Philosopher Peter Caws

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Philosophy of Science

The Philosophy of Science, A Systematic Account (Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1965).  My first book.  It had a few years’ run as a standard text.  The original flowery green cover (I have no idea who the designer was) was eventually replaced by black.

translated book by Bochenski

(translated)  J. M. Bochenski, The Methods of Contemporary Thought (Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1965), reprinted as a Harper Torchbook (New York: Harper and Row, 1968); originally Die zeitgenössischen Denkmethoden (Bern: Francke Verlag, 1954).  This work resulted from a series of misunderstandings: I encountered the book in Costa Rica as Los métodos actuales del pensamiento; I wrote to ask Bochenski if it existed in English; he said thanks for offering to translate my book, I’ve written to my publisher; the publisher said it’s already being translated but we don’t like the result, we’re sending you the opening chapters for your comment; I took one look and realized the translation was incompetent, but took a while to reply, felt bad about the delay, and in the end agreed to do it myself. 

Science and the Theory of Value
Science and the Theory of Value (New York: Random House, 1967).  Published as a “paper text” - a big mistake, almost guaranteeing that it wouldn’t get reviewed.  The one and only review, a quite friendly one in Philosophy of Science, appeared just as Random House declared the book out of print.  Their sales people had tried to market it as a logic book but it’s more about ethics.
Sartre (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979).  Commissioned for the series “The Arguments of the Philosophers,” this one ran seven years over deadline, partly because, unlike most introductions published in the US and UK, it didn’t confine itself to works that had been translated into English.  Reading thousands of pages of French, however, consumed many happy summer hours in Parisian cafés.  The publisher wanted some of Sartre’s handwriting on the cover - a big crisis when the book came out: it wasn’t his handwriting.  It turned out however to be Simone de Beauvoir’s, an interesting mistake.
Two Centuries of Philosophy in America
(edited) Two Centuries of Philosophy in America (Oxford: Blackwell,  and Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1980).  The selected proceedings of the Bicentennial Symposium of Philosophy, which in my capacity as chair of the Committee on International Cooperation of the American Philosophical Association I organized and directed in New York in 1976, even though I was not at that time a citizen of the United States.

Structuralism: The Art of the Intelligible (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1988).  Second printing with additions as Structuralism: A Philosophy for the Human Sciences, in 1997; now on the list of Humanity Books, an imprint of Prometheus Books in Amherst, NY.  This book brought together the work I had done on the structuralists over a period of twenty years (when I wasn’t working on Sartre or American philosophical matters, see above) beginning with one of the very first articles on the subject in English (“What is Structuralism?” in Partisan Review in 1968).


The Causes of Quarrel
(edited) The Causes of Quarrel: Essays on Peace, War, and Thomas Hobbes (Boston, Beacon Press, 1989).  Another book of proceedings, this time of a colloquium on the Bicentennial of the American Constitution, and in anticipation of Hobbes’s 400th birthday, which I organized in Washington in 1987 (still not an American citizen - that didn’t come until 1995).
The Capital Connection

The Capital Connection: Business, Science, and Government (New York: Baruch College, 1993).  An expanded version of the first Philip Morris Lectures in Business and Society, delivered at Baruch College of the City University of New York in April 1986.

Yorick's World

Yorick’s World: Science and the Knowing Subject (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993).  In spite of a detour through Continental philosophy (especially Sartre and the structuralists) I never lost touch with the philosophy of science, though I enlarged considerably the scope of what I regarded as scientific.  Yorick brought together my main papers in that field since the first philosophy of science book almost thirty years earlier. An aside, which ties some content from this book with a 2012 album by my son's band, Nada Surf, can be found here.

Ethics from Experience
Ethics From Experience (Boston: Jones and Bartlett, 1996).  A very much reworked and enlarged  descendant of Science and the Theory of Value, this time spelling out its ethical content and implications.  This was the book I really wanted to write, but it had an ill-starred publication history. Like its predecessor it was put out in paperback, with equally inappropriate sales backing, and the publisher promptly sold its philosophy list to Wadsworth in California, which had its own stable of textbook writers, so that Ethics from Experience was pulped within a couple of years of publication.  A limited re-edition was published a few years later (Washington, DC: The River Horse Press, 2007).
Religious Upbringing and the Costs of Freedom

(edited, with Stefani Jones) Religious Upbringing and the Costs of Freedom: Personal and Philosophical Essays (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2010).   A collection of autobiographical and analytic accounts by philosophers who (like its editors) were brought up in restrictive religious environments and found ways to overcome this indoctrination.

Religious Upbringing and the Costs of Freedom

The Book of Hylas (Barsuk Records, 2019).   A unique project produced by Matthew Caws that includes a book with text by Peter Caws, Illustrations by Line Hoven, and a vinyl recording with spoken words by Peter Caws and music by the Parkington Sisters. Also available as a digital recording.