Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||This article defends the thesis that Putnam’s theory of the use of empirical concepts constitutes a continuous backbone of his philosophy early and late. Thus, Putnam’s theory of empirical concepts should be at least compatible with the most distinctive features of both, his realism (viz., semantic externalism) and his pragmatism (viz., conceptual pluralism). The article suggests the even stronger thesis that Putnam’s theory of concepts is essential for the explanatory purposes of both. In doing so, the article proposes reading Putnam’s theory as a theory displaying contextual features of language use rather than as one describing metaphysical, epistemic, or cognitional ‘underpinnings’. The theory’s continuity is thus taken to show that Putnam’s realism and pragmatism are and always have been inseparable.|
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