Review of Metaphysics 48 (4):892-894 (1995)

Three issues have preoccupied Dummett: a distinction between realism and antirealism; the idea of a theory of meaning for a language L; and the nature of analytic philosophy. All three appear here, but in different measures. While Dummett's conception of philosophy plays a large role, it receives little discussion, and his remarks on related questions about thought and language are a nadir of the book. The treatment of realism, which includes Dummett's noted distinction between reductionism and antirealism, is of much greater interest. Dummett's main idea here is to explicate the elusive notion of antirealism as mind-dependence via a logico-semantic criterion involving the failure of bivalence. This is one of the most inspired moves in recent philosophy. The present book, however, hardly works through the consequent problems. Dummett runs aground on counterexamples to his construal of antirealism and himself slides between incompatible interpretations of "realism." Thus I turn to issues about meaning.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph199548468
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