Some Remarks on the Relations of Semantic Externalism and Conceptual Pluralism

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.
Keywords Semantic Externalism  Reference  Conceptual Relativism  Putnam, Hilary  Ontological Relativity  Pragmatics
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References found in this work BETA
Philosophical Papers.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Cambridge University Press.
It Ain't Necessarily So.Hilary Putnam - 1962 - Journal of Philosophy 59 (22):658-671.
Is Water Necessarily H2O?Hilary Putnam - 1990 - In James Conant (ed.), Realism with a Human Face. Harvard University Press. pp. 54--79.
If 'Cat' is a Rigid Designator, What Does It Designate?Monte Cook - 1980 - Philosophical Studies 37 (1):61-4.
Comments and Replies.Hilary Putnam - 1994 - In Peter Clark & Bob Hale (eds.), Reading Putnam. Blackwell. pp. 242--95.

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