What is realistic about Putnam's internal realism?

Philosophical Topics 20 (1):49-83 (1992)
Failure to recognize the "realistic" motivations for Putnam's commitment to internal realism has led to a widely shared misunderstanding of Putnam's arguments against metaphysical realism. Realist critics of these arguments frequently offer rebuttals that fail to confront his arguments. Simply put, Putnam's arguments --the brains in a vat argument as well as the model-theoretic argument -- are "reductios" that are intended to show that "metaphysical realism itself is not sufficiently realistic". If that claim can be substantiated then Putnam can go on to argue that his own view is, by comparison, more realistic than metaphysical realism.
Keywords hilary putnam  internal realism  metaphysical realism  model-theoretic argument  BIV argument  semantic realism  radical skepticism  antirealism
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DOI 10.5840/philtopics19922013
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