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4 September 1980
Naming and Necessity 
by Saul Kripke.
Blackwell, 172 pp., £7.95, May 1980, 0 631 10151 9
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... attitude towards common sense, Aristotle and science has been shared by people as far apart as Russell and Bergson, Whitehead and Husserl, James and Nietzsche, Carnap and Cassirer. Until Kripke came along, almost the only exceptions to this consensus were the Catholics and the Marxists. Between the two Vatican Councils, neo-Thomists tried to explain that the ‘naive’ Aristotelian view ...

How many grains make a heap?

Richard Rorty: After Kripke

20 January 2005
Philosophical Analysis in the 20th Century. Vol. I: The Dawn of Analysis 
by Scott Soames.
Princeton, 432 pp., £15.95, February 2005, 9780691122441
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Philosophical Analysis in the 20th Century. Vol. II: The Age of Meaning 
by Scott Soames.
Princeton, 504 pp., £15.95, March 2005, 0 691 12312 8
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... before reading it why the philosophers whose work Soames treats at length – Moore, Russell, Wittgenstein, Ayer, Stevenson, Ross, Quine, Ryle, Strawson, Hare, Malcolm, Austin, Grice, Davidson and Kripke – are thought important, you may still be baffled after finishing the second volume. People who are already convinced that the questions Russell asked about the relation between language and ...

Guilty Statements

Hilary Putnam

3 May 1984
Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science 
by Ian Hacking.
Cambridge, 287 pp., £20, October 1983, 0 521 23829 3
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... t doubt the existence of stones. It is hard to say what a stone or a table is in, for example, the language of elementary particle physics. It isn’t just a structured aggregate of atoms because (as SaulKripke has emphasised) the identity conditions for the stone aren’t the same as the identity conditions for the aggregate of atoms (it would be the same stone but not the same aggregate of atoms if ...
18 July 1985
Wittgenstein 
by A.J. Ayer.
Weidenfeld, 155 pp., £14.95, May 1985, 0 297 78612 1
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The Legacy of Wittgenstein 
by Anthony Kenny.
Blackwell, 150 pp., £12.50, September 1984, 9780631137054
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Wittgenstein on Meaning 
by Colin McGinn.
Blackwell, 202 pp., £12.50, December 1984, 0 631 13764 5
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Understanding Wittgenstein: Studies of ‘Philosophical Investigations’ 
by J.M.F. Hunter.
Edinburgh, 248 pp., £20, March 1985, 0 85224 497 5
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... it does and how it works, not on what he says about it. But in expounding and explaining that achievement it seems impossible to avoid ascribing to him theses or doctrines. Or are they only truisms? SaulKripke has ascribed to Wittgenstein provocative doctrines about meaning which it now begins to appear almost nobody agrees with – either as views of Wittgenstein’s or as truths about meaning ...
18 August 1983
Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language: An Elementary Exposition 
by Saul Kripke.
Blackwell, 150 pp., £9.50, September 1982, 0 631 13077 2
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... how would others gain access to it? Or perhaps this is not the right way to counter the sceptic’s insinuation of inconstancy in the last place where we would think of it, our own minds? Professor Kripke takes Wittgenstein’s treatment of this unnerving form of scepticism, develops it at length and assesses the merits of what he supposes to be Wittgenstein’s answer to it. His presentation of the ...

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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... about how one draws lines around kinds of things. Even in the case of substances, Locke’s ideas still stand up well, or so Ayers argues. Here he is taking on the recently fashionable notions of SaulKripke and Hilary Putnam. Those are formidable opponents, but Locke is a staunch ally. His central analytical concepts of mode and substance are rather carefully tailored to much common experience ...
20 April 1995
Mind and World 
by John McDowell.
Harvard, 191 pp., £19.95, October 1994, 0 674 57609 8
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... sometimes supposed, I also think that an adequate and complete empirical psychology would, ipso facto, tell the whole, literal truth about the essence of the mental. Science discovers essences, as SaulKripke once remarked. So, if it’s literally true that rationality, intentionality, normativity and the like belong to the mind essentially, then they must all be phenomena within the natural realm ...
19 August 1982
Frege: Philosophy of Language 
by Michael Dummett.
Duckworth, 708 pp., £28, May 1981, 0 7156 1568 8
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The Interpretation of Frege’s Philosophy 
by Michael Dummett.
Duckworth, 621 pp., £35, September 1981, 0 7156 1540 8
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Frege: An Introduction to his Philosophy 
by Gregory Currie.
Harvester, 212 pp., £20, June 1982, 0 85527 826 9
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... The source of semantical-philosophical authority thus lies, not in implicit knowledge of language, but in a reflective understanding of theory. It is not a big step from here to the ‘realism’ of SaulKripke and Hilary Putnam, according to which the factors which determine a sentence’s truth (notably the determination of what its terms refer to) may to a large extent consist in objective facts ...

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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... Jacob, Michel Foucault). The semantics of natural kind terms is such that, when we speak of living things, we are referring, whether we know it or not, to the fundamental kinds at which science aims (SaulKripke and, sometimes, Hilary Putnam). We have an obligation to integrate our commonsense categories into the best knowledge available; when there is conflict, common sense yields to knowledge (most ...

Unquiet Bodies

Thomas Laqueur: Burying the 20th Century

6 April 2006
Retroactive Justice: Prehistory of Post-Communism 
by István Rév.
Stanford, 340 pp., £19.95, January 2005, 0 8047 3644 8
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... and about everything from the calendrical practices of the ancient Near East to the architectural history of various subway systems and the theory of names as it developed from John Stuart Mill to SaulKripke, with, by way of comparison, a solid account of necronym taboos among various tribes. Films, photographs and museum exhibits are everywhere used in evidence, as is an enormous range of ...
21 August 1997
... idea’. At this juncture, philosophers may like to think of schizophrenia and a postulated pathology Z in terms of the theories of reference advocated a quarter of a century ago by Hilary Putnam and SaulKripke. Kripke and Putnam would call ‘schizophrenia’ a natural-kind term, if indeed this is a kind of illness that exists in nature. Putnam presents the meaning of a term as a sequence of items ...
5 June 1980
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature 
by Richard Rorty.
Blackwell, 401 pp., £12.50, May 1980, 0 631 12961 8
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The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality and Tragedy 
by Stanley Cavell.
Oxford, 511 pp., £12.50, February 1980, 0 19 502571 7
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Philosophy As It Is 
edited by Ted Honderich and Myles Burnyeat.
Pelican, 540 pp., £2.95, November 1979, 0 14 022136 0
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... the editors rightly claim to be central to good work in philosophy, are evident. Each contribution – the uniformly distinguished contributors include John Rawls, Donald Davidson, Hilary Putnam, SaulKripke, Ayer and Hampshire – is prefaced by a quite excellent editorial essay which makes available even to beginners work at the very frontiers of the discipline. But what this anthologising ...
7 February 1980
The Role of the Reader 
by Umberto Eco.
Indiana, 384 pp., £10.50, September 1980, 0 253 11139 0
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The Semiotics of the Built Environment 
by Donald Preziosi.
Indiana, 192 pp., £9, September 1980, 0 253 17638 7
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... that semiology leaves unanswered has led to a transfer of faith to the newer ‘semiotics’. It seems to express a greater plasticity of outlook, and, being able to regard Julia Kristeva and SaulKripke as equally relevant to its intellectual enterprise, it draws attention from every corner of the academic world. Let us, however, ignore the higher reaches of semiotic speculation, and attend for a ...

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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... the connection between his celebrated ‘new riddle of induction’ in Fact, Fiction and Forecast and the ‘sceptical interpretation’ of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations advanced by SaulKripke a couple of years ago. In a new foreword to this fourth edition, Hilary Putnam mentions the parallel, but does not develop it. It is important because a formally identical argument is put to ...
18 May 1989
The False Prison: A Study of the Development of Wittgenstein’s Philosophy, Vol. II 
by David Pears.
Oxford, 355 pp., £29.50, November 1988, 0 19 824487 8
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... I have applied it correctly in each case. The question of what Wittgenstein thought supplied this need in natural language is a central issue of Wittgenstein interpretation, stirred up recently by SaulKripke’s proposals and the response to them – which Pears now joins. Pears explains Wittgenstein’s argument that the rule for the application of a term cannot be captured by an ‘instant ...

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