Hilary Putnam is one of the world’s leading philosophers. His highly original and often provocative ideas have set the agenda for a variety of debates in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. His now famous philosophical thought experiments, such as the ‘Twin earth’ and ‘the brains in the vat’ have become part of the established canon in philosophy and cognitive science.
Reading Putnam is an outstanding overview and assessment of Hilary Putnam’s work by a team of international contributors, and includes replies by Putnam himself. Divided into clear sections, it contains chapters on key aspects of Putnam’s large body of writing, including:
- Scientific realism and the changes that Putnam’s thought has undergone on this topic
- analyticity and ontology, including the important interconnections between the views of Putnam and Quine
- Putnam’s arguments concerning externalist views of meaning and reference, questions of conceptual relativity, and his preoccupation with ethics through a denial of the fact–value dichotomy
- Putnam’s developing views on perception.
Offering an excellent survey of Putnam’s work, Reading Putnam is essential for those studying philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science, as well as for anyone interested in contemporary philosophy.