Pragmatism and Reference

Product Details
MIT Press
Publish Date
6.34 X 0.78 X 9.18 inches | 1.18 pounds
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About the Author
David Boersema is Professor of Philosophy and Douglas C. Strain Chair of Natural Philosophy at Pacific University, Oregon. He is the author of Philosophy of Science.
"Boersema shows that pragmatism provides the resources for a valuable critique of and a viable alternative to currently dominant theories of reference. Drawing on the work of the classical pragmatists and their American and European heirs, such as Putnam, Rorty, Habermas, and Apel, he argues that reference is social rather than individual, and forward looking rather than backward looking. His scholarship is fair-minded and astonishingly comprehensive. He seems to have read and synthesized the entire corpus of each of the philosophers he discusses."--Catherine Z. Elgin, Harvard University
"In this groundbreaking book, Boersema draws upon classical pragmatism in developing a novel theory of reference. More important, he shows how his pragmatist theory measures up to alternative accounts. The result is a pragmatist theory of reference that can stand alongside its competitors and hold its own in the current debate. This book is a major contribution."--Robert B. Talisse, Vanderbilt University
"Boersema's "Pragmatism and Reference" is a most intelligent compendium on the analysis of reference ranging over a remarkably varied 20th-century literature, bent on assessing with clarity and precision the effective superiority of pragmatist accounts over the better-known analytic theories. Boersema makes a compelling case. I'm not aware of a better overview. Readers will revisit its very sensible argument and appreciate the abundance and convenience of the texts Boersema has collected."--Joseph Margolis, Department of Philosophy, Temple University