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Philosophy in an Age of Science

Philosophy in an Age of Science

Physics, Mathematics, and Skepticism

Hilary Putnam

Edited by Mario De Caro and David Macarthur

ISBN 9780674050136

Publication date: 04/30/2012

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Hilary Putnam’s unceasing self-criticism has led to the frequent changes of mind he is famous for, but his thinking is also marked by considerable continuity. A simultaneous interest in science and ethics—unusual in the current climate of contention—has long characterized his thought. In Philosophy in an Age of Science, Putnam collects his papers for publication—his first volume in almost two decades.

Mario De Caro and David Macarthur’s introduction identifies central themes to help the reader negotiate between Putnam past and Putnam present: his critique of logical positivism; his enduring aspiration to be realist about rational normativity; his anti-essentialism about a range of central philosophical notions; his reconciliation of the scientific worldview and the humanistic tradition; and his movement from reductive scientific naturalism to liberal naturalism. Putnam returns here to some of his first enthusiasms in philosophy, such as logic, mathematics, and quantum mechanics. The reader is given a glimpse, too, of ideas currently in development on the subject of perception.

Putnam’s work, contributing to a broad range of philosophical inquiry, has been said to represent a “history of recent philosophy in outline.” Here it also delineates a possible future.

Authors

  • Hilary Putnam was Cogan University Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard University.
  • Mario De Caro is Hilary Putnam’s literary executor and Professor of Moral Philosophy at Roma Tre University. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Philosophical Association, a regular visiting professor at Tufts University, and author of five volumes in Italian.
  • David Macarthur is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. With Mario De Caro, he edited Naturalism in Question, Naturalism and Normativity, and Hilary Putnam’s Philosophy in an Age of Science. He also edited Hilary and Ruth Anna Putnam’s Pragmatism as a Way of Life.

Book Details

  • 672 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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