Hilary Putnam: Pragmatism and Realism

Hilary Putnam: Pragmatism and Realism

Hilary Putnam: Pragmatism and Realism

Hilary Putnam: Pragmatism and Realism


One of the most influential contemporary philosophers, Hilary Putnam's involvement in philosophy spans philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, ontology and epistemology and logic. This collection discusses the realist and pragmatist debate.


The most vivid form of philosophizing is discussion - an indirect exchange of views allows for their better understanding, and for their deeper examination by advocates on the one hand and adversaries on the other. Our book is just such a vivid discussion, a debate with Hilary Putnam, whose views 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 Putnam's philosophy: pragmatism and realism. Both of these topics allow them to discuss various questions that are important in the philosophy of science and culture, epistemology and ontology, the philosophy of mind and language, and the philosophy of logic.

The philosophers examine Putnam's position, while he comments on each of their papers and contributes further to the discussion with an original essay of his own. Thus, the reader will have fresh and challenging replies to the key philosophical questions raised by Putnam's lifetime of intellectual 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 with the real problems of real beings in the real world?'

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

James Conant and Urszula egleń

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