“All We Need Is a Paradigm,” includes fourteen philosophical essays on topics such as economics, physics, mathematics, and music. I edited the book and was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Review of Philosophy; the book was published by the journal in 2009.
In this volume of philosophical essays, our authors productively tackle important questions about the world in ways one would not expect. They show how valuable the rigor and insight of philosophical analysis and thought are in a broad array of fields, including perhaps especially, economics, physics, and logic.
There are three major themes that come up in the essays: the nature of language, the nature of causality, and the nature of human cognition. An exploration of human cognition also plays a significant part in these essays—asking questions about whether events in the world are real or perceived, whether human action is rational or irrational, whether arithmetic is logical, analytical or even ‘true’.
In “Frege’s Theorem: An Introduction” Richard Heck examines the epistemic status of our understanding of arithmetic—is arithmetic an outcome of reason and are its principles analytically true, or do they depend on human intuition and cognition? “What Is the Problem with Measurement?” Simon Saunders asks in his essay on the paradoxes within quantum mechanics. The problem, both physical and philosophical in nature, centers on the finding that in quantum mechanics two states of the atomic world can exist until the moment of the discrete change in the action when ‘the quantum jump’ and ‘the collapse of the wavepacket’ are observed and they then are collapsed into one outcome.