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Philosophical Papers Mind, Language and Reality

ISBN-10: 0521295513
ISBN-13: 9780521295512
Edition: 1979
Authors: Hilary Putnam
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Book details

List price: $93.00
Copyright year: 1979
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 4/30/1979
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 476
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.342

According to John Passmore, Hilary Putnam's work is a "history of recent philosophy in outline" (Recent Philosophers). He adds that writing "about "Putnam's philosophy' is like trying to capture the wind with a fishing-net." Born in Chicago and educated at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at Los Angeles, Putnam taught at Northwestern University, Princeton University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before moving to Harvard University in 1965. In his early years at Harvard, he was an outspoken opponent of the war in Vietnam. Although he writes in the idiom of analytic philosophy, Putnam addresses major themes relating science to ethics and epistemology. If these themes are reminiscent of David Hume---as, for that matter, is much of analytic philosophy---his treatment of them is not. Putnam's work is far more profoundly shaped by recent work in logic, foundations of mathematics, and science than would have been possible for Hume; Putnam has contributed to each. He differs from Hume and stands more in the tradition of Willard Quine and American pragmatism in his treatment of the crucial distinctions between analytic and synthetic statements and between facts and values. Both distinctions, sharply made by Hume, are claimed by Putnam not to be absolute. He attempts to show, for example, that basic concepts of philosophy, science, and mathematics all are interrelated, so that mathematics bears more similarity to empirical reasoning than is customarily acknowledged.

Introduction
Language and philosophy
The analytic and synthetic
Do true assertions correspond to reality?
Some issues in the theory of grammar
The 'innateness hypothesis' and explanatory models in linguistics
How not to talk about meaning
Review of The concept of a person
Is semantics possible?
The refutation of conventionalism
Reply to Gerald Massey
Explanation and reference
The meaning of 'meaning'
Language and reality
Philosophy and our mental life
Dreaming and 'depth grammar'
Brains and behaviour
Other minds
Minds and machines
Robots: machines or artificially created life?
The mental life of some machines
The nature of mental states
Logical positivism and the philosophy of mind
Bibliography
Index

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