Most philosophers talk a lot of talk about following the argument, but eventually lapse into dogmatism, defending a well-known position at all costs, no matter what new argument comes along. The glory of Putnam's way of philosophizing was its total vulnerability. Because he really did follow the argument wherever it led, he often changed his views, and being led to change was to him not distressing but profoundly delightful, evidence that he was humble enough to be worthy of his own rationality. Once in the late 1970's he offered a class on metaphysics at Harvard with his colleagues Nelson Goodman and W. V. O. Quine. The other two held views very different from Putnam's, and they argued well. Putnam became more and more excited by the debate -- so much so that he would leave a department meeting in the middle of lunch to walk up and down the halls with Goodman. At the end of that term, his Presidential Address to the American Philosophical Association contained an elegant argument against himself -- somewhat in Goodman's spirit, though not exactly.1977 intervjuades Hilary Putnam i BBC av Bryan Magee. Samtalet handlar huvudsakligen om epistemologi och vetenskapsteori. Hans sista bok i ämnet utkommer i april: Naturalism, Realism, and Normativity.
15 mars 2016
Filosofen Hilary Putnam dog i söndags 89 år gammal. Han anses vara en av de mest inflytelserika amerikanska filosoferna under 1900-talet. Martha C Nussbaum har skrivit några ord om Putman.