been heavily influenced by John Anderson.

Bibliography

Books

  • Berkeley's Theory of Vision: A Critical Examination of Bishop Berkeley's Essay towards a New Theory of Vision. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1960.
  • Bodily Sensations. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1962.
  • Perception and the Physical World. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1961. [ISBN 0-7100-3603-5]
  • A Materialist Theory of the Mind. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1968. [ISBN 0-415-10031-3]
  • Belief, Truth and Knowledge. London: Cambridge University Press, 1973, [ISBN 0-521-08706-6]
  • Universals and Scientific Realism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978. [ISBN 0-521-21741-5]
  • The Nature of Mind and Other Essays. Cornell University Press (1981). [ISBN 0801413532 ]
  • What is a Law of Nature? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. [ISBN 0-521-25343-8]
  • A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. [ISBN 0-521-37427-8]
  • Universals: An Opinionated Introduction. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989. [ISBN 0-8133-0772-4]
  • A World of States of Affairs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. [ISBN 0-521-58064-1]
  • The Mind-Body Problem: An Opinionated Introduction. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999. [ISBN 0-8133-9056-7]
  • Truth and Truthmakers. Cambridge University Press, 2004. [ISBN 0-521-83832-0]
  • Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics. Oxford University Press, 2010. [ISBN 0199590613]

Selected Articles

Miscellaneous

  • "Interview". In Lee Jobling and Catherine Runcie (eds.), Matters of the Mind: Poems, Essays and Interviews in Honour of Leonie Kramer. Sydney: University of Sydney, 2001, 322-332.

See also

  • The Nature of Mind

Further reading

  • R.J. Bogdan (ed.), D.M. Armstrong Dordrecht: Reidel, 1984. [ISBN 90-277-1657-9]
  • John Bacon, Keith Campbell & Lloyd Reinhardt (eds.), Ontology, Causality, and Mind: Essays in Honour of D.M. Armstrong. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. [ISBN 0-521-41562-4][6]
  • J. Franklin, Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia (Macleay Press, 2003), chs 9, 11, 12,
  • S. Mumford, David Armstrong. Acumen, 2007. [ISBN 1844651002]

References

  1. ^ Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers. London: Routledge. 1996. pp. 31–32. ISBN 0415060435. 
  2. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. http://www.amacad.org/publications/BookofMembers/ChapterA.pdf. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Lehrer, Keith. (2000), Theory of knowledge, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, p. 178, ISBN 0813390532, 0813390532, http://openlibrary.org/books/OL6787085M/Theory_of_knowledge 
  4. ^ John L. Pollock (1999), Contemporary theories of knowledge, Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, pp. 13, ISBN 0847689360, 0847689360, http://openlibrary.org/books/OL31726M/Contemporary_theories_of_knowledge 
  5. ^ Alvin Plantinga (1993), Warrant and proper function, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195078632, 0195078632, http://openlibrary.org/books/OL1700198M/Warrant_and_proper_function 
  6. ^ Cambridge Catalogue -- Ontology, Causality, and Mind

External links


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