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Chapter Summary

I here critically discuss Hilary Putnam’s views on ontology, especially as recently expounded in his Ethics without Ontology. In particular, I discuss Putnam’s thesis of conceptual relativity and his criticism of the thesis that objectivity requires objects. Although I think that much of what Putnam says is important, and that there are important elements of truth to it, my points will largely be negative. Along the way I will discuss Putnam’s and Wittgenstein’s views in the philosophy of mathematics, and I will compare Putnam’s metaontological views with those of William James, Michael Dummett, Crispin Wright and Simon Blackburn.



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