more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 6272

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 3. Scientism]

Full Idea

Some non-scientific knowledge is presupposed by science; for example, I have been arguing that 'refers' and 'true' cannot be made scientifically precise; yet truth is a fundamental term in logic - a precise science.

Gist of Idea

'True' and 'refers' cannot be made scientically precise, but are fundamental to science


Hilary Putnam (Meaning and the Moral Sciences [1978], Lec VI)

Book Reference

Putnam,Hilary: 'Meaning and the Moral Sciences' [RKP 1981], p.73

A Reaction

We might ask whether we 'know' what 'true' and 'refers' mean, as opposed to being able to use them. If their usage doesn't count as knowledge, then we could still end up with all actual knowledge being somehow 'scientific'.