Hilary W. Putnam was born in Chicago in 1926. His father, Samuel Putnam, was a well-known author and translator. Putnam's parents lived in France until 1934, and then in Philadelphia, where he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in 1951 from UCLA, where he worked with Hans Reichenbach. Before joining the faculty of Harvard in 1965, he taught at Northwestern University (1951-2) Princeton University (1953-61), where he received tenure in both the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Mathematics in 1960, and after that at M.I.T. (1961-65). He is a past President of the American Philosophical Association (Eastern Division), the Philosophy of Science Association, and the Association for Symbolic Logic. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and the French Academie des Sciences Politiques et Morales, and holds a number of honorary degrees. He has received the Prometheus Prize of the American Philosophical Association and the Rolf Schock Prize in Philosophy.
Putnam has written extensively on issues in metaphysics and epistemology, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of physics. philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind, and on the American Pragmatists and the later Wittgenstein. He has also published two books on the relations between “facts” and “values”, a book on Jewish Philosophy, and (with Vivian Walsh) edited a collection of papers (mainly by the two editors) titled The End of Value-Free Economics. A collection of his recent papers titled Philosophy in An Age of Science was published by Harvard University Press in 2012.
A copy of his bibliography can be found here.
Professor Putnam retired from the Department at the end of June 2000.