Ideas of Nelson Goodman, by Theme

[American, b.1906, Born in Somerville. Professor at Brandeis University. Also at Harvard University.]

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1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 4. Ordinary Language
Without words or other symbols, we have no world
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 5. Truth Bearers
Truth is irrelevant if no statements are involved
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 5. Conceptions of Set / a. Sets as existing
Classes are a host of ethereal, platonic, pseudo entities
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 8. Critique of Set Theory
Two objects can apparently make up quite distinct arrangements in sets [Burgess/Rosen]
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 1. Mereology
The counties of Utah, and the state, and its acres, are in no way different
5. Theory of Logic / C. Ontology of Logic / 4. Logic by Convention
If the result is bad, we change the rule; if we like the rule, we reject the result
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 4. Ontological Dependence
Being primitive or prior always depends on a constructional system
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / d. Humean supervenience
We don't recognise patterns - we invent them
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 2. Reality
Reality is largely a matter of habit
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 3. Anti-realism
We build our world, and ignore anything that won't fit
7. Existence / E. Categories / 5. Category Anti-Realism
A world can be full of variety or not, depending on how we sort it
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / a. Dispositions
Dispositions seem more ethereal than behaviour; a non-occult account of them would be nice
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 2. Resemblance Nominalism
If all and only red things were round things, we would need to specify the 'respect' of the resemblance [Macdonald]
Without respects of resemblance, we would collect blue book, blue pen, red pen, red clock together [Macdonald]
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 3. Predicate Nominalism
If we apply the same word to different things, it is only because we are willing to do so [Macdonald]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 3. Relative Identity
Things can only be judged the 'same' by citing some respect of sameness
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 9. Counterfactuals
Counterfactuals are true if logical or natural laws imply the consequence [McFetridge]
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 5. Coherentism / b. Pro-coherentism
Discovery is often just finding a fit, like a jigsaw puzzle
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 3. Instrumentalism
Users of digital thermometers recognise no temperatures in the gaps
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 5. Commensurability
We lack frames of reference to transform physics, biology and psychology into one another
14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / a. Grue problem
Goodman argued that the confirmation relation can never be formalised [Horsten/Pettigrew]
Goodman showed that every sound inductive argument has an unsound one of the same form [Putnam]
Grue and green won't be in the same world, as that would block induction entirely
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 1. Defining Art
Art is a referential activity, hence indefinable, but it has a set of symptoms
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 5. Art as Language
Artistic symbols are judged by the fruitfulness of their classifications [Giovannelli]
Art is like understanding a natural language, and needs a grasp of a symbol system [Gardner]
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 7. Ontology of Art
A performance is only an instance of a work if there is not a single error
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 2. Copies of Art
A copy only becomes an 'instance' of an artwork if there is a system of notation
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 1. Nature
If the world is one it has many aspects, and if there are many worlds they will collect into one
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 3. Laws and Generalities
We don't use laws to make predictions, we call things laws if we make predictions with them