What collapse, exactly?

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (1):74-84 (2007)
Hilary Putnam makes two related points in his recent collection of essays: (1) Values can be rational, and their inescapable intrusion into every kind of discourse is welcome. (2) Ignoring or suppressing this fact is common yet irrational. This is of course true; yet the intrusion in question can be trivial, and it can be problematic. Putnam ignores this here. The book is pleasant to read; it is infused with friendly and appreciative personal anecdotes and observations. It is almost entirely critical and almost always in a friendly way. Yet it is often unclear. In almost every discussion here, the author announces one item and discusses another almost identical with it but one much easier to discuss. Key Words: values • rationality • positivism • Carnap • Popper.
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