Goodman, Nelson

Goodman, Nelson (Henry Nelson Goodman), 1906–98, American philosopher, b. Somerville, Mass., grad. Harvard (Ph.D. 1941). He taught at Tufts (1945–46), the Univ. of Pennsylvania (1946–64), and Brandeis Univ. (1964–67) before becoming professor of philosophy at Harvard (1967). A proponent of nominalism, he worked with theories of inductive logic and helped to identify strategic problems in many areas of philosophy. He argued that philosophy should work to give precise structural descriptions of the world. His work on representationalism involved analysis of visual arts, musical notation, and maps. His works include The Structure of Appearance (1951), Languages of Art (1968), Problems and Projects (1971), Ways of Worldmaking (1978), Fact, Fiction and Forecast (4th ed. 1983), Of Mind and Other Matters (1984), and, with Catherine Elgin, Reconceptions in Philosophy (1988).

See A. Hausman, Carnap and Goodman (1967); C. Elgin, With Reference to Reference (1983).

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