Phil 264 - Putnam-2 - Hilary Putnam's "Why there isn't a...

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Hilary Putnam's "Why there isn't a ready-made world" (1983) Hand-out 2 of 2 Overview of Study Questions 1-9: Putnam is concerned to do things: (i) argue against metaphysical realism (the view that there is a ready-made world to which we have access) and (ii) propose a Kantian alternative, according to which truth is possible without "correspondence" to some mind-independent reality. The Rest of Putnam's Essay: Instead of answering study questions 10-18, I have decided to summarize the key points in the sections entitled ESSENCES AND OBJECTS and THE FAILURE OF NATURAL METAPHYSICS. Although the sections on CAUSATION and REFERENCE are interesting and important, in the interests of time, we will be skipping over them. ESSENCES AND OBJECTS: Putnam's main concern in this section is to attack the view materialism is consistent with essentialism. In other words, if you are going to be "scientifically-minded" and hold that all that exists is physical, then you will have no grounds for believing that objects have essences. And if you have no grounds for believing that objects have essences, then (barring some special intellectual faculty), you have no grounds for believing in the possibility of metaphysics - knowledge of mind- independent reality. Below are some specific questions/answers relevant to this section of Putnam's essay. 1. What does Kripke say about the statue and the piece of clay? First, who is Saul Kripke? Famous contemporary philosopher of logic and language. Used to be at Princeton, now is at CUNY. He says that there are two objects, not one. (He would say the same about the airplane and the piece of paper). 2. How does Kripke's view on this matter tie into essentialism? It might initially appear to support essentialism. For it claims, in effect, that the statue and
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2009 for the course PHIL 264 taught by Professor Reimer during the Spring '07 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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Phil 264 - Putnam-2 - Hilary Putnam's "Why there isn't a...

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