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Volume 10, 1997

Cognitive Semantics I

Gerhard Preyer
Pages 197-215

Verstehen, Referenz, Wahrheit. Über Hilary Putnams Philosophie

The main theme of Hilary Putnam’s philosophy is the problem of realism. But to discuss his position in the debate on natural kind terms, his criticism of logical empirism and Tarki’s theory of truth, a reconstruction of his „theoretical framework“ (Rahmentheorie) is required. The best characterization of this „theory“ concerns the oppositon: theoretical names (theory of understandig, fixing reference by experts of linguistic division of labour) versus empirical pragmaticism (truth, reference i.e. the successful patterns of linguistic behaviour). In this context we can identify the problems of Putnam’s philosophical orientation: his „main theme“ of revitalizing realism. The following step is to expose in the context of „radical interpretation“ a position, which may be dubbed „radical contextualism“. This may be seen as an alternative position to both realism and anti-realism.

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