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Hartry H. Field (born November 30, 1946)[2] is an American philosopher. He is Silver Professor of Philosophy at New York University and notable contributor to philosophy of language, mind, and mathematics. He previously taught at Princeton University, the University of Southern California and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University under the direction of Hilary Putnam.

Hartry Field
Born 30 November 1946
Alma mater Harvard University
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Analytic
Mathematical fictionalism
Main interests
Philosophy of mathematics
Notable ideas
Mathematical fictionalism, epistemic rejectionism[1]



His first work was a commentary on Alfred Tarski's theory of truth, which he has worked on since 1972. His current view on this matter is in favor of a deflationary theory of truth. His most influential work produced in this period is probably "Theory Change and the Indeterminacy of Reference" (Journal of Philosophy, 70, 14: 462–481), in which he introduced the concept of partial denotation.

In the 1980s, Field started a project in the philosophy of mathematics discussing mathematical fictionalism, the doctrine that all mathematical statements are merely useful fictions, and should not be taken to be literally true. More precisely, Field holds that the existence of sets may be denied, in opposition to Quine and Putnam.[3]

Field is also Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham, UK.[4]

Much of his current work is in semantic paradoxes. In 2008, he gave the John Locke Lectures, entitled "Logic, Normativity, and Rational Revisability."[5]


  • Science Without Numbers, Blackwell, 1980
  • Realism, Mathematics and Modality, Blackwell, 1989
  • Truth and the Absence of Fact, Oxford University Press 2001
  • Saving Truth from Paradox, Oxford University Press, 2008

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The rejectionist position rejects implicit definitions that involve existential commitments (see Bob Hale and Crispin Wright, The Reason's Proper Study, Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 355.
  2. ^ "Field, Hartry H(amlin) 1946- - Dictionary definition of Field, Hartry H(amlin) 1946- | FREE online dictionary". Retrieved 2018-01-18. 
  3. ^ Yablo, Stephen. "Does Ontology Rest on a Mistake?" Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 72.1 (1998) p. 231.
  4. ^ Professor Hartry Field - Department of Philosophy - University of Birmingham
  5. ^ John Locke Lectures Archived 2008-10-21 at the Wayback Machine. - Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford

External linksEdit