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The Philosophy of Hilary Putnam

(Volume XXXIV, 2015)

Hilary Putnam, Cogan University Professor Emeritus of Harvard, has always been a model, both personally and intellectually, of numerous humane virtues, and I think the virtues that reveal the most about his achievement are his genuineness and his courage, in several complementary senses of that ancient virtue. But before launching into a consideration of courage, one thing really has to be made clear. Ruth Anna Putnam is an integral part of any story about what they achieved together, in every sense. There can really be no discussion of the qualities of Hilary Putnam's mind, his character, his honors and achievements, his insights, and (most importantly) his development, that does not credit from the start the idea that the completed human being is part of a family and, in this case, also half of a marriage, which explains far more about who he is than one can read in any book or article he ever wrote, with the possible exception of the Intellectual Autobiography in this volume. http://www.opencourtbooks.com/books_n/philosophy_putnam.htm

Table of Contents

Intellectual Autobiography of Hilary Putnam

Hilary Putnam

(Replies follow essays)

Charles Parsons: Putnam on Realism and "Empiricism" in Mathematics

Hartry Field: Mathematical Undeciables, Metaphysical Realism, and Equivalent Descriptions

Felix Mulholzer: Putnam, Wittgenstein, and the Objectivity of Mathematics

Steven J. Wagner: Modal and Objectual

Geoffrey Hellman: Infinite Possibilities and Possibilities of Infinity

Charles Travis: Engaging

Alan Berger: What Does It Mean to Say "Water is Necessarily H2O"?

Ian Hacking: Natural Kinds, Hidden Structures, and Pragmatic Instincts

Robert K. Shope: The State of Affairs Regarding True Assertions

Gary Ebbs: Putnam and The Contextually A Priori

Michael Dummett: What Do Permutation Arguments Prove?

Yemima Ben-Menahem: Revisiting the Refutation of Conventionalism

Tim Maudlin: Confessions of a Hardcore, Unsophiscated Metaphysical Realist

Frederick Stoutland: Putnam and Wittgenstin

Carl Posy: Realism, Reference, and Reason: Remarks on Putnam and Kant

Cora Diamond: Putnam and Wittgensteinian Baby-Throwing: Variations on a Theme

Susan James: Politics and the Progress of Sentiments

John McDowell: Putnam on Natural Realism

Pierre Hadot: Words in Life: "Philosophy as Education for Grownups"

John Haldane: Philosophy, Causality, and God

Ruth Anna Putnam: Hilary Putnam's Jewish Philosophy

Simon Blackburn: Putnam on Wittgenstein and Religious Language

Cornel West: Hilary Putnam and the Third Enlightenment

Larry A. Hickman: Putnam's Progress: The Deweyan Deposit In His Thinking

Harvey Cormier: What Is the Use of Calling Putnam a Pragmatist?

Marcin Kilanowski: Toward a Responsible and Rational Ethical Discussion: A Critique of Putnam's Pragmatic Approach

Richard Rorty: Putnam, Pragmatism, and Parmenides

Bibliography of Rorty's Works