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Summary Internal realism was a position held between approximately 1977--90 by Hilary Putnam. This involved rejecting the "God's Eye Point of View" that Putnam thought was characteristic of metaphysical realism. For Putnam, internal realism always involved a commitment to the idea that truth is (somehow) epistemically constrained, and to (some version of) conceptual relativism. Certain positions adopted by other authors, which involve some commitment to one or both of these ideas, are sometimes also characterised as varities of internal realism.        
Key works Putnam's first statement of internal realism is in 'Realism and Reason' (1977, his address to the APA). Here he presented his model-theoretic arguments against metaphysical realism, a thumbnail of the brain-in-vat argument, and various reflections on conceptual relativism. Both this work and the (more technical) 'Models and Reality' (1980) emphasised the importance of "verificationist semantics". In Reason Truth and History (1981), Putnam developed internal realism in great detail, and probed the significance of his viewpoint for ethics and the philosophy of mind. This drew several famous reactions: Devitt 1983 maintained that internal realism was a version of idealism; and Lewis 1984 maintained that "realism needs realism". Putnam's subsequent defences of internal realism -- including The Many Faces of Realism (1987) and many essays in his Realism with a Human Face (1990) -- suggested a somewhat looser epistemic constraint, and placed the focus more squarely on conceptual relativism. By 1990 Putnam had abandoned internal realism (though not conceptual relativism) in favour of natural realism, a transition he describes in his 'Sense, nonsense, and the senses' (1994). Many of these themes -- including the transitions, and the legacy of internal realism -- are discussed in Button 2013.
Introductions Putnam 1977; Putnam 1980; Putnam 1981 (esp. chs.1-3)
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  1. added 2020-06-03
    Skolem and the Skeptic.Paul Benacerraf & Crispin Wright - 1985 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes( 59:85-137.
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  2. added 2020-02-14
    Phenomenology, Empiricism, and Constructivism in Paolo Parrini's Positive Philosophy.Andrea Pace Giannotta - 2020 - In Federica Buongiorno, Vincenzo Costa & Roberta Lanfredini (eds.), Phenomenology in Italy. Authors, Schools, Traditions. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 161-178.
    In this work, I discuss the role of Husserl’s phenomenology in Paolo Parrini’s positive philosophy. In the first section, I highlight the presence of both empiricist and constructivist elements in Parrini’s anti-foundationalist and anti-absolutist conception of knowledge. In the second section, I stress Parrini’s acknowledgement of the crucial role of phenomenology in investigating the empirical basis of knowledge, thanks to its analysis of the relationship between form and matter of cognition. In the third section, I point out some lines of (...)
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  3. added 2020-02-12
    Putnam and the Relativist Menace.Richard Rorty - 1993 - Journal of Philosophy 90 (9):443-461.
  4. added 2019-06-06
    A Traveller's Guide To Putnam's “Narrow Path”. [REVIEW]David Davies - 1996 - Dialogue 35 (1):117-146.
    It is now over 15 years since Hilary Putnam first urged that we take the “narrow path” of internal realism as a way of navigating between “the swamps of metaphysics and the quicksands of cultural relativism and historicism”. In the opening lines of the Preface to Realism with a Human Face, a collection of Putnam's recent papers edited by James Conant, Putnam reaffirms his allegiance to this narrow path, unmoved by Realist murmurings from the swamps and laconic Rortian suggestions that (...)
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  5. added 2019-06-06
    Putnam’s Internal Realism and Kant’s Empirical Realism: The Case For a Divorce.Paul Abela - 1996 - Idealistic Studies 26 (1):45-56.
    This paper challenges Putnam's claim that his internal realism is a revival of Kant's empirical realism. I agree with Putnam that there are good reasons to revive Kant's rather neglected empirical realist doctrine. However, internal realism is not the way this should be done. At the center of the following discussion lies the important difference between Putman's "real within a scheme" model and Kant's assertion of the independent existence of empirical objects. The strategy for the paper is as follows. I (...)
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  6. added 2019-06-06
    What Is at Stake Between Putnam and Rorty?Paul D. Forster - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (3):585-603.
    This paper is a discussion of points of agreement and conflict between Rorty and Putnam.
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  7. added 2018-10-10
    The Diversity of the Sciences: Global'versus' Local Methodological Approaches.Hilary Putnam - 1986 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 15 (3-4):217-229.
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  8. added 2018-07-16
    Putnam's Internal Realism in Retrospect.Howard Sankey - 2018 - Análisis. Revista de Investigación Filosófica 5 (1):27-50.
    As is well known, Putnam changed his philosophical position on a number of occasions throughout his career. In this paper, I reconsider the position of internal realism which Putnam defended from the mid-1970’s until around 1990. The paper opens with a discussion of the position that Putnam called “metaphysical realism”, since his internal realism emerged out of a critique of that position. The paper then briefly presents the internal realist view as one which involves an epistemic conception of truth, as (...)
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  9. added 2018-05-15
    Putnam’s Conception of Truth.Massimo Dell'Utri - 2016 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 12 (2):5-22.
    After stressing how the attempt to provide a plausible account of the connection between language and the world was one of Putnam’s constant preoccupations, this article describes the four stages his thinking about the concepts of truth and reality went through. Particular attention is paid to the kinds of problems that made him abandon each stage to enter the next. The analysis highlights how all the stages but one express a general non-epistemic stance towards truth and reality—the right stance, according (...)
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  10. added 2018-05-15
    Arguing About Realism: Adjudicating the Putnam-Devitt Dispute.Fletcher Jade - 2016 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 12 (2):39-53.
    In this paper I want to adjudicate the dispute between those philosophers who do and those who do not think that the philosophy of language can illuminate metaphysical questions. To this end, I take the debate between Devitt and Putnam as a case study and diagnose what I take to be illuminating about their disagreement over metaphysical realism. I argue that both Putnam and Devitt are incorrect in their assessment of the significance of the model theoretic argument for realism. That, (...)
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  11. added 2018-02-13
    Realism with a Human Face. [REVIEW]Barry Allen - 1994 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (4):665-688.
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  12. added 2018-01-06
    CHAPTER 13. Truth, Interpretation, and the Alleged Unintelligibility of Alternative Conceptual Schemes.Scott Soames - 2004 - In Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century, Volume 2: The Age of Meaning. Princeton University Press. pp. 312-332.
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  13. added 2018-01-06
    Conceptual Scheming.David Rozema - 1992 - Philosophical Investigations 15 (4):293-312.
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  14. added 2017-11-05
    Book Review: Jeff Buechner, Gödel, Putnam, and Functionalism: A New Reading of Representation and Reality. [REVIEW]Witold M. Hensel & Marcin Miłkowski - 2014 - Journal of Cognitive Science 15 (3):391-402.
  15. added 2017-02-27
    Von einem realistischen Standpunkt. [REVIEW]Alex Burri - 1995 - Erkenntnis 42 (3):403-404.
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  16. added 2017-02-15
    Nuovo Realismo FAQ: New Realism FAQ.Maurizio Ferraris - 2011 - Nóema 2:1-14.
    Il vero punto, nel confronto tra realisti e postmodernisti, non è ovviamente l’affermazione o negazione dell’esistenza del mondo esterno, ma il costruzionismo: quanto incidono gli schemi concettuali nella costruzione della realtà naturale e sociale? Infatti nessun realista negherebbe che l’IVA dipenda da schemi concettuali . Quello che il realista si chiede è, appunto, fin dove si spinge l’azione degli schemi concettuali, ed è qui che si manifesta il dissidio tra realisti e postmodernisti. Questi ultimi sono molto più generosi nella lista (...)
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  17. added 2017-02-15
    Under Consideration: Hilary Putnam's Words and Life.E. Westacott - 1998 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 24:103-108.
    Review of Hilary Putnam's Words and Life.
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  18. added 2017-02-15
    Reason, Truth and History by Hilary Putnam. [REVIEW]Michael Williams - 1984 - Journal of Philosophy 81 (5):257-261.
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  19. added 2017-02-14
    Yemima Ben-Menahem, Ed., Hilary Putnam Reviewed By.Rockney Jacobsen - 2006 - Philosophy in Review 26 (5):325-327.
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  20. added 2017-02-14
    What is at Stake Between Putnam And.Paul D. Forster - 2002 - In Alan R. Malachowski (ed.), Richard Rorty. London ;Sage. pp. 1--3.
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  21. added 2017-02-14
    Response to Hilary Putnam.Richard Rorty - 2000 - In Robert Brandom (ed.), Rorty and His Critics. Blackwell. pp. 87--90.
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  22. added 2017-02-14
    Hilary Putnam, Representation and Reality Reviewed By.Jeff Foss - 1988 - Philosophy in Review 8 (12):491-494.
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  23. added 2017-02-13
    Is Semantics Possible? Hilary Putnam.Jerrold Katz - 1999 - In Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence (eds.), Concepts: Core Readings. MIT Press. pp. 177.
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  24. added 2017-02-13
    How Can We Give a the Truth a Human Face Without Disfiguring It? Remarks on the Pragmatism of Hilary Putnam.C. Tiercelin - 1999 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 53 (207):37-60.
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  25. added 2017-02-12
    Putnam’s Conception of Ontology.Sami Pihlström - 2006 - Contemporary Pragmatism 3 (2):1-13.
    This symposium contribution discusses the conception of ontology which is used in Hilary Putnam's book Ethics without Ontology.
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  26. added 2017-02-12
    Ethical Objectivity Humanly Speaking: Reflections on Putnam’s Ethics Without Ontology.Mark Timmons - 2006 - Contemporary Pragmatism 3 (2):27-38.
    This symposium contribution discusses the conception of ethical objectivity found in the metaethical views of Hilary Putnam's book Ethics without Ontology.
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  27. added 2017-02-12
    Hilary Putnam and the Promise of Pluralism.Joseph Margolis - 2006 - Contemporary Pragmatism 3 (2):15-25.
    This symposium contribution discusses the conceptions of relativism and pluralism which are relevant to Hilary Putnam's book Ethics without Ontology.
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  28. added 2017-02-12
    Philosophy Should Not Be Just an Academic Discipline: A Dialogue with Hilary Putnam.Hilary Putnam & Janos Boros - 2005 - Common Knowledge 11 (1):126-135.
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  29. added 2017-02-12
    Meaning and the Moral Sciences.Bernard Mayo - 1979 - Philosophical Books 20 (1):34-36.
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  30. added 2017-02-11
    Hegel’s Philosophy—in Putnam’s Vat?J. M. Fritzman - 2011 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):7-25.
    Using Putnam’s brain-in-a-vat thought experiment, this article argues that interpretations which assert that Hegel’s philosophy, or some portion of it, develops inan entirely a priori manner are incoherent. An alternative reading is then articulated.
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  31. added 2017-02-11
    Putnam on “Empirical Objects”.Gordon Steinhoff - 1989 - Dialectica 43 (3):231-248.
    SummaryPutnam claims that the objects we experience are “mind‐dependent” and “theory‐dependent”. He also writes that they are “constructed within our theories”. It is difficult to say what he means by these claims. I conclude that, according to Putnam, “empirical objects” do not really exist. But I attempt to show the sense in which he can be considered a realist about these objects. Putnam has adopted an idealism which allows for the correctness of realist claims within appropriate contexts. I also discuss (...)
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  32. added 2017-02-10
    Hilary Putnam – Rolf Schock Prize Laureate.Sven Ove Hansson - 2013 - Theoria 79 (3):189-189.
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  33. added 2017-02-10
    Reading Putnam.Maria Baghramian (ed.) - 2012 - Routledge.
    Hilary Putnam is one of the world’s leading philosophers. His highly original and often provocative ideas have set the agenda for a variety of debates in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. His now famous philosophical thought experiments, such as the ‘Twin earth’ and ‘the brains in the vat’ have become part of the established canon in philosophy and cognitive science. _Reading Putnam_ is an outstanding overview and assessment of Hilary Putnam’s work by a team of (...)
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  34. added 2017-02-09
    Review of Hilary Putnam, The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy and Other Essays. [REVIEW]Sean Sayers - 2003 - Radical Philosophy (122):52-53.
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  35. added 2017-02-09
    Realism and the Anthropocentrics.James Robert Brown - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:202-210.
    This paper examines the anthropocentric views of William Newton-Smith, Hilary Putnam, and Bas van Fraassen. It is argued in each case that the anthropocentric views in question are untenable and that the realist alternative is to be preferred.
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  36. added 2017-02-08
    Hilary Putnam. Contemporary Philosopher in Focus. [REVIEW]Lars-Göran Johansson - 2007 - Theoria 73 (1):73-81.
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  37. added 2017-02-08
    Representation and Reality Hilary Putnam Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, 1988, 136 P.Daniel Laurier - 1993 - Dialogue 32 (1):178-.
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  38. added 2017-02-08
    Pragmatism and Internal Realism.Michael Bradie - 1979 - Analysis 39 (1):4 - 10.
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  39. added 2017-02-07
    Putnam's 'Home Coming'.Stephen J. Boulter - 1997 - Philosophy 72 (282):595-601.
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  40. added 2017-02-07
    Beyond the Internal Realist's Conceptual Scheme.Louis Caruana - 1996 - Metaphilosophy 27 (3):296-301.
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  41. added 2017-02-07
    Response to Professor Putnam.William H. Hyde - 1979 - Philosophical Investigations 2 (4):73-75.
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  42. added 2017-02-03
    The Absolute Conception : Putnam Vs Williams.Simon Blackburn - 2008 - In Daniel Callcut (ed.), Reading Bernard Williams. Routledge.
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  43. added 2017-02-03
    Philosophers and Human Understanding.H. Putnam - 1981 - In A. F. Heath (ed.), Scientific Explanation: Papers Based on Herbert Spencer Lectures Given in the University of Oxford. Clarendon Press. pp. 184--204.
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  44. added 2017-02-01
    Is Putnam Inconsistent and Parochial?James Beattie - 1993 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 71 (3):316 – 324.
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  45. added 2017-01-31
    Hilary Putnam: An Era of Philosophy Has Ended.Sanjit Chakraborty - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (1):1-6.
  46. added 2017-01-31
    Por Que Não Devemos Ser Representacionistas: A Reconciliação de Hilary Putnam Com a Filosofia da Percepção.Sofia Miguens - 2011 - Revista Filosófica de Coimbra 20 (40):485-504.
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  47. added 2017-01-31
    Putnam's Pragmatic Realism.Ernest Sosa - 1993 - Journal of Philosophy 90 (12):605-626.
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  48. added 2017-01-30
    Putnam on What Isn’T in the Head.Michael McGlone - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):199-205.
    In "The Meaning of 'Meaning'" Putnam argues, among other things, that "'meanings' just ain't in the head". Putnam's central arguments in favor of this conclusion are unsound. The arguments in question are the famous intra-world Twin Earth arguments, given on pages 223-227 of the article in question. Each of these arguments relies on a premise to the effect that this or that Twin Earth scenario is both logically possible and one in which certain individuals are in the same overall "psychological (...)
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  49. added 2017-01-30
    Hilary Putnam.Maximilian De Gaynesford - 2006 - Routledge.
    Putnam is one of the most influential philosophers of recent times, and his authority stretches far beyond the confines of the discipline. However, there is a considerable challenge in presenting his work both accurately and accessibly. This is due to the width and diversity of his published writings and to his frequent spells of radical re-thinking. But if we are to understand how and why philosophy is developing as it is, we need to attend to Putnam's whole career. He has (...)
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  50. added 2017-01-30
    Hilary Putnam.Yemima Ben-Menahem (ed.) - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
    The richness of Putnam's philosophical oeuvre consists not only in the broad spectrum of problems addressed, but also in the transformations and restructuring his positions have undergone over the years. The essays collected in this volume are sensitive to both these dimensions. They discuss Putnam's major philosophical contributions to the theory of meaning, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of science and mathematics, and moral theory. But, in addition, tracing threads of change and continuity, they analyze the dynamics underlying the (...)
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1 — 50 / 227