Manual The Philosophy of Hilary Putnam (Philosophical Topics, Volume 20, Number 1, Spring 1992)

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Not yet published. Perceptual similarity Shoemaker, Sidney, "Phenomenal similarity. Quine, "Response to Gibson. Quine, "Response to Hookway. Cambridge, Mass. Quine, "Response to Abel. Quine, "Response to Davidson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, , pp. Hornsby, Jennifer, "Singular terms in contexts of propositional attitude. In German. Syverson Book details, price, and availability from Amazon. According to the author, "this book presents the thesis that logic is conventional, that logical consequence and logical truth are not simply given; they arise as conventions.

This is a response to Quine's position that conventionalism for logic must be either trivial or vacuous The eleven essays in this volume cover all the central topics of W. Quine's philosophy. Quine was perhaps the most distinguished analytic philosopher of the later half of the twentieth century. His most important book, Word and Object, introduced the concept of indeterminacy of radical translation, a bleak view of the nature of the language with which we ascribe thoughts and beliefs to ourselves and others.

Hendricks [a collection of more than quotations from people from all walks of life expressing their rather critical and often quite humorous takes on both philosophy and philosophers - from Nietzsche to Einstein, from Catherine the Great to John F. Includes 4 from Quine] Book details, price, and availability from Amazon. Zammito University Of Chicago Press. Hendricks [From Philosophy to Poetics is a collection of citations and aphorisms from all sorts of people - from Napoleon Bonaparte to Human League - expressing their embracing, critical and humorous views on logic and logical matters.

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Includes 3 from Quine] Book details, price, and availability from Amazon. Alien vs. Quine on Meaning: The Indeterminacy of Translation. This view was first put forward in Word and Object and was shocking enough to draw criticisms from other leading philosophers like Noam Chomsky and Richard Rorty. Eve Gaudet argues that these controversies stem partly from Quine's ambiguities and changes of mind, and partly from his readers' misunderstandings. This is the first book devoted to a defence of Quine's indeterminacy of translation doctrine. Unlike many who conclude in Quine's favour, Gaudet adopts a critical and nuanced approach to Quine's texts, showing that Quine sometimes changed his positions and was not always as clear and consistent as many assume.

Trading Ontology For Ideology. In Trading Ontology for Ideology Lieven Decock offers an insightful analysis of the development of Quine's ontological views from his first texts in the early thirties onwards. The importance of Quine's work in logic and set theory for his ontology is highlighted. Decock argues that the tenet of extensionalism is at least as important as naturalism, and assesses the relation between the two.

The other focus of the work is the relation between ontology, i. Decock shows that the interplay between ontology and ideology is far more complicated and interesting than has generally been assumed. No serious student of modern analytic philosophy can afford to ignore Quine's work. Yet there is no doubt that it presents a considerable challenge. The book offers clear explication and analysis of Quine's writings and ideas in all those areas of philosophy to which he contributed except technical matters in logic.

Quine's work is set in its intellectual context, illuminating his connections to Russell, Carnap and logical positivism. Detailed attention is paid to Word and Object, Quine's seminal text, and to his important theories on the nature of truth, knowledge and reality. This text presents an account of Quine's philosophy as a unified whole, identifying and exploring the themes and approaches common to his seemingly disparate concerns, and showing this to be the key to understanding fully the work of this major modern thinker..

This, of course, is a question made from an empiricist point of view and is part of the doctrinal side of epistemology. It is part of the inquiry about the truth of scientific theories, i. Quine uses empirical psychology as a mean to achieve a broad view of the transition that occurs between the learning of observational sentences, through its stimulus meaning, and the composition of theoretical ones. Analyzing human behavior during linguistic learning, Quine gradually discerns the 'conditions of possibility' of it.

The entire philosophical system of Quine, with his main theses of the inscrutability of reference, of the indeterminacy of translation and of under-determination of scientific theories, can be understood as an attempt to explain the inner operation of meaningful language, accepting, at the same time, the circularity inherent to the philosophical naturalized discourse. This book gives an overview of the life and works of Willard Van Orman Quine, starting from a description of his insertion in the empiricist movement, as follower and critic of his dogmas, and in the twentieth century's analytic philosophy, heiress of logicism.

It emphasizes Quine's extensionalism, which prompts his partial regimentation of language, his criticism to modal logic and gives rise to the semantic and epistemological holism sustained by him. The contents list for APQ Peirce Society Vol. A Companion to W. Courses, Conferences, and Seminars on W.

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Quine reverse chronological order This new section started in July and is extremely incomplete. Gilbert Harman and Prof. Douglas Quine was a guest speaker on June 29 and June Further details and contact information are available in the conference program details and the conference webpage. Hotel rooms in Rome are sparse and in high demand. Please make your reservations as early as possible: accomodation webpage Friday, 28th of May 8.

Quine reverse chronological order Basis of the list is courtesy of Professor Richard T. Quine", Ph. Ian J. Quine, I. Quine, P.

Geach, I. Kant, P. Quine ," Ph. Quine, Nathan U. Quine, Crispin Wright ," Ph. Quine, Donald Davidson ," Ph. Quine, Ludwig Wittgenstein ," Ph. Quine," Ph. Quine and D. Davidson ," Ph. Quine and H. Putnam," Ph. Videotape Interviews of W. Quine In Conversation: W. In this series, Professor Quine takes part in an in-depth personal interview with Rudolf Fara from the London School of Economics, and a penetrating analysis of his life's work in six panel discussions. Quine's most important theses are explored and he defends his views against the major criticisms to bring is position right up-to-date.

The resulting comprehensive, archival documentary will provide a wealth of original material for research students and faculty alike, as well as a fundamental resource for courses and seminars. The series contains seven VHS videos and a Series Guide which includes an outline of each program suitable for photocopying as handouts. He offers advice to students and articulates his likes, dislikes and the question he would most like answered. Quine also comments on some of the current trends and preoccupations in philosophy.

Differences with Carnap, the declaration by the logical empiricists of the meaninglessness of metaphysics and the demarcation of science from pseudo-science, are discussed to set the stage for the development of Quine's naturalism and empiricism. After a several questions about the famous "two dogmas", the panel next focuses on Quine's pragmatism, extensionalism and his theory of ontological relativity.

Some questions considered are: Are there epistemological norms? Is it a task of epistemology to identify them? Quine's stance on metaphysics, ontological commitment and his critique of modal logic is also scrutinized. Consideration is given to Quine's physicalism, and his attitudes to cognitive science, functionalism, behaviorism, psychology and neuroscience. A number of their songs with philosophical themes lyrics are displayed by clicking in the lower left of each song entry are posted at their 21st Century Monad MP3 website November The song is now also available as a solo video.

Audio Recordings of Quine Quine's Remarks in RealAudio at B. In January , I was asked for a transcript of W. Quine's comments upon the retirement of B. Skinner at Harvard University. In July , I found the eleven original note cards which are transcribed abbreviations expanded into full words as spoken below.

The numbers in indicate the start of each new card.


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Alessio Bazzanella - a philosophy graduate student in Italy told me about the audio version which is referenced above. Quine W. He was not only a scientist, he was an engineer 10 They were good years, , when the Society of Fellows was new and the world was young. Let us drink to many more years of the same. Printed Interviews of W. Denison ?. Une journee avec Quine. Willard V. Quine: Les points principaux de ma position philosophique.

Discussion in? In Quest of Quine. William Shebar interviews Quine. Quine Speaks His Mind.

Hilary Putnam Brains in a Vat Summary

Edo Pivcevic interviews Quine. La verita scientifica e nella predizione. Daniele Pugliese interviews Quine. Quine on Words' Worth. Carol Eilenberg interviews Quine. Alla ricerca del sistema ideal in El Dinmenge Barcelona , November Quine in Spanish Cuadomes de Filosofia y Ciencia Valencia Miguel Esteban interviews W. Alex Burri interviews W. Les points principaux de ma position philosophique.

Discussion [?? Soulez, F. Schitz, M. L'Harmattan, Paris, p.

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Phineas Upham Editor ] Un entretien avec Williard Van Orman Quine: La bonne philosophie est cella qui explore les traits fondamentaux du reel. Interview and translation by Christian Delacampagne full newspaper page with portrait dated July 5, in La Monde page 2 Bergstrom and D. Interview Between W. Quine And Yasuhiko Tomida local copy quine-tomida.

The statement 'Brutus killed Caesar' would be false if the world had been different in certain ways, but it would also be false if the word 'killed' happened rather to have the sense of 'begat'. Thus one is tempted to suppose in general that the truth of a statement is somehow analyzable into a linguistic component and a factual component Analytic philosophy home page with a listing of the top analytic philosophy classic books including 4 of W.

Reprinted in W. He received an M. He completed his doctorate in two years, his Ph. Quine wrote:- In - I already had my Ph. That was a great year. Then I came back to Harvard as a Junior Fellow in The library is strictly complete, boasting as it does all possible books within certain rather reasonable limits. It admits no books in alien alphabets, nor any beyond the reasonable length say of the one you are now reading, but within those restrictions it boasts all possible books.

There are books in all languages, transliterated where necessary. There are coherent books and incoherent In many ways, Quine carries on the approach of Bertrand Russell, with its stress on formal logic and ontology. These exercise materials are copyrighted c by Harry J. Rorty, on the contrary, has tried to trivialize this issue by his in Putnam's view one-sided reading of pragmatism and of figures like Wittgenstein and Heidegger.

On the other hand, we should not fail to note that there are some Kantian assumptions at work even in Rorty's own project: the rejection of the picture of human knowledge or the mind, or language as a "mirror of nature" is, of course, a most Kantian theme, since Kant surely abandoned what Dewey called the "spectator theory of knowledge," insisting that the world about which we can know something is in a sense our own construction, a product of human practices rather than anything ready-made that we could merely spectate. Indeed, Kant can and perhaps should be treated as an ally rather than an enemy in Deweyan pragmatism.

Presumably, both James and Putnam, and perhaps even Dewey, can be interpreted not only as empirical realists in a Kantian sense, but also as transcendental idealists contra their own statements that they do not subscribe to this Kantian doctrine. A full defense of this suggestion is beyond the scope of this paper. Let me just re-emphasize the fact that both James, Dewey and Putnam in their various ways treat the empirical world as a construction based on human activities, on our practices of inquiry, of moral deliberation, of social engagement, etc.

On the most general level, our human practice or form of life itself, the very engagement we cannot disentangle ourselves from, is analogous to the Kantian transcendental subject of knowledge, although the notion of "practice" is of course a notion of something that is more dynamic and processual, historically contingent and developing than Kant's "I. None of these pragmatists claims that we humans create the world ex nihilo ; but nor did Kant himself claim that.

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What they claim is something much more modest, i. Even Rorty, despite his avowed anti-transcendentalism, seems to ascribe a quasi-transcendental role to human "vocabularies" as constitutive of reality. The kind of transcendental idealism we may see Putnam and even Rorty as holding is, it should be clear by now, a view close to James's, for whom pragmatism or humanism, as he also called it, following F.

Schiller was, in addition to being a theory of meaning and truth, a form of ontological constructivism. Putnam has not claimed to take us beyond it, but Rorty has.

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In this sense, Putnam's self-understanding of his place in the pragmatist tradition is more nuanced than Rorty's. It is even more nuanced than James's or Dewey's, but this results from the fact that Putnam has had the privilege of standing on these giants' shoulders. He can see their pragmatism, as well as his own, as a continuation of Kant's transcendental philosophy more clearly than they themselves did. Even so, Putnam himself may need help from other pragmatists in situating his thought more firmly in the Kantian tradition than he has been able to do so far.

Another, perhaps related difference between Rorty and most other major figures of the pragmatist tradition, including Putnam, is this. Pragmatists are usually naturalists but highly anti-reductionist ones: Dewey's, and perhaps also Putnam's, basic position might plausibly be described as a form of emergent naturalism ; even James can be seen as a non-reductive naturalist insisting on "novelty" in experience and on the need to take seriously whatever belongs to our "human nature.

His bottom-line metaphysics, as some of Putnam's above-cited criticisms lucidly bring to the fore, is an eliminative physicalism which reduces the experienceable world to a blind causal interaction of microphysically describable particles - while reminding us, astonishingly, that scientific descriptions are not privileged in relation to other descriptions of the world, since all descriptions are, in the end, just manners of speaking.

It is, in fact, not easy to decide whether Rorty is, ultimately, a physicalist or an idealist for whom the physical world is a human construction based on our ways of speaking. Both interpretations can be supported by textual evidence. Several pragmatists' somewhat anti-Kantian prejudices notwithstanding, we may be able to find, from James, Dewey, and Putnam, a fruitful route to what might be called naturalistic though not reductively naturalized Kantianism, in which universal, immutable transcendental conditions for the possibility of cognitive experience are replaced by dynamically evolving conditions rooted in our historically situated habitual actions and practices themselves.

There is no consistent way to read Rorty as a transcendental pragmatist. In Putnam's case such a reading may be possible, although I am sure that Putnam himself would resist this terminology as fiercely as James and Dewey would have done. As related to the tension between transcendentalism and naturalism, a short note on two different construals of pragmatistic moral philosophy is in order. Putnam's pragmatic Jamesian and Deweyan moral realism[ 54 ] can, it seems to me, be reinterpreted as a "Wittgensteinian" insistence on the personal seriousness of moral problems, to be compared to the work of such important ethical thinkers as Iris Murdoch, Peter Winch, and Raimond Gaita, whereas Rorty's Deweyan conception of ethics and politics is, unsurprisingly, much more naturalized and down-to-earth.

Morality, for Rorty, is simply a matter of redescribing human life through the invention of new interesting vocabularies, each of which is equally contingent, ethnocentric and "optional" as any other. There is nothing over and above the ways in which we happen to talk to each other about human life and its problems. If we all suddenly started to think and talk like the Nazis did, then, presumably, Rorty would have to say that there would be nothing wrong in Nazism. Even though it is natural for a pragmatist to emphasize our linguistic practices in relation to metaethics, such a conclusion need not be drawn on any pragmatist principles.

The idea that we cannot simply make bad things good by beginning to speak about them differently is, again, built into the very practices we engage in. One may ask, then, whether there is any room left in Rorty's position for the kind of moral seriousness we find in James, Putnam, and the "Wittgensteinians. He has, then, nothing to say about our genuine need to do the right thing in our lives, or about the practices based upon this need.

This failure to recognize moral seriousness is, apparently, parallel to Rorty's above-discussed inability to account for the pursuit of objective truth, or for our need to commit ourselves to a normative framework in which such a pursuit is seen as a valuable thing. An analogue can also be found in the philosophy of religion: Putnam is prepared to reflect on religious themes in a Wittgensteinian manner, attacking scientistic critiques of religion which misconstrue people's expressions of religious faith as hypotheses requiring "evidence," but Rorty's attitude to religion is almost completely hostile.

Here, again, Putnam seems to be more faithful to the spirit of classical pragmatism than Rorty, who resembles a scientistic physicalist more than a pragmatist when it comes to religious issues. For Rorty, the human importance of religion seems to have disappeared through the secularization of culture - that is, through the invention of new, non-religious, ways of speaking about the world and about human life in the world.

But one of the defining characteristics of contemporary debates in the philosophy of religion seems to be the persistence of religious problems, or ways of experiencing life problematic in a religious sense, even within a secularized culture. Putnam, unlike Rorty, has been able to contribute to this debate - although, again, his contributions must be considered far from unproblematic. This brings me to my final point. I want to conclude with a few words on Putnam's and Rorty's and, by extension, James's and Dewey's relation to modernism and postmodernism. We should not, I think, use the notions of modernism and postmodernism as easy catch-words; rather, we should try to specify what we mean by them in relevant contexts.

We may, in any case, end up with an interpretation of Putnam's and Rorty's versions of neopragmatism that can be expressed in this vocabulary. The preceding discussion of their differences regarding truth, naturalism and normativity is a necessary background for such an interpretation. Rorty's neopragmatism is, we might say, self-consciously postmodernistic. Putnam, while also being a "post-analytic" philosopher, is much closer to the modernist heritage of the Enlightenment, which the pragmatist tradition largely shares, too.

As a modernist thinker, Putnam, as we have seen, is not willing to give up the normative task of the rational legitimation of human practices including practices of scientific inquiry and practices of moral deliberation in the way Rorty is, even though Putnam, too, insists that such a legitimation cannot be handed to us from any imaginary point of view lying outside those practices themselves. Thus, Putnam still has some use for the modernist notions of reason, truth, reality, and self, not only in science but especially in relation to ethical and religious concerns,[ 58 ] while for Rorty these notions have become almost entirely obsolete - perhaps primarily because Rorty is more prepared than Putnam to follow, with the Dewey he constructs, the naturalistic spirit of pragmatism.

Putnam, unlike Rorty, is precisely for this reason able to resist certain excessive tendencies of modernism, such as scientistic naturalism. Even so, Putnam's own position is constantly in a danger to slide into Rortyan antirepresentationalism because of his increasing insistence on our ordinary, "naive" and "prephilosophical" notions of perception, conception, truth, reality, and representation.

Putnam, it seems to me, can hardly save philosophical innocence by this allegedly Wittgensteinian maneuvre. Our pragmatic commitments to a quite ordinary world, to quite ordinary truth about it, to what James and Putnam call "natural realism," or to the view that there is still something to be found in the premodern notion of God that is significant for us moderns or postmoderns, are philosophical commitments - not simply commitments that are made by the man on the street entirely independently of philosophical traditions and worries. This has, I am convinced, never really been denied in the pragmatist movement, even though the pragmatists have always, with good reason, resisted philosophers' typical over-intellectualizations and artificial theorizations of the notions of world, truth, reason, or God.

In philosophy, whether modernist or postmodernist, naturalist or antinaturalist, there can, then, be no overcoming of the "philosophical. While my description of Putnam's pragmatism in the preceding pages has been largely sympathetic, I am afraid that Putnam has not taken up this task as seriously as he should have done. Originally, I did not plan to give the final word to Rorty, because as should be obvious by now I find, with Putnam, many of his ethnocentric, post-philosophical statements anti-realistic, too radically pragmatistic and irresponsibly relativistic to be incorporated in a solid pragmatism, but I do think that his most recent criticism of Putnam is on the right track:.

Putnam's recent alliance with Stanley Cavell, Cora Diamond, and James Conant - his emphasis on the Ordinary and on the need to avoid putting forward theses in philosophy - seems to me an unfortunate throwback to pre-Hegelian attempts to find something ahistorical to which philosophers may pledge allegiance. The Ordinary strikes me as just the latest disguise of the ontos on. This statement by Rorty is, indeed, a striking example of the use of the pragmatic method which, as Peirce and James insisted in their various ways, encourages us to seek the meaning of our conceptions in the practical outcome that their use brings into our future actions.

Putnam's use of the word "ordinary" can and ought to be subjected to such an examination. We cannot, I think, avoid our ordinary linguistic practices - or, to put it in more Rortyan terms, the vocabularies we naturally use in our attempts to cope with our natural environment - being conceptualized and interpreted, when we begin to philosophize about them, in a philosophical manner, either premodern, modern, or postmodern whatever these words are taken to mean in specific cases. The philosophical practice of using the word "ordinary" is itself something quite unordinary and in need of further philosophical scrutiny, preferably on a pragmatist basis.

Continuing philosophy is, then, something that neither Putnam nor Rorty can successfully avoid. Had they learned their pragmatistic lessons well enough, they would neither ascribe any "overcoming philosophy" tendency to any of the classical pragmatists nor manifest such a tendency in their own work. Peirce Society 18 , , p. According to Ben-Menahem, James unlike Rorty leaves our ordinary practices of speaking about truth and falsity untouched. More detailed expositions of Rorty's misreadings and "misuses" of Dewey in particular and classical pragmatism in general include Brodsky op.

Peirce Society 21 , ; John J. Rorty's Interpretation of Dewey," in Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr. A somewhat different critique has been presented by Christopher B. Bruce Wilshire, in turn, has pointed out, in "Pragmatism, Neopragmatism, and Phenomenology: The Richard Rorty Phenomenon" Human Studies 20, , , that Rorty ignores the classical pragmatists' essentially phenomenological orientation to human experience. David L. Peirce Society 21 , , p. Peirce Society 36 , Hildebrand's essay is a useful critical discussion of Putnam's recent interest in Dewey and of the ways in which Putnam's pragmatism might be further developed through a more careful consideration of certain Deweyan themes.

This essay is partly an attempt to continue the critique of Rorty's pragmatism already presented in these works of mine. Important new material by and on Rorty can be found in Robert B. Brandom ed. One sometimes gets the feeling that the adjective "Peircean" is almost a pejorative term not only for Rorty but even at least occasionally for Putnam, referring to the questionable ideas of truth as the final opinion of the scientific community, the limit of inquiry, the absolute scientific conception of the world, etc.

On the other hand, even Rorty once in a while makes rhetorical appeals to Peirce: he says, for instance, that "we pragmatists" are "impressed by Peirce's criticisms of Descartes" and reject both skepticism and foundationalism in epistemology. In his comments on Peirce's Cambridge Conferences Lectures on pragmatism, Putnam finds Peirce's strong scholastic realism a species of metaphysical realism and, hence, unacceptable. See also my reflections on Putnam's and Susan Haack's ways of reading Peirce in my paper, "Peirce vs. We need not determine here whether Putnam's and Rorty's rejection of Peirce's pragmatism as a form of metaphysical realism is correct or not see also Hookway's paper cited in the previous note.

Haack, in particular, has been concerned with showing how Rorty thoroughly misrepresents Peirce and thus hides the scientifically responsible and realistic origin of the pragmatist tradition. This paper, like many others on Putnam and other pragmatists, can also be found through the website www. See also the works cited in the previous note.

This does not mean that Peirce would be unimportant in the assessment of neopragmatism. On the contrary, the differences between Putnam and Rorty might be usefully compared to the differences between Peirce and James, as Richard J.


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For a comparison, inspired by James, of Putnam's and Rorty's different "philosophical temperaments," see also Russell B. Goodman, "Introduction," in Goodman ed. Putnam does discuss his dissatisfaction with Rorty's reading of Wittgenstein, but that would be a topic for another paper. Sometimes Wittgensteinian and pragmatist issues converge, of course. Burkhardt, Fredson Bowers, and Ignas K. Rorty's reply here is that instead of talking about the incoherence of metaphysical realism or of "nonpragmatic positions" in general , it would be better to talk about their "lack of convenience" merely.

From the accusation that Rorty's position becomes indistinguishable from solipsism or from a solipsism "with a 'we' instead of an 'I'" , see also Putnam's contribution, "Richard Rorty on Reality and Justification," to Brandom ed. Putnam's Sons, ; originally published in In fact, Rorty quite often refers to Putnam as a pragmatist see, e. He mentions Putnam and Davidson as the philosophers who "linguistify" Deweyan pragmatism "Feminism and Pragmatism" [], reprinted in Truth and Progress , p. In Rorty's Routledge Encyclopedia article op.

We may note in passing that a pragmatist theory of norms, perhaps more fully developed than Putnam's, can be found in Frederick L. Will, Pragmatism and Realism ed. Putnam's more recent reflections on why and how we should avoid traditional dualisms in the philosophy of mind - dualisms that survive even in our allegedly scientific era of physicalism and reductionism - are collected in his book, The Threefold Cord: Mind, Body, and World New York: Columbia University Press, For the ways in which Putnam's critique of Rorty is connected with his Wittgensteinianism and his indebtedness to McDowell, see James Conant's most illuminating "Introduction" to Words and Life.