Nelson Goodman (Philosophy Now) by Daniel Cohnitz

By Daniel Cohnitz

Nelson Goodman's popularity and critique of sure tools and tenets of positivism, his defence of nominalism and phenomenalism, his formula of a brand new riddle of induction, his paintings on notational platforms, and his research of the humanities position him on the leading edge of the historical past and improvement of yank philosophy within the twentieth-century. even though, outdoors of the US, Goodman has been a slightly ignored determine. during this first book-length creation to his paintings Cohnitz and Rossberg investigate Goodman's lasting contribution to philosophy and convey that even if a few of his perspectives can be now thought of retro or unorthodox, there's a lot in Goodman's paintings that's of value this present day. The booklet starts with the "grue"-paradox, which exemplifies Goodman's approach of facing philosophical difficulties. After this, the unifying beneficial properties of Goodman's philosophy are offered - his constructivism, conventionalism and relativism - by means of an dialogue of his imperative paintings, The constitution of visual appeal and its importance within the analytic culture. the next chapters current the technical gear that underlies his philosophy, his mereology and semiotics, which supplies the historical past for dialogue of Goodman's aesthetics. the ultimate bankruptcy examines in better intensity the presuppositions underlying his philosophy.

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Whitehead’s programme to revise philosophical terminology had a successor in Goodman and Elgin’s Reconceptions in Philosophy and other Arts and Sciences (1988), in 23 Nelson Goodman which they plead for the replacement of some of the most central philosophical notions (as we shall see later). When Whitehead constructs points as abstractions from volumes and takes processes as basic in his ontology, he does not thereby claim that volumes are any more real than points or that everything but processes are mere fictional entities.

The new riddle of induction The comfort we can take in the fact that the Humean challenge just disappeared will not last long. We shall now encounter Goodman’s own challenge to induction: the so-called “new riddle of induction”. Goodman first formulated his new riddle of induction in a brief paper of 1946 titled “A Query on Confirmation”. The paper was directed at the theories of confirmation and induction proposed by Carnap (1945a,b) and Carl Gustaf Hempel (1943, 1945). Hempel and Carnap both reacted to the riddle quite quickly (Carnap in print in 1947), but it seems fair to say that this first publication of what later became the new riddle of induction seemed to be a non-starter; at first very few people took notice of it.

29 Nelson Goodman Hume asked what the foundation of our inferences from the observed to the unobserved is, and came to the conclusion that such reasoning is based upon relations of cause and effect. We believe that certain states of affairs will regularly be followed by certain other states of affairs because we think that there is a causal connection between them. Lightning is followed by the sound of thunder, because the former causes the latter. Footprints in the sand indicate that some person recently walked here, because the former is a causal effect of the latter and so on.

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