Goodman Nelson

<biography, history of philosophy> American philosopher (1906-1998). In The Structure of Appearance (1951) and Ways of Worldmaking (1978), Goodman defended an extreme nominalism according to which things, qualities, and even similarities are entirely the products of our habits of speaking, without any ontological foundation in reality. The "new riddle of induction" introduced by Goodman in Fact, Fiction, and Forecast (1954) uses the color-predicate "grue" to raise significant doubts about our ability to project natural predicates into the future. Goodman's Languages of Art (1969) proposes that art-forms are properly understood as symbolic systems that establish inter-related networks of meaning without attempting to represent reality. Recommended Reading: Nelson Goodman and Catherine Z. Elgin, Reconceptions in Philosophy and Other Arts and Sciences (Hackett, 1990); The Philosophy of Nelson Goodman: Selected Essays, ed. by Catherine Elgin (Garland, 1997); and How Classification Works: Nelson Goodman Among the Social Sciences, ed. by Mary Douglas and David Hull (Edinburgh, 1993).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

<2002-01-04>

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