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Hartry Field presents a selection of thirteen essays on a set of related topics at the foundations of philosophy; one essay is previously unpublished, and eight are accompanied by substantial new postscripts. Five of the essays are primarily about truth, meaning, and propositional attitudes, five are primarily about semantic indeterminacy and other kinds of 'factual defectiveness' in our discourse, and three are primarily about issues concerning objectivity, especially in mathematics and in epistemology. The essays on truth, meaning, and the attitudes show a development from a form of correspondence theory of truth and meaning to a more deflationist perspective. The next set of papers argue that a place must be made in semantics for the idea that there are questions about which there is no fact of the matter, and address the difficulties involved in making sense of this, both within a correspondence theory of truth and meaning, and within a deflationary theory. Two papers argue that there are questions in mathematics about which there is no fact of the mattter, and draw out implications of this for the nature of mathematics.
And the final paper argues for a view of epistemology in which it is not a purely fact-stating enterprise. This influential work by a key figure in contemporary philosophy will reward the attention of any philosopher interested in language, epistemology, or mathematics.
Hartry Field is Professor of Philosophy at New York University. He is author of Science Without Numbers (198?), which won the Lakatos/Matchette Prize, and Realism, Mathematics, and Modality (199?).