Conference in Honour of Hilary Putnam's 80th Birthday

UCD 11.3.2007

Putnam on Existence and Ontology

Charles Parsons
modest and extravagant sense of ontology mathematical objects
P. attacking metaphysical realism
Quine and Goodman. Nominalist tendency
Q. To be is to be the value of a variable
Have something in common. meaning. a universal.
P. against full-blooded nominalism
Quantification theory == first order logic (complete)
Knowledge of language and the world involved

Paul Benacerraf

Darling, I love you and the number 17. But I love you more..

Hilary Putnam

If you criticize a great philosopher, you misunderstand him
Q. Numbers are intangible objects
ethics and ontology
eliminate "façons de parler"

Putnam and the Philosophy of Mathematics

Warren Goldfarb
Wittgenstein's rule-following
§185 'incorrect' response of the child counting beyond 1000 (Ph. Investigations)
what is the source of our authority?
does she understand the rule? What does this mean?
§201 (later!)
214, 16, 40
against "radical conventionalism"
P. denies the social nature of rules
242 punch line about rule following (no 'must' in German)

Mark Wilson

Riemann: deeper understanding

Hilary Putnam

objectivity of mathematics and mathematical objects: different issues


3? self-professed skeptics: Berkeley, and Hume (destructive).
W. as Hume.

Roundtable on Perception

Hilla Jacobson

Charles Travis

3 important topics out of which deals with 2
Cat 'pironian'. Peckory (pecari) on the path.

John McDowell

Scope: perception, not conception
Not only an interface. Compulsory if mind a machinery
Experiences have content: alright
No percept without concept (against Kant, not limited to rational animals)
Blind spot in Hilary's theory
Issue of continuity of rational and non-rational animals

James Conant

The 3 others disagree about what they agree about
Machinery inside (nervous system, or part thereof)
Reject the Cartesian distinction between perception and conception
Cartesian skeptic: gap between the mental and the real
Kantian skeptic: first between senses and appearance. From sensory blindness to sensory consciousness

Hilary Putnam

Analytic and synthetic
Animals' proto-concepts
Cartesian and Kantian skepticisms entangled. Which one is deeper is not important.
Marc Girod
Last modified: Sat Mar 17 21:30:51 GMT 2007