Ideas from 'Reason, Truth and History' by Hilary Putnam [1981], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Reason, Truth and History' by Putnam,Hilary [CUP 1998,0-521-29776-1]].

green numbers give full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas

1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 1. Nature of Wisdom
For ancient Greeks being wise was an ethical value
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 1. Truth
Putnam's epistemic notion of truth replaces the realism of correspondence with ontological relativism [O'Grady]
3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 1. Correspondence Truth
Before Kant, all philosophers had a correspondence theory of truth
3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 3. Correspondence Truth critique
The correspondence theory is wrong, because there is no one correspondence between reality and fact [O'Grady]
3. Truth / E. Pragmatic Truth / 1. Pragmatic Truth
Truth is an idealisation of rational acceptability
5. Theory of Logic / I. Semantics of Logic / 6. Intensionalism
Intension is not meaning, as 'cube' and 'square-faced polyhedron' are intensionally the same
5. Theory of Logic / J. Model Theory in Logic / 2. Isomorphisms
If cats equal cherries, model theory allows reinterpretation of the whole language preserving truth
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 3. Anti-realism
If we try to cure the abundance of theories with causal links, this is 'just more theory' [Lewis]
The sentence 'A cat is on a mat' remains always true when 'cat' means cherry and 'mat' means tree
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / a. Facts
A fact is simply what it is rational to accept
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 12. Denial of Properties
Very nominalistic philosophers deny properties, though scientists accept them
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 11. Denial of Necessity
If necessity is always relative to a description in a language, then there is only 'de dicto' necessity [O'Grady]
13. Knowledge Criteria / E. Relativism / 6. Relativism Critique
Some kind of objective 'rightness' is a presupposition of thought itself
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 3. Instrumentalism
Na´ve operationalism would have meanings change every time the tests change
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 5. Rationality
Rationality is one part of our conception of human flourishing
18. Thought / C. Content / 5. Twin Earth
'Water' on Twin Earth doesn't refer to water, but no mental difference can account for this
18. Thought / C. Content / 6. Broad Content
Reference is social not individual, because we defer to experts when referring to elm trees
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 3. Ontology of Concepts / b. Concepts as abilities
Concepts are (at least in part) abilities and not occurrences
19. Language / B. Reference / 3. Direct Reference / c. Social reference
Neither individual nor community mental states fix reference
Maybe the total mental state of a language community fixes the reference of a term
19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / b. Indeterminate translation
There are infinitely many interpretations of a sentence which can all seem to be 'correct'
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / b. Fact and value
The word 'inconsiderate' nicely shows the blurring of facts and values