Hilary Putnam - Higher Intellect | Putnam A beautiful statement of almost all the ideas that I take to be of lasting value and vital importance Hilary Putnam Hilary Putnam is one of the most

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  • Hilary Putnam

    A beautiful statement of almost all the ideas that I take to be of lasting valueand vital importance

    Hilary Putnam

    Hilary Putnam is one of the most famous and influential living philosophers. InHilary Putnam: Pragmatism and Realism, Putnam responds to ten new papers exam-ining his central ideas, written by highly respected Putnam scholars especiallyfor this volume.

    Putnams work touches on almost every area of interest in contemporary Anglo-American philosophy. His ideas have had repercussions in the philosophy oflanguage and the philosophy of mind, as well as countless areas of metaphysics.Many of Putnams most influential ideas can be traced back to his two key commit-ments: to pragmatism and to realism. In this book, well-known top scholarsexamine these two fundamental positions and their place in Putnams work. Inaddition to responding to each paper, there is a new essay by Putnam himself onpragmatism and nonscientific knowledge.

    The insight into Putnams work provided by the contributions to his work,combined with Putnams extensive and detailed responses, make this essentialreading for anyone with an interest in the ideas and influence of Hilary Putnam.

    Contributors: Ruth Anna Putnam, Hilary Putnam, Richard Warner, RobertBrandom, Nicholas Rescher, John Haldane, Tadeusz Szubka, John Heil,Wolfgang Knne, Gary Ebbs and Charles Travis.

    James Conant is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. He isthe editor of Putnams collected papers. Urszula M. Zeglen is Professor ofPhilosophy at the University of Turon, Poland. She is the editor of Donald Davidson:Truth, Meaning and Knowledge (Routledge, 1999).

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  • Routledge studies in twentieth-century philosophy

    1 The Story of Analytic PhilosophyPlot and heroesEdited by Anat Biletzki and Anat Matar

    2 Donald DavidsonTruth, meaning and knowledgeEdited by Urszula M. Zeglen

    3 Philosophy and Ordinary LanguageThe bent and genius of our tongueOswald Hanfling

    4 The Subject in QuestionSartres critique of Husserl in The Transcendence of the EgoStephen Priest

    5 Aesthetic OrderA philosophy of order, beauty and artRuth Lorland

    6 NaturalismA critical analysisEdited by William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland

    7 Grammar in Early Twentieth-Century PhilosophyEdited by Richard Gaskin

    8 Peter Winchs Philosophy of the Social SciencesRules, magic and instrumental reasonBerel Dov Lerner

    9 Hilary PutnamPragmatism and realismEdited by James Conant and Urszula M. Zeglen

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    T

    aylor & FrancisGr

    oup

    RO

    UTLEDG

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    London and New York

    Hilary PutnamPragmatism and realism

    Edited by James Conant and Urszula M. Z eglen

  • 1

    First published 2002 by Routledge11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE

    Simultaneously published in the USA and Canadaby Routledge29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001

    Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group

    2002 Selection and editorial matter, James Conant and Urszula M. Zeglen. Individual essays, the contributors.

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication DataA catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

    Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication DataHilary Putnam: pragmatism and realism / edited by James Conant

    and Urszula M. Zeglenp. cm. (Routledge studies in twentieth-century philosophy)Includes bibliographical references and index.

    1. Putnam, Hilary. 2. Pragmatism. 3. Realism.I. Zeglen, Urszula M. II. Conant, James. III. Series.B945.P874 H55 2001191dc21 2001048163

    ISBN 0415256054

    This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005.

    To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledges collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk.

    ISBN 0-203-99637-2 Master e-book ISBN

    (Print Edition)

  • Contents

    List of contributors viiPreface xiAcknowledgements xii

    PART IHilary Putnam and pragmatism 1

    Introduction 3U R S Z U L A M . ZE G L E N

    1 Taking pragmatism seriously 7R U T H A N N A P U T N A M

    Comment on Ruth Anna Putnams paper 12H I L A R Y P U T N A M

    2 Pragmatism and nonscientific knowledge 14H I L A R Y P U T N A M

    3 Pragmatism and legal reasoning 25R I C H A R D W A R N E R

    Comment on Richard Warners paper 38H I L A R Y P U T N A M

    4 Pragmatics and pragmatisms 40R O B E R T B R A N D O M

    Comment on Robert Brandoms paper 59H I L A R Y P U T N A M

    5 Knowledge of the truth in pragmatic perspective 66NICHOLAS RESCHER

    Comment on Nicholas Reschers paper 80H I L A R Y P U T N A M

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  • PART IIPutnam on realism 87

    Introduction 89U R S Z U L A M . Z E G L E N

    6 Realism with a metaphysical skull 97J O H N H A L D A N E

    Comment on John Haldanes paper 105H I L A R Y P U T N A M

    7 The causal theory of perception and direct realism 109T A D E U S Z S Z U B K A

    Comment on Tadeusz Szubkas paper 125H I L A R Y P U T N A M

    8 Functionalism, realism and levels of being 128J O H N H E I L

    Comment on John Heils paper 143H I L A R Y P U T N A M

    9 From alethic anti-realism to alethic realism 144W O L F G A N G K N N E

    Comment on Wolfgang Knnes paper 166H I L A R Y P U T N A M

    10 Truth and trans-theoretical terms 167G A R Y E B B S

    Comment on Gary Ebbss paper 186H I L A R Y P U T N A M

    11 What laws of logic say 188C H A R L E S T R A V I S

    Comment on Charles Traviss paper 209H I L A R Y P U T N A M

    Notes 211Writings of Hilary Putnam 229Bibliography 231Index 239

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    vi Contents

  • Contributors

    Robert Brandom is Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy at theUniversity of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Making It Explicit (1994) andArticulating Reasons (2000), and the editor of the Harvard edition of SellarsEmpiricism and the Philosophy of Mind (1997), and Rorty and His Critics (2000).Tales of the Mighty Dead, a collection of his historical essays on Spinoza,Leibniz, Hegel, Frege and Heidegger, is forthcoming from Harvard. Heis currently at work on a book about Hegel.

    James Conant is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago.His interests include the philosophy of language, questions on ethics andpolitical philosophy, literary forms of philosophical work and the historyof philosophy. He has published widely in each of these areas, with arecent focus on Frege and Wittgenstein. He is the editor of HilaryPutnams collected papers.

    Gary Ebbs is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinoisat Urbana-Champaign. He previously taught at Harvard University andthe University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Rule-Following andRealism (1997), and articles on philosophy of language, philosophy oflogic, philosophy of mind and the history of the analytic philosophy. Aunifying goal of his current research is to describe the methodology ofrational inquiry from an engaged, practical point of view.

    John Haldane is Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews.Currently he is also Stanton Lecturer in Divinity at Cambridge, andRoyden-Davis Professor of Humanities at Georgetown University. He isthe co-author (with J. J. C. Smart) of Atheism and Theism and editor ofseveral collections including Philosophy and Public Affairs. A volume of hisessays entitled Faithful Reason is due to be published by Routledge in 2002.

    John Heil is Professor of Philosophy at Monash University and Paul B.Freeland Professor of Philosophy at Davidson College. His interests liein metaphysics, philosophy of mind and epistemology. His most recentbook is Philosophy of Mind: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge 2000).

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  • Wolfgang Knne is Chair of Philosophy at the University of Hamburg.He is Vice-President of the German Society for Analytic Philosophy andPresident of the International Bolzano Society. He is the editor of DirectReference, Indexicality, and Propositional Attitudes and of Bolzano and AnalyticalPhilosophy. His book Conceptions of Truth is forthcoming.

    Hilary Putnam is Cogan University Professor Emeritus at HarvardUniversity. His books include Reason, Truth and History; Realism with aHuman Face; Renewing Philosophy; Words and Life; Pragmatism and TheThreefold Cord: Mind, Body and World.

    Ruth Anna Putnam is Professor Emerita of Philosophy at WellesleyCollege, where she taught for 35 years. She is the editor of The CambridgeCompanion to William James. She has written and continues to write onWilliam James, John Dewey, ethics and political philosophy.

    Nicholas Rescher is University Professor of Philosophy at the Universityof Pittsburgh, where he served for many years as Director of the Centerfor Philosophy of Science. A former president of the American Philosoph-ical Association, he is an honorary member of Corpus Christi College,Oxford. Author of more than eighty works ranging over many areas ofphilosophy, he was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Prize forHumanistic Scholarship in 1984.

    Tadeusz Szubka is Associate Professor of Philosophy, Catholic Universityof Lublin, Poland. He held various visiting fellowships at British,American and Australian universities. He is the author of Metafizyka anal-ityczna P. F. Strawsona (1995) and co-editor of The MindBody Problem(1994). He is currently completing a book on the semantic antirealismof Michael Dummett.

    Charles Travis is Professor of Philosophy at the Northwestern Universityin Evanston, Illinois. He was formerly Professor at the University ofStirling. He is the author of The Uses of Sense, a study of Wittgensteinsphilosophy of language and thought, and of Unshadowed Thought, a studyof some problems of representation in language and thought. He iscurrently working on a book about the bearing of special psychologicaldesign on forms of thought, and about the nature of logical necessity.

    Richard Warner is Associate Professor of Law at the Chicago-KentCollege of Law. He was a professor of philosophy from 1976, first atthe University of Pennsylvania and then at the University of California,until he began teaching at Chicago-Kent in 1990, where he teachescontracts, remedies, jurisprudence, Internet Law and E-commerce Law. He has published several articles and books on philosophical and

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    viii Contributors

  • legal topics. He is currently the Director of Project Poland and FacultyDirector of Chicago-Kents Center for Law and Computers. His currentresearch concerns the regulation of business competition on the Internetas well as the nature of human rights and their grounding in personalfreedom.

    Urszula M. Z eglen is Professor of Philosophy and the chair of Theoryof Knowledge and Methodology of Sciences at the Nicholas CopernicusUniversity in Torun, Poland. She is the editor of Donald Davidson: Truth,Meaning and Knowledge (Routledge 1999).

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    Contributors ix

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  • Preface

    The most vivid form of philosophizing is discussion an indirect exchangeof views allows for their better understanding, and for their deeper exam-ination by advocates on the one hand and adversaries on the other. Ourbook is just such a vivid discussion, a debate with Hilary Putnam, whoseviews are very influential in various areas of present-day philosophy.

    The contributors, who, like Putnam, are also eminent philosophers,concentrate mainly on the two major facets of Putnams philosophy: prag-matism and realism. Both of these topics allow them to discuss variousquestions that are important in the philosophy of science and culture, epis-temology and ontology, the philosophy of mind and language, and thephilosophy of logic.

    The philosophers examine Putnams position, while he comments oneach of their papers and contributes further to the discussion with an orig-inal essay of his own. Thus, the reader will have fresh and challengingreplies to the key philosophical questions raised by Putnams lifetime ofintellectual searching, not the least of which is how do we do philosophy?,which means for him, as for the classical pragmatists, how do we deal withthe real problems of real beings in the real world?

    We hope that, in reading our book, you may find some answers to ques-tions that occupy the minds of everyone, not just professional philosophers.

    James Conant and Urszula Z eglen

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  • Acknowledgements

    Hilary Putnam is a philosopher who for decades has put forward viewswhich have never failed to be fascinating, inspiring, influential and contro-versial. Each new work and elaboration of his views is met with greatinterest all over the world.

    The present volume contains both a new essay by Hilary Putnam and acollection of papers discussing his ideas. The papers focus mainly on twosubjects which are especially important in Putnams philosophy, namelypragmatism and realism.

    The preparation of this book was directly inspired by the conference onAmerican Neopragmatism organized in 1998 at the Nicholas CopernicusUniversity in Torun (Poland) and devoted to Hilary Putnam who, as thekeynote speaker, gave the opening paper (published in this volume).

    Hilary Putnam deserves our special thanks and appreciation. We wouldalso like to thank all our outstanding contributors who wrote their papersespecially for this volume. Our thanks are due to all who, in different ways,helped in preparation of this publication, especially to the philosophy editorsfrom Routledge, Tony Bruce and Siobhan Pattinson, the editorial staff atFlorence Production Ltd, Sarah Moore and Vicky Squires, and the anony-mous referees, as well as to Gary Ebbs, Tadeusz Szubka, Slawek Konkeland John Kearns.

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  • Part I

    Putnam andpragmatism

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  • Introduction

    Urszula M. Zeglen

    While Hilary Putnam does not identify himself as a pragmatist, pragmatismis an important theme in his recent work. He discussed pragmatism in hisItalian lectures, which he delivered in 1992 and published three years later(Putnam 1995b). He has also discussed pragmatism in numerous articles,some of which have been reprinted in Words and Life (1994a), The ThreefoldCord: Mind, Body and World (1999). He sees pragmatism as a valuable sourceof insights into fundamental philosophical questions, such as How can weknow anything about the world? and What are our obligations? Like thepragmatists, he considers such questions both from a theoretical point ofview and from the point of view of our moral, political, social and (even)religious practices.

    The interpenetration of facts and values

    According to Putnam the pragmatists great achievement was to recognizeand highlight the connection between theoretical and practical discourse,thereby laying the groundwork for further and deeper studies. In a paperwith the provocative title Why is a Philosopher? (in Putnam 1990b:10519)...

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