Putnam’s blog “Sardonic comment”

Putnam now has a blog, titled “Sardonic comment”! About this unusual name, he writes:

“In 1976, when I delivered the John Locke Lectures at Oxford, I often spent time with Peter Strawson, and one day at lunch he made a remark I have never been able to forget. He said, “Surely half the pleasure of life is sardonic comment on the passing show”.  This blog is devoted to comments, not all of them sardonic, on the passing philosophical show.”

Well done!




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Philosophy as a value. Hilary Putnam receives Honoris Causa Laurea by the University of Venice Cà Foscari


I am pleased to announce that Hilary Putnam has been honored with a Laurea Honoris Causa at the University of Venice (Italy) Cà Foscari.

I graduated at this university, so I am doubly happy for him!

Here is a video of the ceremony, and Putnam’s prolusion “Philosophy as a value”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJymyBtteqQ

And a short interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYUKvY5mv-E

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Putnam’s reply to J.Fodor’s review

“It seems that Fodor was seized by what seemed to him to be the ‘key’ to all my views: Wittgensteinian semantics! You got me wrong, Jerry, I am no ‘Wittgensteinian’.”


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Enlightening “Science and Philosophy”


1. Why and how the very need for philosophy became a question

2. Logical Positivism as a failed response

3. Postmodernism as another failed response

4. The importance and value of philosophy as I see it

5. Another look at the history


Read more here


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A new book: Philosophy in an Age of Science. Physics, Mathematics, and Skepticism

Philosophy in an Age of Science. Physics, Mathematics, and Skepticism

Hilary Putnam

Edited by Mario De Caro and David Macarthur

672 pages

Harvard University Press

April 2012


  • Preface
  • Introduction: Hilary Putnam: Artisanal Polymath of Philosophy / Mario De Caro and David Macarthur
  • Part 1: On the Relations between Philosophy and Science
    • 1. Science and Philosophy (2010)
    • 2. From Quantum Mechanics to Ethics and Back Again (2012)
    • 3. Corresponding with Reality (2011)
    • 4. On Not Writing Off Scientific Realism (2010)
    • 5. The Content and Appeal of “Naturalism” (2004)
    • 6. A Philosopher Looks at Quantum Mechanics (Again) (2005)
    • 7. Quantum Mechanics and Ontology (2011)
    • 8. The Curious Story of Quantum Logic (2011)
  • Part 2: Mathematics and Logic
    • 9. Indispensability Arguments in the Philosophy of Mathematics (2006)
    • 10. Revisiting the Liar Paradox (2000)
    • 11. Set Theory: Realism, Replacement, and Modality (2007)
    • 12. On Axioms of Set Existence (2011)
    • 13. The Gödel Theorem and Human Nature (2011)
    • 14. After Gödel (2006)
    • 15. Nonstandard Models and Kripke’s Proof of the Gödel Theorem (2000)
    • 16. A Proof of the Underdetermination “Doctrine” (2011)
    • 17. A Theorem of Craig’s about Ramsey Sentences (2011)
  • Part 3: Values and Ethics
    • 18. The Fact/Value Dichotomy and Its Critics (2011)
    • 19. Capabilities and Two Ethical Theories (2008)
    • 20. The Epistemology of Unjust War (2006)
    • 21. Cloning People (1999)
  • Part 4: Wittgenstein: Pro and Con
    • 22. Wittgenstein and Realism (2007)
    • 23. Was Wittgenstein Really an Antirealist about Mathematics? (2001)
    • 24. Rules, Attunement, and “Applying Words to the World”: The Struggle to Understand Wittgenstein’s Vision of Language (2001)
    • 25. Wittgenstein, Realism, and Mathematics (2002)
    • 26. Wittgenstein and the Real Numbers (2007)
    • 27. (With Juliet Floyd) Wittgenstein’s “Notorious” Paragraph about the Gödel Theorem: Recent Discussions (2008)
    • 28. Wittgenstein: A Reappraisal (2011)
  • Part 5: The Problems and Pathos of Skepticism
    • 29. Skepticism, Stroud, and the Contextuality of Knowledge (2001)
    • 30. Skepticism and Occasion-Sensitive Semantics (1998)
    • 31. Strawson and Skepticism (1998)
    • 32. Philosophy as the Education of Grownups: Stanley Cavell and Skepticism (2006)
  • Part 6: Experience and Mind
    • 33. The Depths and Shallows of Experience (2005)
    • 34. Aristotle’s Mind and the Contemporary Mind (2000)
    • 35. Functionalism: Cognitive Science or Science Fiction? (1997)
    • 36. How to Be a Sophisticated “Naïve Realist” (2011)
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
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Lauener Prize

Launer Prize or an Outstanding Oeuvre in Analytical Philosophy

Prizewinner 2012: Professor Hilary Putnam

Award Ceremony: Thursday 21 June 2012, Bern, Switzerland



The fifth recipient of the Lauener Prize for an Outstanding Oeuvre in Analytical Philosophy is Hilary Putnam, Cogan University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. The Lauener Prize is given for Putnam’s body of philosophical work.


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Philosophy in an Age of Science

A Conference in Honor of Hilary Putnam’s 85th Birthday

May 31 – June 3, 2011
Harvard University (Emerson Hall) – Brandeis University (Hassenfeld Conference Center)

David Albert, Columbia University
Maria Baghramian, UCD School of Philosophy, Dublin
Paul Benacerraf, Princeton University, Emeritus
Alan Berger, Brandeis University, Visiting Professor at Harvard University
Anat Biletzki, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Ned Block, NYU
Richard Boyd, Cornell University
Mario de Caro, University of Roma Tre, Italy
Stanley Cavell, Harvard University, Emeritus
Gary Ebbs, Indiana University
Jerry Fodor, Rutgers University
Paul Franks, Yale University
Harvey Friedman, Ohio State University
Maximilian de Gaynesford, University of Reading, UK
Warren Goldfarb, Harvard University
Richard Healey, University of Arizona
Geoffrey Hellman, University of Minnesota
Hilla Jacobson, University of Tel Aviv, Israel
David Macarthur, University of Sydney, Australia
Tim Maudlin, NYU
Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago
Charles Parsons, Harvard University
Carl Posy, Hebrew University
Ruth Anna Putnam, Wellesley College, Emerita
Nathan Salmon, UCSB
Tim Scanlon, Harvard University
Ben-Ami Scharfstein, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Charles Travis, University of London, UK

info: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~phildept/putnamconference.html



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Hilary Putnam awarded The Rolf Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy

The Rolf Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy 2011 has been awarded by the Swedish Academy to Hilary Putnam “for his contribution to the understanding of semantics for theoretical and ‘natural kind’ terms, and of the
implications of this semantics for philosophy of language, theory of knowledge, philosophy of science and metaphysics”.

The Rolf Schock Prizes are triennial and are awarded in the fields of logic and philosophy, mathematics, the visual arts and musical arts. The prizes are awarded by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts and The Royal Academy of Music. The prize award ceremony took place in Stockholm on 2 October 2011.





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