WAYS OF WORLDMAKING
This is part of a 1989 interview conducted in Rome as part of a project by Renato Parascandolo:
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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 ...
Adventurous and iconoclastic, Ways of Worldmaking examines ways the actual worlds in which we live—worlds of the sciences, the arts, practice—are made and how they are related. Defying sacrosanct platitudes (and risking the wrath of the rationalist, the enmity of the empiricist, the malice of the modalist, and the antipathy of the absolutist), Goodman argues that some true statements and some right versions conflict with one another and that therefore there must be 'many worlds if any'. Included are detailed studies of aspects or examples of worldmaking found in the psychological laboratory, in literary criticism, in scientific theories, and in works of art—all contributing to the central themes that facts are fabricated and that knowing or understanding is no more a matter of finding than of making.
"In a way reminiscent of Einstein, Goodman leads us to the very edge of relativism, only then to step back and to suggest certain criteria of fairness and rightness. More so than any other commentator, he has provided a workable notion of the kinds of skills and capacities that are central for anyone who works in the arts." -- Howard Gardner, Harvard University --Paul Ricoeur, Philosophy and Literature, Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 1980, pp. 107-120 --Hilary Putnam, The Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 76, No.11, Seventy-Sixth Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Organization, Eastern Division (Nov. 1979), pp. 603-618