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© 2009

Nominalism and Its Aftermath: The Philosophy of Nelson Goodman

  • Dena Shottenkirk
  • Explains the interdependence of all of Goodman’s thought

  • First book to offer a complete analysis of the effects of Goodman’s nominalism on his epistemology and aesthetics

  • Gives the reader a genuine understanding of Goodman’s aesthetics because it is placed within the context of his ontology and epistemology

  • Demonstrates that aesthetics is not a field isolated and afar from the rest of philosophy

  • In arguing for aesthetics as a branch of epistemology, this book demonstrates the reliance of the former on the latter

Book

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 343)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XIII
  2. The Metaphysics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Dena Shottenkirk
      Pages 3-18
    3. Dena Shottenkirk
      Pages 19-43
  3. The Epistemology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 57-57
    2. Dena Shottenkirk
      Pages 59-68
    3. Dena Shottenkirk
      Pages 69-82
    4. Dena Shottenkirk
      Pages 97-102
  4. The Aesthetics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 109-109
    2. Dena Shottenkirk
      Pages 111-123
    3. Dena Shottenkirk
      Pages 125-135
    4. Dena Shottenkirk
      Pages 137-141
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 163-171

About this book

Introduction

Nelson Goodman’s disparate writings are often written about only within their own particular discipline, such that the epistemology is discussed in contrast to others’ epistemology, the aesthetics is contrasted with more traditional aesthetics, and the ontology and logic is viewed in contrast to both other contemporary philosophers and to Goodman’s historical predecessors. This book argues that that is not an adequate way to view Goodman. The separate disciplines of ontology, epistemology, and aesthetics should be viewed as sequential steps within his thought, such that each provides the ground rules for the next section and, furthermore, providing the reasons for limitations on the terms available to the subsequent writing(s). This is true not merely because this is the general chronology of his writing, but more importantly because within his metaphysics lies Goodman’s basic nominalist ontology and logic, and it is upon those principles that he builds his epistemology and, furthermore, it is the sum of both the metaphysics and the epistemology, with the nominalist principle as the guiding force, which constructs the aesthetics. At the end of each section of this book, the consequent limitations imposed on his terms and concepts available to him are explicated, such that, by the end of the book, the book delineates the constraints imposed upon the aesthetics by both the metaphysics and the epistemology.

"The author has given us the needed scholarly reference work on Goodman. Goodman sought to replace psychology with semantics, and showed us how far we could travel in that direction. The trip was admirably designed and guided by his genius. In end, it was genius, and not the lack of it, that showed us that the philosophy of language and languages of art will lead us back to the hardest questions in the philosophy of mind." Keith Lehrer, Regents Professor of Philosophy, The University of Arizona

Keywords

Aesthetics Nelson Goodman Nominalism Relativism Semantics Worldmaking epistemology logic metaphysics ontology philosophy reason

Editors and affiliations

  • Dena Shottenkirk
    • 1
  1. 1.BrooklynUSA

About the editors

Dr. Shottenkirk, like Nelson Goodman, is not only a philosopher but also has experience within tthe artworld. She is both an exhibiting artist and an art critic who has written extensively in major art criticism publications, such as Artforum and Art in America. This uniquely positions her to understand and evaluate Goodman’s broad range of thought, most especially his aesthetics.

Bibliographic information

Reviews

From the reviews:

"The author has given us the needed scholarly reference work on Goodman. Goodman sought to replace psychology with semantics, and showed us how far we could travel in that direction. The trip was admirably designed and guided by his genius. In end, it was genius, and not the lack of it, that showed us that the philosophy of language and languages of art will lead us back to the hardest questions in the philosophy of mind."

Keith Lehrer, Regents Professor of Philosophy, The University of Arizona

“The central aim of Shottenkirk’s book is then to present the different aspects but also the consistency and unity of Goodman’s philosophy … . Shottenkirk’s book is … a fine piece of Goodman scholarship, highlighting the philosopher’s genius through a comprehensive, thorough and lucid analysis of his work. It will be valuable to the student but also the philosopher who wants to gain a good overview of Goodman’s philosophy as well as grasp the numerous intricate links between the different aspects of his thought.” (Katerina Bantinaki, Metascience, Vol. 20, 2011)