‘Can Pragmatic Realists Argue Transcendentally?’

In John Shook (ed.), Pragmatic Naturalism and Realism. Prometheus (2003)
Kant’s and Hegel’s transcendental argument for mental-content externalism breaks the deadlock between ‘internal’ and genuine realists. This argument shows that human beings can only be self-conscious in a world that provides a humanly recognizable regularity and variety among the things (or events) we sense. This feature of the world cannot result from human thought or language. Hence semantic arguments against realism can only be developed if realism about the world is true. Some of Putnam’s arguments for internal realism are taken as cases in point, and criticized accordingly. Pragmatic realists can use this transcendental argument, because its strong modal claims are consistent with falliblist accounts of justification.
Keywords mental content externalism  realism  internal realism  Putnam  pragmatic realism  transcendental proof
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