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a selection of thirteen essays on a set of related topics at the foundations of philosophy; one essay is previously unpublished, and eight are accompanied by substantial new postscripts.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.
Even the reader who is largely unsympathetic to Field's larger philosophical projects will almost invariably find his discussion of particular issues suggestive. Since the range of issues addressed is so extensive, this volume will be required reading for a large segment of the philosophical community. The Philosophical Review
I. Truth, Meaning and Propositional Attitudes
1: Tarski's Theory of Truth
2: Mental Representation
3: Stalnaker on Intentionality
4: Deflationist Theories of Meaning and Content
5: Attributions of Meaning and Content
II. Indeterminacy and Factual Defectiveness
6: Theory Change and the Indeterminacy of Reference
7: Quine and the Correspondence Theory
8: Disquotational Truth and Factually Defective Discourse
9: Some Thoughts on Radical Indeterminacy
10: Indeterminacy, Degree of Belief, and Excluded Middle
11: Mathematical Objectivity and Mathematical Objects
12: Which Undecidable Sentences Have Determinate Truth Values?
13: Apriority as an Evaluative Notion