Review Excerpts

All in all, in my view Simplicity belongs in that rarified pantheon of masterpieces on fundamental metaphysics and category theory (what Dilworth calls meta-metaphysics), which includes Plato’s Sophist, Aristotle’s Categories, Aquinas’ On Being and Essence, Descartes’ Meditations, Berkeley’s Principles, Hume’s Treatise, Kant’s Critiques, Bradley’s Appearance and Reality, Russell’s Logical Atomism, Wittgenstein’s Tractatus and Philosophical Investigations, Husserl’s Ideas, Strawson’s Individuals, and Butchvarov’s Being Qua Being, as well as foundational work in logic and mathematics by Aristotle, Euclid, Newton, Leibniz, Boole, Cantor, Frege, Russell, Gödel, Boolos, and Prior. Beside these, Dilworth’s effort is worthy indeed. − J. K. Swindler, Illinois State University.

The impression I have got [of Simplicity] is unconditionally positive: one perceives that a long meditation and detailed reflection have paved the way to the production of this book, which is remarkable for its clarity and systematicity, and whose structure shows an absolute internal consistency. I also appreciate the originality of much of the contents of the work. It is brought to a very stimulating unity under the powerful impulsion of the concept of simplicity, of which [Dilworth] shows the fruitfulness of a great deal of unsuspected potentialities. − Evandro Agazzi, University of Genoa.

[T]he writing for the most part is lucid and very pedagogical, it flows well and is highly readable for such an abstruse topic. − Lars Hertzberg, Åbo Akademi.

The philosophers before the twentieth century used to build their philosophies on grand visions of the world and reality. With the advent of analytical philosophy, the usefulness of this approach was called in question and the focus moved to the methodology of philosophy. Now the primary goal was to reach solid conclusions with as precise methods as possible, to the price of considering only narrow problems. In the present book, Craig Dilworth succeeds in combining the best in the classical and the modern traditions. In his youth, he had an overwhelming vision of the metaphysical character of the world and reality, a character which he calls simplicity. In the book, he gives a mature exposition of this idea. Using the methods of analytical philosophy, he draws conclusions from this insight − for philosophy in general and for an understanding of the nature and role of metaphysics in particular. Irrespective of whether or not the reader agrees with everything in the book, it is always interesting and stimulating reading. − Kaj Børge Hansen, Uppsala University.