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Encyclopedia > David Lewis (philosopher)
David K. Lewis
David K. Lewis

David Kellogg Lewis (September 28, 1941October 14, 2001) is considered to have been one of the leading analytic philosophers of the latter half of the 20th century. Born in the United States of America, he taught there (at UCLA and then Princeton) for his career but is also closely associated with Australia, whose philosophical community he visited almost annually for more than thirty years. He is most famous for his theory of modal realism but also made ground-breaking contributions in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, general metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophical logic. David K. Lewis File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... David K. Lewis File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... September 28 is the 271st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (272nd in leap years). ... For the movie, see 1941 (film) 1941 (MCMXLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... October 14 is the 287th day of the year (288th in Leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... Analytic philosophy is the dominant philosophical movement of English-speaking countries, although one of its founders, Gottlob Frege, was German, and another, Ludwig Wittgenstein, was Austrian. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... The University of California, Los Angeles, popularly known as UCLA, is a public, coeducational university situated in the neighborhood of Westwood within the city of Los Angeles. ... Princeton University, located in Princeton, New Jersey, is the fifth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. ... Modal realism is the view, notably propounded by David Lewis, that possible worlds are as real as the actual world. ... Philosophy of language is the branch of philosophy that studies language. ... Philosophy of mind is the philosophical study of the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, and consciousness. ... Metaphysics (Greek words meta = after/beyond and physics = nature) is a branch of philosophy concerned with the study of first principles and being (ontology). ... Epistemology, from the Greek words episteme (knowledge) and logos (word/speech) is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, origin and scope of knowledge. ... Philosophical logic is the study of the more specifically philosophical aspects of logic. ...


Lewis was born in Oberlin, Ohio, to a Professor of Government at Oberlin College and a distinguished medieval historian. He was known later in life for his formidable (even intimidating) intellect; this intelligence was already manifest during his years at Oberlin High School, when he attended college lectures in chemistry. He went on to Swarthmore College, and spent a year at Oxford (1959-1960), where he was tutored by Iris Murdoch and attended lectures by Gilbert Ryle, H.P. Grice, P.F. Strawson, and J.L. Austin. It was his year at Oxford that played a seminal role in his decision to study philosophy, and which made him the quintessentially analytic philosopher that he would be for the rest of his life. Lewis went on to receive his Ph.D from Harvard in 1967, where he studied under W.V.O. Quine. It was there that his connection with Australia was first established when he took a seminar with J.J.C. Smart, a leading Australian philosopher. "I taught David Lewis," Smart would say in later years, "Or rather, he taught me." Oberlin is a city located in Lorain County, Ohio, to the south and west of Cleveland. ... Official language(s) None Capital Columbus Largest city Columbus (largest metropolitan area is Cleveland) Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 34th 116,096 km² 355 km 355 km 8. ... Students passing through the Oberlin Memorial Arch in front of Peters Hall on the Oberlin College campus Oberlin College is a small liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio. ... Chemistry (derived from the Arabic word kimia, alchemy, where al is Arabic for the) is the science of matter that deals with the composition, structure, and properties of substances and with the transformations that they undergo. ... Swarthmore College is a private liberal arts college in the United States, with an enrollment of about 1450 students. ... Dame Iris Murdoch Jean Iris Murdoch DBE (July 15, 1919 – February 8, 1999) was an Anglo–Irish writer and philosopher, best known for her novels, which combine rich characterization and compelling plotlines, usually involving ethical or sexual themes. ... Gilbert Ryle Gilbert Ryle (1900–1976), was a philosopher, and a representative of the generation of British ordinary language philosophers influenced by Wittgensteins insights into language, and is principally known for his critique of Cartesian dualism, for which he coined the phrase the ghost in the machine. He referred... Herbert Paul Grice (1913 - 1988), often writing under the name Paul Grice, was a philosopher remembered mainly for his substantial contribution to the study of meaning within language, particularly his cooperative principle, the maxims of conversation derived from the cooperative principle, and his theory of implicatures. ... Peter Frederick Strawson (born November 23, 1919 in London) is a philosopher associated with the ordinary language philosophy movement within analytical philosophy. ... John Langshaw Austin (March 28, 1911 - February 8, 1960) was a philosopher of language, who developed much of the current theory of speech acts. ... Analytic philosophy is the dominant philosophical movement of English-speaking countries, although one of its founders, Gottlob Frege, was German, and another, Ludwig Wittgenstein, was Austrian. ... Harvard University is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and a member of the Ivy League. ... W. V. Quine Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25, 1908 - December 25, 2000) was one of the most influential American philosophers and logicians of the 20th century. ... John Jameison Carswell Smart, or Jack Smart, (born 1920) is an English-Australian philosopher. ...


Lewis's most important works include Convention (1969), which used concepts of game theory to analyze the nature of linguistic conventions; Counterfactuals (1973), which astonished the philosophical world with a ground-breaking analysis of counterfactual conditionals in terms of the theory of possible worlds; and On the Plurality of Worlds (1986), which fleshed out and defended the theory of modal realism (a label that he was by then regretting, but with which his theory was stuck) which he had advanced in Counterfactuals. His final monograph, Parts of Classes (1991) sketches a reduction of set theory to mereology. He also published five volumes of collected papers covering a remarkably wide range of topics. Game theory is a branch of applied mathematics that studies strategic situations where players choose different actions in an attempt to maximize their returns. ... A counterfactual conditional (sometimes called a subjunctive conditional) is a logical conditional statement whose antecedent is (ordinarily) taken to be contrary to fact by those who utter it. ... In philosophy and logic, the concept of possible worlds is used to express modal claims, claims that involve notions of possibility or necessity. ... On the Plurality of Worlds is an influential book by the philosopher David Lewis that defends the thesis of modal realism. ... Modal realism is the view, notably propounded by David Lewis, that possible worlds are as real as the actual world. ... Set theory is the mathematical theory of sets, which represent collections of abstract objects. ... Mereology is the branch of logic, mathematics and metaphysics dealing with part-whole relationships. ...


Lewis suffered from severe diabetes for much of his life, which eventually grew worse and led into kidney failure. In July of 2000 he received a kidney transplant from his wife Stephanie. The transplant allowed him to work and travel for another year, before he died suddenly, and unexpectedly, from further complications of his diabetes, on 14 October 2001. This article is about the disease that features high blood sugar. ... Human kidneys viewed from behind with spine removed The kidneys are bean-shaped excretory organs in vertebrates. ... October 14 is the 287th day of the year (288th in Leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ...


External links

  • David Lewis: Bibliography

  Results from FactBites:
 
David Lewis (philosopher) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (459 words)
David Kellogg Lewis (September 28, 1941 – October 14, 2001) is considered to have been one of the leading analytic philosophers of the latter half of the 20th century.
Lewis was born in Oberlin, Ohio, to a Professor of Government at Oberlin College and a distinguished medieval historian.
Lewis suffered from severe diabetes for much of his life, which eventually grew worse and led into kidney failure.
Encyclopedia: David Lewis (philosopher) (1578 words)
Gilbert Ryle Gilbert Ryle (1900–1976), was a philosopher, and a representative of the generation of British ordinary language philosophers influenced by Wittgensteins insights into language, and is principally known for his critique of Cartesian dualism, for which he coined the phrase the ghost in the machine.
Lewis was astoundingly modest and unpompous for a successful philosopher, always ready to respond to criticism, and unfailingly generous to students.
Lewis' philosophical interests were broad, as evidenced by the contents of the five volumes of his collected papers published so far: ethics, politics, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical logic, language -- he wrote on a vast range of subjects, from holes to worlds, from Anselm to Mill, from the mind to time travel.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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