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Bibliography: Realism and Anti-Realism in Metaphysics
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Bibliography: Speculative Realism in Continental Philosophy
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  1. Panu Raatikainen (2014). Realism: Metaphysical, Scientific, and Semantic. In Kenneth R. Westphal (ed.), Realism, Science, and Pragmatism. Routledge. 139-158.score: 27.0
    Three influential forms of realism are distinguished and interrelated: realism about the external world, construed as a metaphysical doctrine; scientific realism about non-observable entities postulated in science; and semantic realism as defined by Dummett. Metaphysical realism about everyday physical objects is contrasted with idealism and phenomenalism, and several potent arguments against these latter views are reviewed. -/- Three forms of scientific realism are then distinguished: (i) scientific theories and their existence postulates should be taken (...)
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  2. Margaret Scotford Archer (ed.) (1998). Critical Realism: Essential Readings. Routledge.score: 27.0
    Since the publication of Roy Bhaskar's A Realist Theory of Science in 1975, critical realism has emerged as one of the most powerful new directions in the philosophy of science and social science, offering a real alternative to both positivism and postmodernism. This reader makes accessible in one volume key readings to stimulate debate about and within critical realism, including: the transcendental realist philosophy of science elaborated in A Realist Theory of Science ; Bhaskar's critical naturalist philosophy of (...)
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  3. Dave Elder-Vass (2005). Emergence and the Realist Account of Cause. Journal of Critical Realism 4 (2):315-338.score: 27.0
    This paper aims to improve critical realism's understanding of emergence by discussing, first, what emergence is and how it works; second, the need for a compositional account of emergence; and third, the implications of emergence for causation. It goes on to argue that the theory of emergence leads to the recognition of certain hitherto neglected similarities between real causal powers and actual causation. (edited).
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  4. Tobin Nellhaus (2010). Paul Cobley (Ed.), Realism for the Twenty-First Century: A John Deely Reader. Scranton, Penn. Scranton University Press, 2009. [REVIEW] Journal of Critical Realism 10 (1):136-138.score: 27.0
    Reviews a collection of John Deely's articles. Deely is interested in the relationship between semiotics on the one hand, and the realism of Thomas Aquinas and John Poinsot on the other.
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  5. Achille C. Varzi (2014). Realism in the Desert. In Massimo Dell’Utri, Fabio Bacchini & Stefano Caputo (eds.), Realism and Ontology without Myths. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 16–31.score: 27.0
    Quine’s desert is generally contrasted with Meinong’s jungle, as a sober ontological alternative to the exuberant luxuriance that comes with the latter. Here I focus instead on the desert as a sober metaphysical alternative to the Aristotelian garden, with its tidily organized varieties of flora and fauna neatly governed by fundamental laws that reflect the essence of things and the way they can be, or the way they must be. In the desert there are no “natural joints”; all the boundaries (...)
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  6. D. L. Anderson (2002). Why God is Not a Semantic Realist. In William P. Alston (ed.), Realism and Antirealism. Cornell Up. 131--48.score: 27.0
    Traditional theists are, with few exceptions, global semantic realists about the interpretation of external world statement. Realism of this kind is treated by many as a shibboleth of traditional Christianity, a sine qua non of theological orthodoxy. Yet, this love affair between theists and semantic realism is a poor match. I suggest that everyone (theist or no) has compelling evidence drawn from everyday linguistic practice to reject a realist interpretation of most external world statements. But theists have further (...)
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  7. Gary Hatfield (2010). Mandelbaum's Critical Realism. In Ian Verstegen (ed.), Maurice Mandelbaum and American Critical Realism. Routledge.score: 27.0
    Mandelbaum adopted a middle course between physicalistic scientific realism and phenomenalistic "ordinary language" direct realism. He affirmed the relevance of scientific knowledge for epistemology, but did not attempt to reduce the content of perception to physical properties. Rather, he developed a critical direct realism, according to which we see bodies by means of having phenomenal experience. This phenomenal experience was not, however, to be equated with the sense-data of the usual representative realism. Rather, it was a (...)
     
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  8. Kenneth R. Westphal (1997). ‘Frederick L. Will’s Pragmatic Realism: An Introduction’. In K. R. Westphal (ed.), Frederick L. Will, Pragmatism and Realism. Rowman & Littlefield.score: 27.0
    This critical editorial introduction summarizes and explicates Frederick Will’s pragmatic realism and his account of the nature, assessment, and revision of cognitive and practical norms in connection with: the development of Will’s pragmatic realism, Hume’s problem of induction, the oscillations between foundationalism and coherentism, the nature of philosophical reflection, Kant’s ‘Refutation of Idealism’, the open texture of empirical concepts, the correspondence conception of truth, Putnam’s ‘internal realism’, the redundancy theory of truth, sociology of knowledge, the governance of (...)
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  9. Kenneth R. Westphal (1998). ‘Transcendental Reflections on Pragmatic Realism’. In K. R. Westphal (ed.), Pragmatism, Reason, & Norms: A Realistic Assessment. Fordham UP. 17--58.score: 25.0
    By deepening Austin’s reflections on the ‘open texture’ of empirical concepts, Frederick L. Will defends an ‘externalist’ account of mental content: as human beings we could not think, were we not in fact cognizant of a natural world structured by events and objects with identifiable and repeatable similarities and differences. I explicate and defend Will’s insight by developing a parallel critique of Kant’s and Carnap’s rejections of realism, both of whom cannot account properly for the content of experience. This (...)
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  10. David Enoch (2009). How is Moral Disagreement a Problem for Realism? Journal of Ethics 13 (1):15 - 50.score: 24.0
    Moral disagreement is widely held to pose a threat for metaethical realism and objectivity. In this paper I attempt to understand how it is that moral disagreement is supposed to present a problem for metaethical realism. I do this by going through several distinct (though often related) arguments from disagreement, carefully distinguishing between them, and critically evaluating their merits. My conclusions are rather skeptical: Some of the arguments I discuss fail rather clearly. Others supply with a challenge to (...)
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  11. Jonathan Michael Kaplan & Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2014). Realism, Antirealism, and Conventionalism About Race. Philosophy of Science 81:1039-1052.score: 24.0
    This paper distinguishes three concepts of "race": bio-genomic cluster/race, biological race, and social race. We map out realism, antirealism, and conventionalism about each of these, in three important historical episodes: Frank Livingstone and Theodosius Dobzhansky in 1962, A.W.F. Edwards' 2003 response to Lewontin (1972), and contemporary discourse. Semantics is especially crucial to the first episode, while normativity is central to the second. Upon inspection, each episode also reveals a variety of commitments to the metaphysics of race. We conclude by (...)
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  12. Michael Devitt (2011). Are Unconceived Alternatives a Problem for Scientific Realism? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 42 (2):285-293.score: 24.0
    Stanford, in Exceeding Our Grasp , presents a powerful version of the pessimistic meta-induction. He claims that theories typically have empirically inequivalent but nonetheless well-confirmed, serious alternatives which are unconceived. This claim should be uncontroversial. But it alone is no threat to scientific realism. The threat comes from Stanford’s further crucial claim, supported by historical examples, that a theory’s unconceived alternatives are “radically distinct” from it; there is no “continuity”. A standard realist reply to the meta-induction is that past (...)
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  13. Jamin Asay (2013). Three Paradigms of Scientific Realism: A Truthmaking Account. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):1-21.score: 24.0
    This paper investigates the nature of scientific realism. I begin by considering the anomalous fact that Bas van Fraassen’s account of scientific realism is strikingly similar to Arthur Fine’s account of scientific non-realism. To resolve this puzzle, I demonstrate how the two theorists understand the nature of truth and its connection to ontology, and how that informs their conception of the realism debate. I then argue that the debate is much better captured by the theory of (...)
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  14. David Enoch (2010). The Epistemological Challenge to Metanormative Realism: How Best to Understand It, and How to Cope with It. Philosophical Studies 148 (3):413 - 438.score: 24.0
    Metaethical—or, more generally, metanormative—realism faces a serious epistemological challenge. Realists owe us—very roughly speaking—an account of how it is that we can have epistemic access to the normative truths about which they are realists. This much is, it seems, uncontroversial among metaethicists, myself included. But this is as far as the agreement goes, for it is not clear—nor uncontroversial—how best to understand the challenge, what the best realist way of coping with it is, and how successful this attempt is. (...)
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  15. Henry E. Allison (2006). Transcendental Realism, Empirical Realism and Transcendental Idealism. Kantian Review 11 (1):1-28.score: 24.0
    This essay argues that the key to understanding Kant's transcendental idealism is to understand the transcendental realism with which he contrasts it. It maintains that the latter is not to be identified with a particular metaphysical thesis, but with the assumption that the proper objects of human cognitions are “objects in general” or “as such,” that is, objects considered simply qua objects of some understanding. Since this appears to conflict with Kant's own characterization of transcendental realism as the (...)
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  16. Erik C. Banks (2013). Williams James' Direct Realism: A Reconstruction. History of Philosophy Quarterly 30 (3):271-291.score: 24.0
    William James' Radical Empiricist essays offer a unique and powerful argument for direct realism about our perceptions of objects. This theory can be completed with some observations by Kant on the intellectual preconditions for a perceptual judgment. Finally James and Kant deliver a powerful blow to the representational theory of perception and knowledge, which applies quite broadly to theories of representation generally.
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  17. James Ladyman (2011). Structural Realism Versus Standard Scientific Realism: The Case of Phlogiston and Dephlogisticated Air. Synthese 180 (2):87 - 101.score: 24.0
    The aim of this paper is to revisit the phlogiston theory to see what can be learned from it about the relationship between scientific realism, approximate truth and successful reference. It is argued that phlogiston theory did to some extent correctly describe the causal or nomological structure of the world, and that some of its central terms can be regarded as referring. However, it is concluded that the issue of whether or not theoretical terms successfully refer is not the (...)
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  18. Pierre le Morvan (2004). Arguments Against Direct Realism and How to Counter Them. American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (3):221-234.score: 24.0
    Since the demise of the Sense-Datum independent objects or events to be objects Theory and Phenomenalism in the last cenof perception; however, unlike Direct Retury, Direct Realism in the philosophy of alists, Indirect Realists take this percepperception has enjoyed a resurgence of tion to be indirect by involving a prior popularity.1 Curiously, however, although awareness of some tertium quid between there have been attempts in the literature the mind and external objects or events.3 to refute some of the arguments (...)
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  19. Jonathan Bain (2013). Category-Theoretic Structure and Radical Ontic Structural Realism. Synthese 190 (9):1621-1635.score: 24.0
    Radical Ontic Structural Realism (ROSR) claims that structure exists independently of objects that may instantiate it. Critics of ROSR contend that this claim is conceptually incoherent, insofar as, (i) it entails there can be relations without relata, and (ii) there is a conceptual dependence between relations and relata. In this essay I suggest that (ii) is motivated by a set-theoretic formulation of structure, and that adopting a category-theoretic formulation may provide ROSR with more support. In particular, I consider how (...)
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  20. Russ Shafer-Landau (2003/2005). Moral Realism: A Defence. Oxford University Press.score: 24.0
    Moral Realism is a systematic defence of the idea that there are objective moral standards. Russ Shafer-Landau argues that there are moral principles that are true independently of what anyone, anywhere, happens to think of them. His central thesis, as well as the many novel supporting arguments used to defend it, will spark much controversy among those concerned with the foundations of ethics.
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  21. Roman Frigg & Ioannis Votsis (2011). Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Structural Realism but Were Afraid to Ask. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):227-276.score: 24.0
    Everything you always wanted to know about structural realism but were afraid to ask Content Type Journal Article Pages 227-276 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0025-7 Authors Roman Frigg, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE UK Ioannis Votsis, Philosophisches Institut, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Universitätsstraße 1, Geb. 23.21/04.86, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number (...)
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  22. Caj Strandberg (2004). Moral Reality. A Defence of Moral Realism. Lund University.score: 24.0
    The main aim of this thesis is to defend moral realism. In chapter 1, I argue that moral realism is best understood as the view that (1) moral sentences have truth-value (cognitivism), (2) there are moral properties that make some moral sentences true (success-theory), and (3) moral properties are not reducible to non-moral properties (non-reductionism). Realism is contrasted with non-cognitivism, error-theory and reductionism, which, in brief, deny (1), (2) and (3), respectively. In the introductory chapter, it is (...)
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  23. Nicholas Maxwell (1993). Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen: Part Two: Aim-Oriented Empiricism and Scientific Essentialism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):81-101.score: 24.0
    In this paper I argue that aim-oriented empiricism provides decisive grounds for accepting scientific realism and rejecting instrumentalism. But it goes further than this. Aim-oriented empiricism implies that physicalism is a central part of current (conjectural) scientific knowledge. Furthermore, we can and need, I argue, to interpret fundamental physical theories as attributing necessitating physical properties to fundamental physical entities.
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  24. David R. Hilbert (2004). Hallucination, Sense-Data and Direct Realism. Philosophical Studies 120 (1-3):185-191.score: 24.0
    Although it has been something of a fetish for philosophers to distinguish between hallucination and illusion, the enduring problems for philosophy of perception that both phenomena present are not essentially different. Hallucination, in its pure philosophical form, is just another example of the philosopher’s penchant for considering extreme and extremely idealized cases in order to understand the ordinary. The problem that has driven much philosophical thinking about perception is the problem of how to reconcile our evident direct perceptual contact with (...)
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  25. Bill Brewer (2004). Realism and the Nature of Perceptual Experience. Philosophical Issues 14 (1):61-77.score: 24.0
    Realism concerning a given domain of things is the view that the things in that domain exist, and are as they are, quite independently of anyone.
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  26. Simon Blackburn (1993). Essays in Quasi-Realism. Oxford University Press.score: 24.0
    This volume collects some influential essays in which Simon Blackburn, one of our leading philosophers, explores one of the most profound and fertile of philosophical problems: the way in which our judgments relate to the world. This debate has centered on realism, or the view that what we say is validated by the way things stand in the world, and a variety of oppositions to it. Prominent among the latter are expressive and projective theories, but also a relaxed pluralism (...)
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  27. Tristram McPherson (2011). Against Quietist Normative Realism. Philosophical Studies 154 (2):223-240.score: 24.0
    Recently, some philosophers have suggested that a form of robust realism about ethics, or normativity more generally, does not face a significant explanatory burden in metaphysics. I call this view metaphysically quietist normative realism . This paper argues that while this view can appear to constitute an attractive alternative to more traditional forms of normative realism, it cannot deliver on this promise. I examine Scanlon’s attempt to defend such a quietist realism, and argue that rather than (...)
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  28. Eric Dietrich & Julietta Rose (2009). The Paradox of Consciousness and the Realism/Anti-Realism Debate. Logos Architekton 3 (1):7-37.score: 24.0
    Beginning with the paradoxes of zombie twins, we present an argument that dualism is both true and false. We show that avoiding this contradiction is impossible. Our diagnosis is that consciousness itself engenders this contradiction by producing contradictory points of view. This result has a large effect on the realism/anti-realism debate, namely, it suggests that this debate is intractable, and furthermore, it explains why this debate is intractable. We close with some comments on what our results mean for (...)
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  29. T. Parent, Modal Realism and the Meaning of 'Exist'.score: 24.0
    Here I first raise an argument purporting to show that Lewis’ Modal Realism ends up being entirely trivial. But although I reject this line, the argument reveals how difficult it is to interpret Lewis’ thesis that possibilia “exist.” Five natural interpretations are considered, yet upon reflection, none appear entirely adequate. On the three different “concretist” interpretations of ‘exist’, Modal Realism looks insufficient for genuine ontological commitment. Whereas, on the “multiverse” interpretation, Modal Realism acknowledges physical possibilities only--and worse, (...)
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  30. Knut Olav Skarsaune (2011). Darwin and Moral Realism: Survival of the Iffiest. Philosophical Studies 152 (2):229-243.score: 24.0
    This paper defends moral realism against Sharon Street’s “Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value” (this journal, 2006). I argue by separation of cases: From the assumption that a certain normative claim is true, I argue that the first horn of the dilemma is tenable for realists. Then, from the assumption that the same normative claim is false, I argue that the second horn is tenable. Either way, then, the Darwinian dilemma does not add anything to realists’ epistemic worries.
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  31. David Enoch (2011). Taking Morality Seriously: A Defense of Robust Realism. Oxford University Press.score: 24.0
    David Enoch develops, argues for, and defends Robust Realism--a strongly realist and objectivist view of ethics and normativity, according to which there are perfectly universal and objective moral truths.
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  32. Nadeem J. Z. Hussain & Nishi Shah (2006). Misunderstanding Metaethics: Korsgaard's Rejection of Realism. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics 1. Clarendon Press. 265-94.score: 24.0
    Contemporary Kantianism is often regarded as both a position within normative ethics and as an alternative to metaethical moral realism. We argue that it is not clear how contemporary Kantianism can distinguish itself from moral realism. There are many Kantian positions. For reasons of space we focus on the position of one of the most prominent, contemporary Kantians, Christine Korsgaard. Our claim is that she fails to show either that Kantianism is different or that it is better than (...)
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  33. Stephen J. Boulter (2004). Metaphysical Realism as a Pre-Condition of Visual Perception. Biology and Philosophy 19 (2):243-261.score: 24.0
    In this paper I present a transcendental argument based on the findings of cognitive psychology and neurophysiology which invites two conclusions: First and foremost, that a pre-condition of visual perception itself is precisely what the Aristotelian and other commonsense realists maintain, namely, the independent existence of a featured, or pre-packaged world; second, this finding, combined with other reflections, suggests that, contra McDowell and other neo-Kantians, human beings have access to things as they are in the world via non-projective perception. These (...)
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  34. Enzo Rossi & Matt Sleat (2014). Realism in Normative Political Theory. Philosophy Compass 9 (10):689-701.score: 24.0
    This paper provides a critical overview of the realist current in contemporary political philosophy. We define political realism on the basis of its attempt to give varying degrees of autonomy to politics as a sphere of human activity, in large part through its exploration of the sources of normativity appropriate for the political and so distinguish sharply between political realism and non-ideal theory. We then identify and discuss four key arguments advanced by political realists: from ideology, from the (...)
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  35. Gerald D. Doppelt (2011). From Standard Scientific Realism and Structural Realism to Best Current Theory Realism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 42 (2):295-316.score: 24.0
    I defend a realist commitment to the truth of our most empirically successful current scientific theories—on the ground that it provides the best explanation of their success and the success of their falsified predecessors. I argue that this Best Current Theory Realism (BCTR) is superior to preservative realism (PR) and the structural realism (SR). I show that PR and SR rest on the implausible assumption that the success of outdated theories requires the realist to hold that these (...)
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  36. John Worrall (2011). Underdetermination, Realism and Empirical Equivalence. Synthese 180 (2):157 - 172.score: 24.0
    Are theories 'underdetermined by the evidence' in any way that should worry the scientific realist? I argue that no convincing reason has been given for thinking so. A crucial distinction is drawn between data equivalence and empirical equivalence. Duhem showed that it is always possible to produce a data equivalent rival to any accepted scientific theory. But there is no reason to regard such a rival as equally well empirically supported and hence no threat to realism. Two theories are (...)
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  37. Stathis Psillos (2011). Living with the Abstract: Realism and Models. Synthese 180 (1):3 - 17.score: 24.0
    A natural way to think of models is as abstract entities. If theories employ models to represent the world, theories traffic in abstract entities much more widely than is often assumed. This kind of thought seems to create a problem for a scientific realist approach to theories. Scientific realists claim theories should be understood literally. Do they then imply (and are they committed to) the reality of abstract entities? Or are theories simply—and incurably—false (if there are no abstract entities)? Or (...)
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  38. Matthew Kennedy (2011). Naïve Realism, Privileged Access, and Epistemic Safety. Noûs 45 (1):77-102.score: 24.0
    Working from a naïve-realist perspective, I examine first-person knowledge of one's perceptual experience. I outline a naive-realist theory of how subjects acquire knowledge of the nature of their experiences, and I argue that naive realism is compatible with moderate, substantial forms of first-person privileged access. A more general moral of my paper is that treating “success” states like seeing as genuine mental states does not break up the dynamics that many philosophers expect from the phenomenon of knowledge of the (...)
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  39. Michael Tooley (1987). Causation: A Realist Approach. Oxford University Press.score: 24.0
    Tooley here sets out and defends realist accounts of traditional empiricist explanations of causation and laws of nature, arguing that since reductionist accounts of causation are exposed to decisive objections, empiricists must break with that tradition.
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  40. Hilary Putnam (1983). Realism and Reason. Cambridge University Press.score: 24.0
    This is the third volume of Hilary Putnam's philosophical papers, published in paperback for the first time. The volume contains his major essays from 1975 to 1982, which reveal a large shift in emphasis in the 'realist'_position developed in his earlier work. While not renouncing those views, Professor Putnam has continued to explore their epistemological consequences and conceptual history. He now, crucially, sees theories of truth and of meaning that derive from a firm notion of reference as inadequate.
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  41. Jason Kawall (2005). Moral Realism and Arbitrariness. Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (1):109-129.score: 24.0
    In this paper I argue (i) that choosing to abide by realist moral norms would be as arbitrary as choosing to abide by the mere preferences of a God (a difficulty akin to the Euthyphro dilemma raised for divine command theorists); in both cases we would lack reason to prefer these standards to alternative codes of conduct. I further develop this general line of thought by arguing in particular (ii) that we would lack any noncircular justification to concern ourselves with (...)
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  42. Robert Pierson & Richard Reiner (2008). Explanatory Warrant for Scientific Realism. Synthese 161 (2):271 - 282.score: 24.0
    Nancy Cartwright relies upon an inference pattern known as inference to the best causal explanation (IBCE) to support a limited form of entity realism, according to which we are warranted in believing in entities that purportively cause observable effects. IBCE, as usually understood, is valid, even though all other forms of inference to the best explanation (IBE) are usually understood to be invalid. We argue that IBCE and IBE are in the same boat with respect to their ability to (...)
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  43. Mark Jago (2013). Against Yagisawa's Modal Realism. Analysis 73 (1):10-17.score: 24.0
    In his book Worlds and Individuals, Possible and Otherwise (2010), Takashi Yagisawa presents and argues for a novel and imaginative version of modal realism. It differs both from Lewis’s modal realism (Lewis 1986) and from actualists’ ersatz accounts (Adams 1974; Sider 2002). In this paper, I’ll present two arguments, each of which shows that Yagisawa’s metaphysics is incoherent. The first argument shows that the combination of Yagisawa’s metaphysics with impossibilia leads to triviality: every sentence whatsoever comes out true. (...)
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  44. K. Brad Wray (2013). Success and Truth in the Realism/Anti-Realism Debate. Synthese 190 (9):1719-1729.score: 24.0
    I aim to clarify the relationship between the success of a theory and the truth of that theory. This has been a central issue in the debates between realists and anti-realists. Realists assume that success is a reliable indicator of truth, but the details about the respects in which success is a reliable indicator or test of truth have been largely left to our intuitions. Lewis (Synthese 129:371–380, 2001) provides a clear proposal of how success and truth might be connected, (...)
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  45. Stathis Psillos (1999). Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth. Routledge.score: 24.0
    Scientific Realism is the optimistic view that modern science is on the right track: that the world really is the way our best scientific theories describe it to be. In his book, Stathis Psillos gives us a detailed and comprehensive study, which restores the intuitive plausibility of scientific realism. We see that throughout the twentieth century, scientific realism has been challenged by philosophical positions from all angles: from reductive empiricism, to instrumentalism and modern skeptical empiricism. Scientific (...) explains that the history of science does not undermine the notion of scientific realism, and instead makes it reasonable to accept scientific as the best philosophical account of science, its empirical success, its progress and its practice. Anyone wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the state of modern science and why scientific realism is plausible, should read this book. (shrink)
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  46. Nicholas Maxwell (1993). Does Orthodox Quantum Theory Undermine, or Support, Scientific Realism? Philosophical Quarterly 44 (171):139-157.score: 24.0
    It is usually taken for granted that orthodox quantum theory poses a serious problem for scientific realism, in that the theory is empirically extraordinarily successful, and yet has instrumentalism built into it. This paper stand this view on its head. I argue that orthodox quantum theory suffers from a number of serious (if not always noticed) defects precisely because of its inbuilt instrumentalism. This defective character of orthdoox quantum theory thus undermines instrumentalism, and supports scientific realism. I go (...)
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  47. Jack Ritchie (2008). Structural Realism and Davidson. Synthese 162 (1):85 - 100.score: 24.0
    Structural realism is an attempt to balance the competing demands of the No Miracles Argument and the Pessimistic Meta-Induction. In this paper I trace the development of the structuralist idea through the work of one of its leading advocates, John Worrall. I suggest that properly thought through what the structuralist is offering or should be offering is not an account of how to divide up a theory into two parts—structure and ontology—but (perhaps surprisingly) a certain kind of theory of (...)
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  48. Guy Kahane (2013). Must Metaethical Realism Make a Semantic Claim? Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (2):148-178.score: 24.0
    Mackie drew attention to the distinct semantic and metaphysical claims made by metaethical realists, arguing that although our evaluative discourse is cognitive and objective, there are no objective evaluative facts. This distinction, however, also opens up a reverse possibility: that our evaluative discourse is antirealist, yet objective values do exist. I suggest that this seemingly farfetched possibility merits serious attention; realism seems committed to its intelligibility, and, despite appearances, it isn‘t incoherent, ineffable, inherently implausible or impossible to defend. I (...)
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  49. Stephen Leeds (2007). Correspondence Truth and Scientific Realism. Synthese 159 (1):1 - 21.score: 24.0
    I argue that one good reason for Scientific Realists to be interested in correspondence theories is the hope they offer us of being able to state and defend realistic theses in the face of well-known difficulties about modern physics: such theses as, that our theories are approximately true, or that they will tend to approach the truth. I go on to claim that this hope is unlikely to be fulfilled. I suggest that Realism can still survive in the face (...)
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  50. Graham Harman (2008). DeLanda's Ontology: Assemblage and Realism. [REVIEW] Continental Philosophy Review 41 (3):367-383.score: 24.0
    Manuel DeLanda is one of the few admitted realists in present-day continental philosophy, a position he claims to draw from Deleuze. DeLanda conceives of the world as made up of countless layers of assemblages, irreducible to their parts and never dissolved into larger organic wholes. This article supports DeLanda’s position as a refreshing new model for continental thought. It also criticizes his movement away from singular individuals toward disembodied attractors and topological structures lying outside all specific beings. While endorsing DeLanda’s (...)
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