Pragmatism: An Open Question
February 1995, Wiley-Blackwell
Hilary Putnam has been at the center of contemporary debates about the nature of the mind and of its access to the world, about language and its relation to reality, and many other metaphysical and epistemological issues. In this book he turns to pragmatism - and confronts the teachings of James, Peirce, Dewey, and Wittgenstein - not solely out of an interest in theoretical questions, but above all to respond to the questions of whether it is possible to find an alternative to corrosive moral skepticism, on the one hand, and to moral authoritarianism on the other.
1. The Permanace of William James.
2. Was Wittgenstein a Pragmatist?.
3. Pragmatism and the Contemporary Debate.
Bibliography of the Writings of Hilary Putman.
Hilary Putnam is Pearson Professor of Mathematical Logic in the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University. Putnam has written extensively on the philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of natural science, philosophy of language and the philiosophy of the mind. Among his recent major publication in philiosophy are Representation and Reality (1988), Realism with a Human Face (1990), and Renewing Philosophy (1992).
"It is a relatively rare, and very welcome, event when an original, brilliantly imaginative analytic philosopher takes a fresh look at earlier figures in the history of philosophy and proceeds to tell a story that ties in their work with his own. Analytic philosophy's greatest disability remains its lack of historical resonance, and Hilary Putnam is one of the few who have worked hard to help it overcome this handicap ... In sum, this book is a useful supplement to Putnam's other recent work." Richard Rorty, The Philosophical Review