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Basking

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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... in order to tailor his paintings to exactly what they were expecting to find in undiscovered Vermeers. Again, too many critics have adopted in practice (though never, of course, in theory) what NelsonGoodman 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 ...

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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... to admit it. But Locke rules. No matter how briefly he is skimmed or how conveniently abridged, he set an agenda which after three centuries shows no signs of fading. It is partly a matter of tone. NelsonGoodman, 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 ...

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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... linguistic and notational conventions, about the most perspicuous ordering of propositions, rather than questions of substance with a reference to the external world. This claim, still maintained by NelsonGoodman, 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 ...
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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... is almost reaching for an Aristotelian idea of essences, and might find her discussion matched in the philosophy of science. What she says about standardising of gifts and performances echoes what NelsonGoodman 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 ...

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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... natural processes. He thereby seeks transition to the topic which most concerns him: a critique of the political ideologies behind theories of the ‘text-image difference’, a purpose which he says NelsonGoodman 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 ...

Knowledge

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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... institution. Elements get assigned to sets where institutions find their own analogies in nature.’ The last could title a thesis on Durkheim; the first, one on the American nominalist philosopher NelsonGoodman, 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 ...

Promises

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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... seduction from which all others follow. But even there sex was only ambiguously the main issue. ‘The Garden of Eden was lost for partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil,’ NelsonGoodman 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 ...

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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... such mutually reinforcing confusions in a way that is genuinely accessible to those working in all three fields. The book is not always successful in this respect (the discussions of Descartes and NelsonGoodman 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 ...

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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... the alleged innateness of sorting and of elementary taxonomy is dull, almost empty. I recall a published discussion of the Sixties between Chomsky and the nominalist and sceptical philosopher NelsonGoodman. 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 ...

Signing

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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... enables children to catch on so quickly to English or any other spoken language can be what enables them to do so well quickly in Sign. ‘Yes, exactly the same thing’ would be the answer given by NelsonGoodman, 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 ...

Swoonatra

Ian Penman

1 July 2015
Sinatra: London 
Universal, 3 CDs and 1 DVD, £40, November 2014Show More
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... agency, GAC, persuaded the owners of New York’s Paramount Theatre to add him to its big New Year 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 ...
4 September 1980
Naming and Necessity 
by Saul Kripke.
Blackwell, 172 pp., £7.95, May 1980, 0 631 10151 9
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... structures. Philosophers of language in the Frege-Russell-Quine tradition share with Fichte the thought that we make worlds as we make poems and pictures – a thought which finds full expression in NelsonGoodman’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 ...
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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... in-law Sir Francis Walsingham, Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth, and preserved in the public imagination 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 ...

Wrecking Ball

Adam Shatz: Trump’s Racism

6 September 2017
... The struggle to achieve full enfranchisement for black people in the United States has produced 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 ...

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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... Barthes. This is when she began to overuse the word ‘exemplary’ and when elegy became her prevailing 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 ...

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