<history of philosophy, biography> American philosopher (1926-). Author of Mind, Language, and Reality (1975) and Reason, Truth, and History (1981), Putnam decisively rejects the verificationism of the logical positivists. Although he had earlier defended functionalist accounts of human nature and the external world, Putnam criticized them in Representation and Reality (1988) and Realism with a Human Face (1990), preferring a more moderate position he calls "internal realism". Recommended Reading: Hilary Putnam, Renewing Philosophy (Harvard, 1995); Hilary Putnam, The Threefold Cord (Columbia, 2001); The Twin Earth Chronicles: Twenty Years of Reflection on Hilary Putnam's 'The Meaning of 'Meaning'', ed. by Andrew Pessin and Sanford Goldberg (M. E. Sharpe, 1996); and Mark Q. Gardiner, Semantic Challenges to Realism: Dummett and Putnam (Toronto, 2000).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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