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Paul Seabright, 21 March 1985

The Forger’s Art 
edited by Denis Dutton.
California, 276 pp., £18, June 1984, 0 520 04341 3
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Of Mind and Other Matters 
by Nelson Goodman.
Harvard, 210 pp., £14.90, April 1984, 0 674 63125 0
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Fact, Fiction and Forecast 
by Nelson Goodman.
Harvard, 131 pp., £4.20, April 1984, 0 674 29071 2
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But is it art? 
by B.R. Tilghman.
Blackwell, 193 pp., £15, August 1984, 0 631 13663 0
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... Again, too many critics have adopted in practice (though never, of course, in theory) what Nelson Goodman once labelled the Tingle-Immersion theory, which treats art as the thinking man’s jacuzzi, and supposes that the way to settle the historical question of origin is by a sophisticated process of basking. The van Meegeren case also illustrates ...

Locke rules

Ian Hacking, 21 November 1991

Locke. Vol. I: Epistemology 
by Michael Ayers.
Routledge, 341 pp., £90, September 1991, 0 415 06406 6
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Locke. Vol. II: Ontology 
by Michael Ayers.
Routledge, 341 pp., £90, September 1991, 0 415 06407 4
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... set an agenda which after three centuries shows no signs of fading. It is partly a matter of tone. Nelson Goodman, the senior representative of American pragmatism, speaks of his own ‘sceptical, analytical and constructionalist orientation’. Locke could have described himself in exactly the same way. Locke and Newton were the paired heroes of the ...

Master’s Voice

Stuart Hampshire, 19 June 1986

The Time of My Life: An Autobiography 
by W.V. Quine.
MIT, 499 pp., £21.50, September 1985, 0 262 17003 5
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... questions of substance with a reference to the external world. This claim, still maintained by Nelson Goodman, originally depended upon a sharp distinction between analytic propositions, whose truth is a function of the meaning of the terms involved, and synthetic propositions, which need to be verified in experience. Professor Quine’s ‘Two Dogmas ...


Mary-Kay Wilmers, 10 November 1988

The Faber Book of Seductions 
edited by Jenny Newman.
Faber, 366 pp., £12.95, June 1988, 0 571 15110 8
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Journeys to the Underworld 
by Fiona Pitt-Kethley.
Chatto, 226 pp., £10, October 1988, 9780701132231
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... Garden of Eden was lost for partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil,’ Nelson Goodman writes in Of Mind and Other Matters, ‘lost not for lust but for curiosity, lost not for sex but for science.’ Goodman’s view is the view that now prevails, among feminists especially; and ...

Ravishing Atrocities

Patrick Maynard, 7 January 1988

Realism, Writing, Disfiguration: On Thomas Eakins and Stephen Crane 
by Michael Fried.
Chicago, 215 pp., £23.95, April 1987, 0 226 26210 3
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Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology 
by W.J.T. Mitchell.
Chicago, 226 pp., £7.25, October 1987, 0 226 53229 1
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... political ideologies behind theories of the ‘text-image difference’, a purpose which he says Nelson Goodman cannot serve – maybe try Paul? Now Gombrich has always been one for stressing pictorial functions and a perceptual activities for the understanding of pictures, and it is by these means that we can find simple answers to Mr Mitchell’s ...

Because it’s pink

Stephen Mulhall: John Hyman’s objective eye, 25 January 2007

The Objective Eye: Colour, Form and Reality in the Theory of Art 
by John Hyman.
Chicago, 286 pp., £20, June 2006, 0 226 36553 0
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... three fields. The book is not always successful in this respect (the discussions of Descartes and Nelson Goodman are particularly demanding). But the rigorous clarity and elegant concision of Hyman’s writing – literary virtues to which the best analytical philosophy has always aspired – carry his reader through even the most challenging ...

Living Things

Ian Hacking, 21 February 1991

Cognitive Foundations of Natural History: Towards an Anthropology of Science 
by Scott Atran.
Cambridge, 360 pp., £35, August 1990, 0 521 37293 3
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... a published discussion of the Sixties between Chomsky and the nominalist and sceptical philosopher Nelson Goodman. Goodman found nothing in favour of innatism: we need notice nothing more than the remarkable ability of children for ‘groping and grasping’. That’s how I feel here. Our regional species are ...

A Gentle Deconstruction

Mary Douglas, 4 May 1989

The Gender of the Gift: Problems with Women and Problems with Society in Melanesia 
by Marilyn Strathern.
California, 422 pp., $40, December 1988, 0 520 06423 2
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... the philosophy of science. What she says about standardising of gifts and performances echoes what Nelson Goodman says about copies, authentication and entrenchment. The concept of the individual is central to her contrast between Papuan and Western thought, but the latter countenances two usages: one which refers to a unique, unanalysable unity, and ...


Ian Hacking, 18 December 1986

How institutions think 
by Mary Douglas.
Syracuse, 146 pp., $19.95, July 1986, 0 8156 2369 0
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... The last could title a thesis on Durkheim; the first, one on the American nominalist philosopher Nelson Goodman, also very much admired by Douglas. She’s very good at posting notices guarding against opposition approaches. I mentioned that she won’t let contemporary rational choice theory explain how small groups of people band together out of ...


Ian Hacking, 5 April 1990

Seeing Voices: A Journey into the World of the Deaf 
by Oliver Sacks.
Picador, 186 pp., £12.95, January 1990, 0 330 31161 1
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When the mind hears: A History of the Deaf 
by Harlan Lane.
Penguin, 537 pp., £6.99, August 1988, 0 14 022834 9
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Deafness: A Personal Account 
by David Wright.
Faber, 202 pp., £4.99, January 1990, 0 571 14195 1
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... them to do so well quickly in Sign. ‘Yes, exactly the same thing’ would be the answer given by Nelson Goodman, the philosopher who twenty-five years ago, in debate with Chomsky, said he could see no evidence of anything more than the human imaginative skills of grasping and groping. Others might say that to learn spoken language, children need ...


Ian Penman, 2 July 2015

Sinatra: London 
Universal, 3 CDs and 1 DVD, £40, November 2014Show More
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... show, their driven young client had none of the star power of already signed performers like Benny Goodman and Peggy Lee; his billing read ‘Extra Added Attraction’, and for Sinatra this particular gig was a pretty big deal. As Donald Clarke puts it in All or Nothing at All: A Life of Frank Sinatra (1997), the Paramount Theatre was ‘one of the shrines of ...

Kripke versus Kant

Richard Rorty, 4 September 1980

Naming and Necessity 
by Saul Kripke.
Blackwell, 172 pp., £7.95, May 1980, 0 631 10151 9
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... that we make worlds as we make poems and pictures – a thought which finds full expression in Nelson Goodman’s recent Ways of Worldmaking. Kripke tries to sober us up by denying that meaning determines reference. Rather, we name things by confronting them and baptising them, not by creating them out of a list of qualities. Names are not, pace ...

Friend to Sir Philip Sidney

Blair Worden, 3 July 1986

The Prose Works of Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke 
edited by John Gouws.
Oxford, 279 pp., £40, March 1986, 0 19 812746 4
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... by Thomas Lant’s pictorial roll, was the grandest accorded to an English subject before Nelson: a determined show of strength by the forward Protestant party to which Sidney had belonged and in whose cause he became a martyr. Poets wrote elegies which answered to a widespread sense of waste and desolation. They were to be echoed a quarter of a ...

Wrecking Ball

Adam Shatz: Trump’s Racism, 7 September 2017

... many martyrs: Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King; James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman. And now Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old paralegal killed in Emancipation Park. It is true, as some have sanctimoniously pointed out, that even in her death, Heyer was a beneficiary of white privilege, remembered as a ‘strong woman’, rather than ...

All That Gab

James Wolcott: The Upsides of Sontag’s Downsides, 24 October 2019

Sontag: Her Life 
by Benjamin Moser.
Allen Lane, 832 pp., £30, September 2019, 978 0 241 00348 0
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... song. A more intimate tone marked the personal eulogy to the social theorist and activist Paul Goodman, which sounded as if it was coming from a real, vulnerable person rather than a lapidary inscriber. ‘Fascinating Fascism’, Sontag’s dismantling of the cult, canonisation and revisionist whitewashing of Leni Riefenstahl, struck like lightning when it ...

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