About this topic
Summary "Realism" comes in many philosophical guises. One sort of realism concerns whether certain entities exist, or whether they exist independent of our minds. Realism in this metaphysical sense arises for numerous subject matters: everyday material objects, concepts, universals, mathematical objects, moral values, unobservable theoretical entities, and so on. Michael Dummett characterizes realism and anti-realism in semantic terms, suggesting that the fundamental issue is not about the existence of entities, but rather about whether statements of some specified class (such as mathematics or ethics) can have an objective truth value, independently of our means of knowing it.
Key works The diversity of realisms is discussed e.g. in Devitt 1991, Miller 2008, and Raatikainen 2014. A good systematic discussion of  realism about the external world as opposed to phenomenalism and idealism can be found in Locke 1967; see also Armstrong 1961. An already classic collection of articles for and against realism about unobservable theoretical entities, i.e. "scientific realism", is Leplin 1984. An influential recent defense is Psillos 1999; see also Devitt 1991. The realism/antirealism issue was recasted in semantic terms in Dummett 1978, 1993; see also Wright 1993Miller 2006 and Shieh 1998 are useful discussions. Devitt 1983 is a well-known critique of the Dummettian anti-realism.  
Introductions On the variety of realisms: Miller 2008; on scientific realism: Chakravartty 2013, Devitt 2005; on semantic realism and anti-realism: Miller 2006.
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Subcategories:History/traditions: Realism and Anti-Realism
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  1. Paul Abela (1993). Empirical Realism Kant's Contribution to the Realist/Anti-Realist Debate.
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  2. Juan José Acero (2011). Origins of Objectivity. Theoria 26 (3):373-376.
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  3. Deborah Achtenberg (1982). What is Goodness? An Introduction. Dissertation, New School for Social Research
    The inquiry is an introduction to the question, what is goodness? In it, realist and anti-realist accounts are considered. In Part I, two kinds of anti-realism are considered, subjectivist and strict. Subjectivism is the belief that goodness is belief-, affect-, or convention-dependent. It is suggested that subjectivism is based on an equivocation, is circular or is difficult consistently to maintain. Strict anti-realism is the belief that there is and can be no such thing as goodness. Three strict anti-realists are considered: (...)
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  4. Saiyid Zafar Al-Hasan (1928). Realism an Attempt to Trace its Origin and Development in its Chief Representatives. The University Press.
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  5. Mario Alai (1993). Conoscere il mondo “in sé”: Una critica dell'antirealismo metafisico. Epistemologia 16 (1):123-144.
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  6. Virgil C. Aldrich (1982). Making Something of Something. Review of Metaphysics 36 (2):303 - 317.
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  7. Samuel Alexander (1914). The Basis of Realism. [Oxford University Press].
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  8. Keith Algozin (1989). Metaphysics: The Elements. By Bruce Aune. Modern Schoolman 66 (2):153-155.
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  9. C. Allan (1998). Science, Epistemological Relativism and Truth: Some Comments on Roy Bhaskar's Transcendental Realism. South African Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):37-49.
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  10. Barry Allen (1994). Realism with a Human Face. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (4):665-688.
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  11. William P. Alston (ed.) (2002). Realism and Antirealism. Cornell Up.
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  12. William P. Alston, Roderick M. Chisholm, Donald Davidson, Gilbert Harman, Richard Rorty & John R. Searle (1997). Realism/Antirealism and Epistemology. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    This landmark collection of essays by six renowned philosophers explores the implications of the contentious realism/antirealism debate for epistemology. The essays examine issues such as whether epistemology needs to be realist, the bearing of a realist conception of truth on epistemology, and realism and antirealism in terms of a pragmatist conception of epistemic justification. Richard Rorty's essay provides a critical commentary on the other five.
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  13. Daniel Durante Pereira Alves (2011). Logic is Metaphysics. Principia 15 (1):31-42.
    Analisando alguns aspectos das posições de dois filósofos cujas abordagens são reconhecidamente divergentes, W. O. Quine e M. Dummett, pretendemos sustentar um contundente ponto de acordo entre eles: a ideia de que nossos princípios lógicos constituem nossos princípios sobre o que há, e portanto, que lógica é metafísica. DOI: 10.5007/1808-1711.2011v15n1p3.
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  14. David Leech Anderson (1987). The Realism-Idealism Debate: Theoretical and Practical. Dissertation, Harvard University
    The thesis of this dissertation is that "the realism-idealism debate" is both a theoretical and a practical dispute. The practical dimension has been largely ignored because the deficiencies in the theoretical positions have gone unnoticed. As theoretical doctrines, realism and idealism are best interpreted as semantic theories specifying the conditions in virtue of which our statements are true and false. As semantic doctrines, however, both realism and idealism are false. Neither semantic theory is consistent with other philosophical positions to which (...)
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  15. Holger Andreas (2011). Semantic Challenges to Scientific Realism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (1):17 - 31.
    This paper is concerned with connections between scientific and metaphysical realism. It is not difficult to show that scientific realism, as expounded by Psillos (1999) clearly qualifies as a kind of metaphysical realism in the sense of Putnam (1980). The statement of scientific realism therefore must not only deal with underdetermination and the dynamics of scientific theories but also answer the semantic challenges to metaphysical realism. As will be argued, the common core of these challenges is the proposition that a (...)
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  16. Ulysses T. Araña (2009). Yes to Realism! No to Non-Naturalism! Kritike: An Online Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):98.
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  17. Julio Armero & Purificación Navarro (1986). Putnam: Aventuras y desventuras del funcionalismo. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 15 (3-4):181-200.
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  18. D. M. Armstrong (1988). Reply to Van Fraassen. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 66 (2):224 – 229.
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  19. Robert L. Arrington (1991). Rationalism, Realism and Relativism. Mind 100 (1):137-139.
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  20. Max Ascoli (forthcoming). Realism Versus the Constitution. Social Research.
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  21. R. P. T. Aylett (1982). The Nature of Realism in Grimmelshausen's Simplicissimus Cycle of Novels.
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  22. R. J. B. (1968). Realism. Review of Metaphysics 21 (4):747-747.
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  23. R. J. B. (1968). Realism. Review of Metaphysics 21 (4):747-747.
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  24. R. J. B. (1961). Realism and the Background of Phenomenology. Review of Metaphysics 14 (4):728-728.
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  25. M. Baç (2011). The Controversy Over Res in Philosophy of Science and the Mysteries of Ontological Neutrality. Filozofia 66:141-153.
    Clarification of the terms ‘realism’ and ‘antirealism’ has always been a challenging task for philosophers of science, epistemologists, and metaphysicians. The first part of my paper offers a certain classification and critical exposition of realisms in philosophy of science. Next, I take up the issue of finding a middle or natural ground between realism and antirealism. Arthur Fine’s Natural Ontological Attitude is ge- nerally considered as a highly interesting and promising attempt at combining the strengths of the two sides of (...)
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  26. Murat Baç (2004). Can Realists Know That They Know? Acta Analytica 19 (32):65-90.
    Realists typically suppose that nonepistemic truth is an independent condition on propositional knowledge. Few philosophers, however, have seriously questioned the meta-epistemic consequences of combining alethic and epistemic variants of realism. In this paper I aim to show that the truth condition in the customary definition of knowledge presents an important problem for the realist at higher epistemic levels. According to my argument, traditional epistemic-logical analyses of metaknowledge fail because of their extensionalism and certain presuppositions they have about the satisfaction of (...)
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  27. Julian Baggini (2001). Putnam's Progress. The Philosophers' Magazine 15:43-45.
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  28. George Bailey (1983). Putnam and Metaphysical Realism. International Studies in Philosophy 15 (1):11-14.
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  29. J. B. Baillie (1909). Prof. Laurie's Natural Realism; II. The Ontology of Natural Realism. Mind 18:184.
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  30. Ann Michelle Baker (1990). Putnam on Truth: Metaphysical Realism Vs. Kantian Constructivism. Dissertation, University of Washington
    This dissertation concerns Putnam's objections to the realist conception of truth and his alternative, "internal realist," conception. I evaluate two main kinds of argument that Putnam advances against the realist conception of truth. First, the realist conception requires that we are talking about a kind of world we could never, according to Putnam, be talking about, namely a world that exists in itself, independent of minds. He argues that our powers of representation could never establish the right kind of connection (...)
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  31. George A. Barrow (1919). A Defect in the Argument for Realism. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 16 (13):337-347.
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  32. Michael Baur (1993). Radical Realism. Review of Metaphysics 47 (2):379-380.
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  33. John Marshall Bellwoar (1997). A Realist Theory of Understanding. Dissertation, Brown University
    Realist theories of explanation in the analytic tradition have generally ignored the epistemic side of explanation, namely, understanding. The project I pursue in this dissertation is formulating a theory of understanding that fits with most realist approaches to explanation. One of the main motivations for pursuing such a project is to determine whether and how the explanatory virtues--the characteristics of simplicity, unity, scope, etc.--can be fit with the general realist program. After presenting and arguing for my account of understanding, I (...)
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  34. John Bengson (forthcoming). Grasping the Third Realm. Oxford Studies in Epistemology 5.
    Some things we can know just by thinking about them: for example, that identity is transitive, that Gettier’s Smith does not know that the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pockets, that the ratio between two and six holds also between one and three, that it is wrong to wantonly torture innocent sentient beings, and various other things that simply strikeus, intuitively, as true when we consider them. The question is how : how can we (...)
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  35. Ted Benton (2004). 16 Realism About the Value of Nature? In Andrew Collier, Margaret Scotford Archer & William Outhwaite (eds.), Defending Objectivity: Essays in Honour of Andrew Collier. Routledge 239.
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  36. Ted Benton (1981). Realism and Social Science. Radical Philosophy 27:13.
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  37. George Berger (1976). Realism and Complex Entities. Philosophical Studies 30 (2):95 - 103.
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  38. Roy Bhaskar (2004). 1 A Considerable Realist. In Andrew Collier, Margaret Scotford Archer & William Outhwaite (eds.), Defending Objectivity: Essays in Honour of Andrew Collier. Routledge 1.
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  39. Roy Bhaskar (1986). Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  40. Michel Bitbol (2001). Non-Representationalist Theories of Knowledge and Quantum Mechanics. SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):37-61.
    Quantum Mechanics has imposed strain on traditional (dualist and representationalist) epistemological conceptions. An alternative was offered by Bohr and Heisenberg, according to whom natural science does not describe nature, but rather the interplay between nature and ourselves. But this was only a suggestion. In this paper, a systematic development of the Bohr-Heisenberg conception is outlined, by way of a comparison with the modern self-organizational theories of cognition. It is shown that a perfectly consistent non-representationalist (and/or relational) reading of quantum mechanics (...)
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  41. Michel Bitbol (1998). Some Steps Towards a Transcendental Deduction of Quantum Mechanics. Philosophia Naturalis 35:253-280.
    The two major options on which the current debate on the interpretation of quantum mechanics relies, namely realism and empiricism, are far from being exhaustive. There is at least one more position available, which is metaphysically as agnostic as empiricism, but which shares with realism a committment to considering the structure of theories as highly significant. The latter position has been named transcendentalism after Kant. In this paper, a generalized version of Kant's method is used. This yields a reasoning that (...)
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  42. Simon Blackburn (2002). Realism: Deconstructing the Debate. Ratio 15 (2):111–133.
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  43. Simon Blackburn (1995). 16 How to Be an Ethical Antirealist. In Paul K. Moser & J. D. Trout (eds.), Contemporary Materialism: A Reader. Routledge 357.
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  44. Simon Blackburn (1989). Manifesting Realism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 14 (1):29-47.
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  45. Simon Blackburn (1980). Truth, Realism, and the Regulation of Theory. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5 (1):353-372.
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  46. David Bloor (1984). Realism and the Aim of Science. [REVIEW] British Journal for the History of Science 17 (2):217-221.
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  47. Guido Bonino, Greg Jesson & Javier Cumpa (eds.) (2014). Defending Realism: Ontological and Epistemological Investigations. De Gruyter.
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  48. Frangois Bonsack (1989). Prolegomena to a Realist Epistemology. Dialectica 43 (1‐2):67-81.
    SummaryAfter exposing certain confusions , 1 give a sketch of a non‐metaphysical realism which involves the construction of a world‐O, mainly by means of criteria of invariance and of independence of variables.This world‐O facilitates description of the relationships of sensations among themselves and with actions. It includes the subject objectivized with his subjectivity , which makes it possible to describe without difficulty the relationship between this subject and the world. This realism reconstructs as it were realism from an idealist standpoint, (...)
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  49. John E. Boodin (1907). The New Realism. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 4 (20):533-542.
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  50. Marko Bosnic (2014). “New” Realism As A Problem Of Method. Meta:280-304.
    The development of the discussion on “Speculative Realism” and “Speculative Materialism” is very well documented. However, in order to better understand the overall project of this “New Realism” it is helpful to draw light to the genealogy and context in which the problem evolved in. In this paper, I map out a genealogy of the complex problem of “New Realism” in order to understand what it is that is “new” about this realism. The central argument of the paper is that (...)
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