Hilary Putnam

Timeline created by cheyannemd
  • Birth Date

    The American Philosopher, Hilary Whitehall Putnam, was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 31, 1926
  • Education

    Putnam studied mathematics and philosophy at University of Pennsylvania and attended graduate school in Philosophy at Harvard University and UCLA in California. H obtained in Ph.D. in 1951(Ben-Menahem, 2019).
  • Contributions

    Putnam concentrated on the Philosophy of Linguistics. He is most known for his classic paper, "The Meaning of 'Meaning'" which construes meanings not as purely mental entities (mental images) but as being anchored in external reality. This is known as "semantic externalism". Also, this serves as a basis for objective account of truth and knowledge and supports the theory "realism" (Ben-Menahem, 2019).
  • Claim 1

    In his view, Putnam has 2 claims in Linguistics, that defeat the relativist argument. #1. Theories grounded in different paradigms can refer to 2 same entities. The connection is established by casual chains of prior uses of the term and by social practices like pointing, and hand motions, rather than by definitions, descriptions, and mental images (Ben-Menahem, 2019). This is how language is learned. Mental images of the word come later to connect it.
  • Claim 2

    In #2., different speakers can associate a word with identical beliefs and mental images, or even the same definition, and yet diverge in the meanings they ascribe it. He explained this is his "Twin Earth" thought experiment (Ben-Menahem, 2019). In short, water on Twin Earth functions the same on Real Earth as in we all drink it, and its in the oceans. But Twin Earth's water is different chemically. This is the external reality.
  • Philosophy of Realism

    The unifying theme of Putnam's philosophy is his defense of realism. The view that assertions like theories, beliefs, superstitions, are objectively true of false. In 1976, he proposed that "metaphysical realism" should be replaces with "internal realism" (ben-Menahem, 2019). He was very critical of himself, so he was in constant battle of revising his previous views to be more 'correct'.
  • Retirement

    Retired as Cogan University Professor Emeritus at Harvard in 2000 (Ben-Menahem, 2019).
  • Death date

    Death date
    Died on March 13, 2016 at age of 89
  • Twin Earth Video

    https://youtu.be/KE8NL9G_Fq8 and Works Cited for His Work
    Putnam, Hilary W. “Language, Mind, and Knowledge.” Language, Mind, and Knowledge, vol. 07, 1975, pp. 131–193.
  • Works Cited

    Ben-Menahem, Yemima. “Varieties of Realism.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 27 July 2019, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Hilary-Putnam/Varieties-of-realism.
    Hilary Putnam Grave - Bing Images, https://binged.it/2Ru01P7.
    Meaning of Meaning Hilary Putnam - Bing Images, https://binged.it/2OZfRQ7.
    Meaning of Meaning Hilary Putnam - Bing Images, https://binged.it/350Dk9g.
  • Works Cited

    Putnam, Hilary W. “Language, Mind, and Knowledge.” Language, Mind, and Knowledge, vol. 07, 1975, pp. 131–193.
    “The Forum-History of Philosophy.” Hilary Putnam - Bing Images, https://binged.it/2s2N6sM.
    “Twin Earth (Thought Experiment).” Www.youtube.com, Carneades.org, 27 Oct. 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE8NL9G_Fq8.