Hilary Putnam (31 July 1926 - 13 March 2016)

Timeline created by Richard.c.marshall
  • Birth

    Hilary Putnam was born on 31 July 1926 to Samuel and Riva Putnam. Both parents were active communists.
  • Ph.D.

    Putnam obtained his Ph.D. in 1951 from UCLA. He wrote his dissertation on the concept of probability.
  • Period: to


    He taught philosophy at multiple colleges. He began at Northwestern University, then Princeton, and MIT until 1976.
  • "The Meaning of 'Meaning'"

    In 1975, Putnam wrote his famous paper "The Meaning of 'Meaning'" which discusses meanings as being anchored in external reality.

    In 1975 Putnam wrote "Philosophy and Our Mental Life". Here he talks about functionalism and tries to show the functional role of mental states compared to other states and behaviors.
  • Harvard

    in 1976 he joined the philosophy department at Harvard.
  • Death

  • Philosophy of Science with Hilary Putman

  • Brain in a vat

    Putnam took a thought experiment that was meant to raise skepticism and concluded that it was a self-defeating and paradoxical hypothesis.
  • Retirement

    He retired as Cogan University Professor Emeritus at Harvard in 2000.
  • Meaning and Externalism

  • Work Cited

    “Philosophy of Mind.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., www.britannica.com/biography/Hilary-Putnam/Philosophy-of-mind.