Reader Tracy Ho sends along the following interesting information:
I am a reader of your blog. Since you recently launched several polls about The Best Philosopher, I thought you might be interested in the following information.
In 2002, Professor Chen Bo (Philosophy, Peking University) was asked by one Chinese publisher about important contemporary philosophical works for publication in Chinese translation. At that time Prof. Chen was visiting at the University of Miami, so he asked Prof. Susan Haack for suggestions. They sent e-mails to sixteen philosophers in USA, England, Australia, Germany, Finland, and Brazil to recommend TEN of the most important and influential philosophical books after 1950. They received recommendations from twelve philosophers, including: Susan Haack, Donald M. Borchert (Ohio U.), Donald Davidson, Jurgen Habermas, Ruth Barcan Marcus, Thomas Nagel, John Searle, Peter F. Strawson, Hilary Putnam, and G. H. von Wright. (Sorry I cannot give you the full list, because their names are typed in Chinese. Two of them I cannot identify.)
The results were as follows:
1. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations. 13 votes go to Wittgenstein. Among them, 9 for "Philosophical Investigation." 2 for "On Certainty." Each of "Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus" and "The Blue and Brown Books" gets one.
2. W. V. Quine, Word and Object. 15 votes go to Quine. 8 for "Word and Object." 5 for "From a Logical Point of View." 2 for "Ontological Relativity."
3. Peter F. Strawson, Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics. 11 votes go to Strawson. 8 for "Individuals." "The Bounds of Sense," "Skepticism and Naturalism: Some Varieties," and "Introduction to Logical Theory" obtain one vote for each.
4. John Rawls, A Theory of Justice. 9 votes go to the same book, "A Theory of Justice."
5. Nelson Goodman, Fact, Fiction and Forecast. 10 votes go to Goodman. 7 for "Fact, Fiction and Forecast." 2 for "Ways of World Making." One for "Languages of Art."
6. Saul Kripke, Naming and Necessity. 8 votes go to Kripke. 6 for "Naming and Necessity." 2 for "Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language."
7. G.E.M. Anscombe, Intention. 8 votes go for Anscombe. 6 for "Intention." One for each of "The Collected Philosophical Papers" and "Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Mind."
8. J. L. Austin, How to do Things with Words. 7 votes go to Austin. 5 for "How to Do Things with Words." One for each of "Sense and Sensibilia" and "Philosophical Papers."
9. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 5 votes go to him and this book.
10. M. Dummett, The Logical Basis of Metaphysics. 8 votes go to Dummett. 3 for "The Logical Basis of Metaphysics." 2 for "Frege: Philosophy of Language." One for "Frege: Philosophy of Mathematics" and "Truth and Other Enigmas."
11. Hilary Putnam, The Many Faces of Realism. 8 votes go to him. 3 for "The Many Faces of Realism." Two for "Realism and Reason" and "Philosophical Papers." One for "Meaning and the Moral Sciences."
12. Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. 5 votes go to him. Two for "The Order of Things" and "Discipline and Punishment." One for "An Archaeology of Knowledge."
13. Thomas Nagel, The View From Nowhere. 4 votes go to the same book.
14. Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State and Utopia. 4 votes go to the same book.
15. R. M. Hare obtains 4 votes. Two each for "The Language of Morals" and "Freedom and Reason."
16. John R. Searle obtains 5 votes. Two each for "Intentionality" and "The Rediscovery of the Mind". One for "Speech Acts."
17. Bernard Williams gets 4 votes. Two for "Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. "One for "Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry" and "Moral Luck：Philosophical Papers 1973-1980."
18. Karl Popper gets 4 votes. One for "Conjecture and Refutation". Two for "Logik der Forschung." One for "Open Society and Its Enemies." (The last two were published before 1950)
19. Gilbert Ryle gets 3 votes, all of which go to "The Concept of Mind."
20. Donald Davidson gets 3 votes. Two for "Essays on Action and Event." One for "Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation."
21. John Mcdowell gets 3 votes. All go to "Mind and World." (Prof. Chen notes that Strawson and Putnam voted for him.)
22. Daniel C. Dennett gets 3 votes. Two for "Consciousness explained." One for "The Intentional Stance."
23. Jurgen Habermas gets 3 votes. Two for "Theory of Communicative Action." One for "Between Facts and Norm."
24. Jacques Derrida gets 3 votes. "La Voix et le Phenomene" and "De La Grammatologie" and "introduction a “L’origine de la Geometrie” par Edmund Husserl" get one for each.
25. Paul Ricoeur gets 3 votes. Two for "Le Metaphore Vive." One for "Freedom and Nature."
26. Noam Chomsky gets two votes. Each goes to "Syntactic Structure" and "Cartesian Linguistics."
27. Derek Parfit gets two votes. All go to "Reasons and Persons."
28. Susan Haack gets two votes. All go to "Evidence and Inquiry."
29. D. M. Armstrong gets two votes. Each of them goes to "Materialist Theory of the Mind" and "A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility."
30. Herbert Hart gets two votes. Each of them goes to "The Concept of Law" and "Punishment and Responsibility."
31. Ronald Dworkin gets two votes. Each of them goes to "Taking Rights Seriously" and "Law’s Empire."
Since most of the works on list are analytic philosophy, Prof. Chen asked Habermas to recommend some works in Europe. He recommended Axel Honneth, Kampf um Anerkennung (1992), Rainer Forst, Kontexte der Cerechtigkeit (1994）and Herbert Schnadelbach, Kommentor zu Hegels Rechtephilosophie (2001). [BL comment: Forst was Habermas's student]
It is unclear whether the advisers can vote for their own works.
It might be interesting to see a new result voted by your readers.
Reactions from readers to the preceding? Maybe we will run a poll on this, so feel free to suggest other volumes that ought to be included as major post-1950 books in philosophy.