DICHOTOMIES AND ARTIFACTS: A REPLY TO PROFESSOR HOOKWAY

in Following Putnam’s Trail
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Abstract

In this reply to Professor Hookway’s lecture the comments are focused, first, on the topic of what dichotomies really are, since it is an illuminating way of understanding pragmatism in general and Putnam’s pragmatism in particular. Dichotomies are artifacts that we devise with some useful purpose in mind, but when inflated into absolute dichotomies they become metaphysical bogeys as it is illustrated by the twentieth century distinction between fact and value. Secondly, a brief comment on the so-called “thick” ethical concepts and artifact terms is presented, and finally it is added a word on John L. Austin, whose approach to dichotomies is aligned with pragmatism and Putnam.

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