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Guest Editor's Introduction: Construction and Reduction: New Essays in Honour of Nelson Goodman

Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
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  • Design
  • Philosophy


Microsoft Word - Theoria65 THEORIA 65 (2009): 133 Introduction Xavier de Donato-Rodríguez BIBLID [0495-4548 (2009) 24: 65; pp. 133] Nelson Goodman (1906-1998) has been one of the most important philosophers of the 20th Century. From The Structure of Appearance to Reconceptions in Philosophy and Other Arts and Sciences (written with C.Z. Elgin), his work has been proved to be very influential in logic, epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of sci- ence and aesthetics. This issue is a collection of five papers made in his honour, hav- ing to do with different aspects of his philosophy and showing the relevance of his work for the current philosophical discussion. Construction and reduction are topics which Goodman deals with in his work. They are intimately related. Strictly speaking, Goodman was not a reductionist, he was rather skeptical about the possibility of a strict reduction in science or elsewhere, not surely about its utility. The notion of extensional isomorphism was considered by him a more interesting and powerful tool. It plays a crucial role in his constructional pro- gramme. In the first article of the issue, “Construction and Cognition”, Elgin sets out the reasons why Goodman was not a reductionist (at least in the strict sense of the word) and shows the relevance of his constructional systems as tools of enquiry. She eloquently articulates the main lines of Goodman’s view on science and cognition. The following three papers have to do with Goodman’s logical work and, more par- ticularly, with his nominalistic project. It has been argued that the concept of logical consequence cannot be really explicated in nominalistic terms, because any acceptable explication of the concept has to make use of abstract objects. In their paper “Logical Consequence for Nominalists”, Rossberg and Cohnitz argue in favor of a characteri- zation of logical consequence in inferentialist terms and they do it in a way that can find an adequate nominalistic

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