Michael Dummett's The Logical Basis of Metaphysics was very much worth waiting for: the book is important, daring, controversial, and very deep... The over-all thesis of the book is that the way to solve metaphysical problems is through philosophy of language, and the large metaphysical 'pay-off' the book offers is nothing less than a revision of classical logic! In a nutshell, this means that the principle of Bivalence (the Law of the Excluded Middle) is wrong and Brouwer's Intuitionist Logic is right! Although the conclusions are dramatic, they are reached by slow and sober steps... Even though I have, not been 'completely converted,' I have myself learned an enormous amount from this book, and I believe that it marks one of the true high-water marks of twentieth-century philosophy. -- Hilary Putnam Harvard University It will be difficult to exaggerate the philosophical interest of the general conclusion that Dummett recommends in this book. If he is right, a large number of issues which have been wrangled over inconclusively, in some cases for centuries, acquire a new sharpness and tractability, with a serious prospect (or worse) that the verdict will go against what has passed for common sense. If he is wrong, as I in fact believe, he is profoundly and importantly wrong, and it is a difficult and pressing task for philosophy to see why ... [He has been urging] the general conception in articles and, in passing, in books not primarily devoted to it, for some thirty years. What is new here is the depth, generality, and detail with which he spells out the views about what the theory of meaning must do which have stood largely in the background of his previous writings about realism... This is an extraordinarily important book. -- John McDowell University of Pittsburgh
About the Author
Michael Dummett is Wykeham Professor of Logic Emeritus in the University of Oxford.