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Nelson Goodman





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Henry Nelson Goodman (1906–1998) was one of the most influential philosophers of the post-war era of American philosophy. Goodman’s philosophical interests ranged from formal logic and the philosophy of science to the philosophy of art. In all these diverse fields Goodman made significant and highly original contributions. Perhaps his most famous contribution is the “grue-paradox”, which points to the problem that in order to learn by induction, we need to make a distinction between projectible ...


With this third edition of Nelson Goodman's The Structure of Appear­ance, one of the most in­fluential and important works in the philosophy of our times is made available once more. Professor Geoffrey Hellman's introduction gives a sustained analysis and appreciation of the major themes and the thrust of the book, as well as an account of the ways in which many of Goodman's problems and projects have been picked up and developed by others. Hellman also suggests how The Structure of Appearance introduces issues which Goodman later continues in his essays and in the Languages of Art. There remains the task of understanding Good­man's project as a whole; to see the deep continuities of his thought, as it ranges from logic to epistemology, to science and art; to see it therefore as a complex yet coherent theory of human cognition and practice. What we can only hope to suggest, in this note, is the broad Significance of Goodman's apparently technical work for philosophers, scientists and humanists. One may say of Nelson Goodman that his bite is worse than his bark. Behind what appears as a cool and methodical analysis of the conditions of the construction of systems, there lurks a radical and disturbing thesis: that the world is, in itself, no more one way than another, nor are we. It depends on the ways in which we take it, and on what we do.

REVIEWS: -Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy  -Peter Alexander, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Volume III, Issue 11, November 1952, Pages 284–286  -Paul Henle, J. Symbolic Logic, Volume 17, Issue 2 (1952), 130-133


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