Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Critical Notice of Mark Wilson's Wandering Significance

I have posted a long critical notice of Mark Wilson's amazing book Wandering Significance: An Essay on Conceptual Behavior. It will eventually appear in Philosophia Mathematica. My impression is that even though the book came out in 2006 and is now available in paperback, it has not really had the impact it should in debates about models and idealization. I think this is partly because the book addresses broad questions about concepts that don't often arise in philosophy of science or philosophy of mathematics. But if you start to read the book, it becomes immediately clear how important examples from science and mathematics are to Wilson's views of conceptual evaluation. So, I hope my review will help philosophers of science and mathematics see the importance of the book and the challenges it raises.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to congratulate you on an amazingly sensitive and thoughtful review. I have had the Wilson book on my bedside table for months. Now with this roadmap I may actually get more than a few pages into it.

Stephen Yablo said...

Whoops, anonymity unintended.

Chris Pincock said...

Stephen, thanks for the positive reaction. My understanding is that PPR will eventually come out with two discussion pieces by Robert Brandom and Michael Friedman, along with replies by Wilson. So, this would be another chance to get overviews of the project.

jrshipley said...

The link is broken.

Chris Pincock said...

Thanks for letting me know about the link -- I have relocated from Purdue to Missouri, so some old links need to be updated. I have updated this one to the published version of the critical notice. If anyone has trouble accessing that, then e-mail me and I send you an electronic offprint.