Hilary and me: Tracking down Putnam on the realism issue

The paper I gave at the Dublin conference celebrating Hilary Putnam’s 80th birthday was “Resurrecting Biological Essentialism” (2008). This was suitable for a celebratory event because it defended Putnam’s position on biological essentialism (1975) from the consensus in the philosophy of biology. This consensus has led to some severe criticisms of Putnam. Michael Ruse, for example, places Putnam, along with Saul Kripke and David Wiggins, “somewhere to the right of Aristotle” on essentialism and talks of them showing “an almost proud ignorance of the organic world” (1987, 358n). John Dupré argues that the views of Putnam and Kripke are fatally divergent from “some actual biological facts and theories” (1981, 66). I argue that the consensus is quite wrong about essentialism and hence that these criticisms are misplaced
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,464
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Putnam's Internal Realism in Retrospect.Howard Sankey - 2018 - Análisis. Revista de Investigación Filosófica 5 (1):27-50.
Reconsidering Devitt on Realism and Truth.Michael Gifford - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (6):1367-1380.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
28 ( #410,942 of 2,520,756 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes