Philosophy of Logic. Hilary Putnam

Philosophy of Science 40 (1):131-133 (1973)
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Putnam, Hilary FPhilosophy of logic. Harper Essays in Philosophy. Harper Torchbooks, No. TB 1544. Harper & Row, Publishers, New York-London, 1971. v+76 pp. The author of this book has made highly regarded contributions to mathematics, to philosophy of logic and to philosophy of science, and in this book he brings his ideas in these three areas to bear on the traditional philosophic problem of materialism versus (objective) idealism. The book assumes that contemporary science (mathematical and physical) is largely correct as far as it goes, or at least that it is rational to believe in it. The main thesis of the book is that consistent acceptance of contemporary science requires the acceptance of some sort of Platonistic idealism affirming the existence of abstract, non-temporal, non-material, non-mental entities (numbers,scientific laws, mathematical formulas, etc.). The author is thus in direct opposition to the extreme materialism which had dominated philosophy of science in the first three quarters of this century. the book can be especially recommended to the scientifically literate, general reader whose acquaintance with these areas is limited to the earlier literature of when it had been assumed that empiricistic materialism was the only philosophy compatible with a scientific outlook. To this group the book presents an eye-opening challenge fulfilling the author’s intention of “shaking up preconceptions and stimulating further discussion”.
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