Putnam is one of the most influential philosophers of recent times, and his authority stretches far beyond the confines of the discipline. However, there is a considerable challenge in presenting his work both accurately and accessibly. This is due to the width and diversity of his published writings and to his frequent spells of radical re-thinking. But if we are to understand how and why philosophy is developing as it is, we need to attend to Putnam's whole career. He has had a dramatic influence on theories of meaning, semantic content, and the nature of mental phenomena, on interpretations of quantum mechanics, theory-change, logic and mathematics, and on what shape we should desire for future philosophy. By presenting the whole of his career within its historical context, de Gaynesford discovers a basic unity in his work, achieved through repeated engagements with a small set of hard problems. By foregrounding this integrity, the book offers an account of his philosophy that is both true to Putnam and helpful to readers of his work.
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Maximilian de Gaynesford is Reader in Philosophy at the University of Reading, UK.Review:
"An excellent introduction to Putnam's work, which offers an original encompassing interpretative hypothesis as a guide through this complex corpus of work." - Axel Mueller, Northwestern University, IS
"Distinctive and original, especially in its focus upon the problem of intentionality as a central and dominant theme running through Putnam's work. It provides a very useful account of the historical and philosophical context in which Putnam's work developed. It is well-informed and elegantly written." - Bob Hale, University of Sheffield, UK
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