Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70 (4):469 – 474 (1992)
|Abstract||J.D. Collier sees Putnam as arguing (in the 'Brains in a Vat' chapter of ) that metaphysical realism is false.' He sees the argument as proceeding from the background assumption that metaphysical realism has the consequence that truth is 'radically non-epistemic', so that 'an [epistemically] ideal theory could be radically wrong about the world' [3, p. 413]. But, according to Collier, Putnam argues that 'an ideal theory satisfying all of our methodological and theoretical constraints cannot be false' [3, p. 413]. Collier attempts to defend metaphysical realism against this Putnamian attack by distinguishing 'between our ability to state a theory and our ability to conceive its possibility' [3, p. 413]. I will show that this defence is unsuccessful.|
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