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The Taming of the True (Hardback)
  • The Taming of the True (Hardback)
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The Taming of the True (Hardback)

(author)
£107.50
Hardback 484 Pages / Published: 03/07/1997
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The Taming of the True poses a broad challenge to the realist views of meaning and truth that have been prominent in recent philosophy. Neil Tennant starts with a careful critical survey of the realism debate, guiding the reader through its complexities; he then presents a sustained defence of the anti-realist view that every truth is knowable in principle, and that grasp of meaning must be able to be made manifest. Sceptical arguments for the indeterminacy or non-factuality of meaning are countered; and the much-maligned notion of analyticity is reinvestigated and rehabilitated. Tennant goes on to show that an effective logical system can be based on his anti-realist view; the logical system that he advocates is justified as a body of analytic truths and inferential principles. Having laid the foundations for global semantic anti-realism, Tennant moves to the world of empirical understanding, and gives an account of the cognitive credentials of natural scientific discourse. He shows that the same canon of constructive and relevant inference suffices both for intuitionistic mathematics and for empirical science. This is an ambitious and contentious book which aims to reform not only theory of meaning, but our deductive practices across a broad range of discourses.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198237174
Number of pages: 484
Weight: 871 g
Dimensions: 243 x 164 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Neil Tennant "tames the True" by showing that nothing worth wanting as true in mathematics or natural science ranges beyond the limits of human knowledge. Any thing worthy of the name true in mathematics or natural science is in principle knowable ... Chapters 2 and 3 of Tennant's book make a significant contribution with their careful analyses of philosophical terms such as `realism', `anti-realism', and `irrealism' ... Those who work in these areas need to study all of Tennant's book for it moves the arguments and issues significantly forward. The book offers a comprehensive philosophy of mathematics and natural science * Zentralblatt f"ur Mathematik *
[Tennant's] book addresses a number of important issues in contemporary philosophy, and the reader has much to gain from a careful study of the development. Few stones are left unturned [in] this rich study. * Stewart Shapiro, Mathematical Reviews *
[Tennant's] book addresses a number of important issues in contemporary philosophy, and the reader has much to gain from a careful study of the development. Few stones are left unturned ... this rich study ... presents a delightful and compelling holistic argument against Kripke's meaning-sceptic ... a new, improved version of the manifestation argument, and provides a revival of the positivist notion of `cognitive significance'. The author provides a rigorous criterion aimed at demarcating `the empirically meaningful from the metaphysically meaningless'. He shows that his distinction avoids the now-standard refutations of the notion of cognitive significance. * Stewart Shapiro, Mathematical Reviews *
This is a new major and systematic monograph on the realism debate, written by a very skilful and sophisticated defender of anti-realism ... Tennant attempts to show that [intuitionistic relevant] logic has much wider application than one might suppose. It suffices not only for mathematics but also adequately captures the basic inferential practices of empirical sciences. It would be hard to overestimate the significance of that attempt, since if successful it undermines the charge that anti-realism is a doctrine that cannot really be extended beyond the domain of mathematical discourse. * Tadeusz Szubka, Review of Metaphysics *
'This is a bold book, perhaps even a brave book ... a book broad in scope, and certainly a good book ... Anyone interested in the realist/anti-realist controversy, whichever side she takes, should read it, for it presents the most sophisticated defence of moderate anti-realism to date.' * Mind *
Tennant's views ... constitute quite a unique blend. They not only correct, or modify, or supplement some of Dummett's arguments, including the famous manifestation requirement, but also put the whole [anti-realist] research programme in a quite different metaphilosophical setting, more congenial to the idea of naturalized philosophy ... The book is very lucidly written, and the main arguments are well signposted, presented and summarized. ... it is a very advanced work. * Tadeusz Szubka, Review of Metaphysics *

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