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Other titles in the William James Lectures series:

The Logical Basis of Metaphysics (William James Lectures)

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The Logical Basis of Metaphysics (William James Lectures) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Michael Dummett's new book is the greatly expanded and recently revised version of his distinguished William James Lectures, delivered in 1976. Dummett regards the construction of a satisfactory theory of meaning as the most pressing task of contemporary analytical philosophy. He believes that the successful completion of this difficult assignment will lead to a resolution of problems before which philosophy has been stalled, in some instances for centuries. These problems turn on the correctness or incorrectness of a realistic view of one or another realm--the physical world, the mind, the past, mathematical reality, and so forth. Rejection of realism amounts to adoption of a variant semantics, and often of a variant logic, for the statements in a certain sector of our language. Dummett does not assume the correctness of any one logical system but shows how the choice between different logics arises at the level of the theory of meaning and depends upon the choice of one or another general form of meaning-theory. In order to determine the correct shape for a meaning-theory, we must attain a clear conception of what a meaning-theory can be expected to do. Such a conception, says Dummett, will form "a base camp for an assault on the metaphysical peaks: I have no greater ambition in this book than to set up a base camp."

Book News Annotation:

Reprint of the Harvard University Press edition originally published in 1991.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Michael Dummett's new book is the greatly expanded and recently revised version of his distinguished William James Lectures, delivered in 1976. Dummett regards the construction of a satisfactory theory of meaning as the most pressing task of contemporary analytical philosophy. He believes that the successful completion of this difficult assignment will lead to a resolution of problems before which philosophy has been stalled, in some instances for centuries.

About the Author

Michael Dummett was Wykeham Professor of Logic Emeritus in the University of Oxford.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction: Metaphysical Disputes over Realism
  • 1. Semantic Values
  • 2. Inference and Truth
  • 3. Theories of Truth
  • 4. Meaning, Knowledge, and Understanding
  • 5. Ingredients of Meaning
  • 6. Truth and Meaning-Theories
  • 7. The Origin and Role of the Concept of Truth
  • 8. The Justification of Deduction
  • 9. Circularity, Consistency, and Harmony
  • 10. Holism
  • 11. Proof-Theoretic Justifications of Logical Laws
  • 12. The Fundamental Assumption
  • 13. Stability
  • 14. Truth-Conditional Meaning-Theories
  • 15. Realism and the Theory of Meaning
  • Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674537866
Author:
Dummett, Michael
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Subject:
General
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Metaphysics
Subject:
General Philosophy
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Copyright:
Series:
William James Lectures
Series Volume:
5
Publication Date:
January 1991
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
366
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 18 oz

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Product details 366 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674537866 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Michael Dummett's new book is the greatly expanded and recently revised version of his distinguished William James Lectures, delivered in 1976. Dummett regards the construction of a satisfactory theory of meaning as the most pressing task of contemporary analytical philosophy. He believes that the successful completion of this difficult assignment will lead to a resolution of problems before which philosophy has been stalled, in some instances for centuries.
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