About this topic
Summary "Realism" comes in many philosophical guises. One sort of realism concerns whether certain entities exist, or whether they exist independent of our minds. Realism in this metaphysical sense arises for numerous subject matters: everyday material objects, concepts, universals, mathematical objects, moral values, unobservable theoretical entities, and so on. Michael Dummett characterizes realism and anti-realism in semantic terms, suggesting that the fundamental issue is not about the existence of entities, but rather about whether statements of some specified class (such as mathematics or ethics) can have an objective truth value, independently of our means of knowing it.
Key works The diversity of realisms is discussed e.g. in Devitt 1991, Miller 2008, and Raatikainen 2014. A good systematic discussion of  realism about the external world as opposed to phenomenalism and idealism can be found in Locke 1967; see also Armstrong 1961. An already classic collection of articles for and against realism about unobservable theoretical entities, i.e. "scientific realism", is Leplin 1984. An influential recent defense is Psillos 1999; see also Devitt 1991. The realism/antirealism issue was recasted in semantic terms in Dummett 1978, 1993; see also Wright 1993Miller 2006 and Shieh 1998 are useful discussions. Devitt 1983 is a well-known critique of the Dummettian anti-realism.  
Introductions On the variety of realisms: Miller 2008; on scientific realism: Chakravartty 2013, Devitt 2005; on semantic realism and anti-realism: Miller 2006.
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  1. Expert Deference About the Epistemic and Its Metaepistemological Significance.Michele Palmira - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):524-538.
    This paper focuses on the phenomenon of forming one’s judgement about epistemic matters, such as whether one has some reason not to believe false propositions, on the basis of the opinion of somebody one takes to be an expert about them. The paper pursues three aims. First, it argues that some cases of expert deference about epistemic matters are suspicious. Secondly, it provides an explanation of such a suspiciousness. Thirdly, it draws the metaepistemological implications of the proposed explanation.
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  2. Right out of the box: how to situate metaphysics of science in relation to other metaphysical approaches.Alexandre Guay & Thomas Pradeu - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1847-1866.
    Several advocates of the lively field of “metaphysics of science” have recently argued that a naturalistic metaphysics should be based solely on current science, and that it should replace more traditional, intuition-based, forms of metaphysics. The aim of the present paper is to assess that claim by examining the relations between metaphysics of science and general metaphysics. We show that the current metaphysical battlefield is richer and more complex than a simple dichotomy between “metaphysics of science” and “traditional metaphysics”, and (...)
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  3. Reasonable Inferences From Quantum Mechanics: A Response to “Quantum Misuse in Psychic Literature”.Bernardo Kastrup - 2019 - Journal of Near-Death Studies 37 (3):185-200.
    This invited article is a response to the paper “Quantum Misuse in Psychic Literature,” by Jack A. Mroczkowski and Alexis P. Malozemoff, published in this issue of the Journal of Near-Death Studies. Whereas I sympathize with Mroczkowski’s and Malozemoff’s cause and goals, and I recognize the problem they attempted to tackle, I argue that their criticisms often overshot the mark and end up adding to the confusion. I address nine specific technical points that Mroczkowski and Malozemoff accused popular writers in (...)
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  4. TRUTH – A Conversation Between P F Strawson and Gareth Evans (1973).P. F. Strawson & Gareth Evans - manuscript
    This is a transcript of a conversation between P F Strawson and Gareth Evans in 1973, filmed for The Open University. Under the title 'Truth', Strawson and Evans discuss the question as to whether the distinction between genuinely fact-stating uses of language and other uses can be grounded on a theory of truth, especially a 'thin' notion of truth in the tradition of F P Ramsey.
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  5. Review of D.M. Armstrong, Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics. [REVIEW]Diego Morales - 2013 - Aporia 5:86-89.
    Book review of David Armstrong's "Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics", written in Spanish. || Reseña del libro "Sketch for a Sytematic Metaphysics", escrito por David Armstrong.
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  6. How to Save van Fraassen’s Own Antirealism: A Modest Proposal.Alessio Gava - 2020 - Perspectiva Filosófica 45 (1):1-21.
    Bas van Fraassen’s antirealist view of science and its aim, constructive empiricism, notoriously rests upon a distinction between observable and unobservable entities. In order to back his empiricist stance, the Dutch philosopher put forward his own characterization of observability. Nonetheless, he acknowledges that the point of constructive empiricism is not lost if the line is drawn in a somewhat different way from how he draws it. This means that other characterizations of observability can support this antirealist stance, provided they allow (...)
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  7. Number and Reality: Sources of Scientific Knowledge.Alex V. Halapsis - 2016 - ScienceRise 23 (6):59-64.
    Pythagoras’s number doctrine had a great effect on the development of science. Number – the key to the highest reality, and such approach allowed Pythagoras to transform mathematics from craft into science, which continues implementation of its project of “digitization of being”. Pythagoras's project underwent considerable transformation, but it only means that the plan in knowledge is often far from result.
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  8. The Ethics–Mathematics Analogy.Justin Clarke‐Doane - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (1).
    Ethics and mathematics have long invited comparisons. On the one hand, both ethical and mathematical propositions can appear to be knowable a priori, if knowable at all. On the other hand, mathematical propositions seem to admit of proof, and to enter into empirical scientific theories, in a way that ethical propositions do not. In this article, I discuss apparent similarities and differences between ethical (i.e., moral) and mathematical knowledge, realistically construed -- i.e., construed as independent of human mind and languages. (...)
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  9. Realismus und unübersetzbare Sprachen.Sebastian Gäb - 2018 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 72 (3):382-409.
    This paper argues against Davidson’s claim that there is no distinction between conceptual schemes and their content and derives the implications for the debate on realism and antirealism. Starting from a semantic conception of realism, I discuss Davidson’s argument against conceptual schemes and untranslatable languages. I argue that the idea of an untranslatable language is consistent since language attribution is essentially normative. Untranslatable languages are metaphysically possible, but epistemically unrecognizable. This leads to a Berkeleyan argument against antirealism: if antirealism is (...)
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  10. Towards a Conceptualization of Sociomaterial Entanglement.Daniele Porello & Roberta Ferrario - 2015 - In Henning Christiansen, Isidora Stojanovic & George A. Papadopoulos (eds.), Modeling and Using Context. 9th International and Interdisciplinary Conference, Context 2015. Springer. pp. 32--46.
    In knowledge representation, socio-technical systems can be modeled as multiagent systems in which the local knowledge of each individual agent can be seen as a context. In this paper we propose formal ontologies as a means to describe the assumptions driving the construction of contexts as local theories and to enable interoperability among them. In particular, we present two alternative conceptualizations of the notion of sociomateriality (and entanglement), which is central in the recent debates on socio-technical systems in the social (...)
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  11. Senza fondamento non c’è etica.Elisa Grimi - 2016 - In I. Poma (ed.), I fondamenti dell'etica. Brescia BS, Italia: pp. 365-372.
    --- abstract is not requested by the Editor.
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  12. (June 2019 to 2014) The UNBELIEVABLE Similarities Between the Ideas of Some People (2011-2016) and My Ideas (2002-2008) in Physics (Quantum Mechanics, Cosmology), Cognitive Neuroscience, Philosophy of Mind, and Philosophy.Gabriel Vacariu - manuscript
    COTENT -/- (April 2019) Why so many people (from so many countries/domains/on so many topics) have already plagiarized my ideas? (Gabriel Vacariu) -/- Some preliminary comments Introduction: The EDWs perspective in my article from 2005 and my book from 2008 -/- I. PHYSICS, COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY (‘REBORN DINOSAURS’) • (2016) Sean Carroll (California Institute of Technology, USA) • (2016) Frank Wilczek (Nobel Prize in Physics) • (2017-2019 - NEW March 2019) Carlo Rovelli in three books (2015, 2017) to my ideas (...)
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  13. (June 2019 to 2014) The UNBELIEVABLE Similarities Between the Ideas of Some People (2011-2016) and My Ideas (2002-2008) in Physics (Quantum Mechanics, Cosmology), Cognitive Neuroscience, Philosophy of Mind, and Philosophy.Gabriel Vacariu - manuscript
    COTENT -/- (April 2019) Why so many people (from so many countries/domains/on so many topics) have already plagiarized my ideas? (Gabriel Vacariu) -/- Some preliminary comments Introduction: The EDWs perspective in my article from 2005 and my book from 2008 -/- I. PHYSICS, COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY (‘REBORN DINOSAURS’) • (2016) Sean Carroll (California Institute of Technology, USA) • (2016) Frank Wilczek (Nobel Prize in Physics) • (2017-2019 - NEW March 2019) Carlo Rovelli in three books (2015, 2017) to my ideas (...)
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  14. Too Much Substance, Not Enough Cognition.Vincent C. Müller & Stephanie Kelter - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1):80-80.
    Millikan's account of substance concepts is based on a notion of “substance” expanded from realist notions of individuals and natural kinds. Her metaphysical notion, based on “inductive potential,” is shown to be too puristic and needs to incorporate cognizing subjects. This could preserve the realist/nondescriptionist insight that the extension of substances is determined by the world.
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  15. Morality and Mathematics.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
    To what extent are the subjects of our thoughts and talk real? This is the question of realism. In this book, Justin Clarke-Doane explores arguments for and against moral realism and mathematical realism, how they interact, and what they can tell us about areas of philosophical interest more generally. He argues that, contrary to widespread belief, our mathematical beliefs have no better claim to being self-evident or provable than our moral beliefs. Nor do our mathematical beliefs have better claim to (...)
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  16. Heideggers Dinge.Tobias Keiling - 2014 - Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy:74-112.
    This paper discusses the notion of a thing in Heidegger. Its aim is to explain the systematic place of that notion in Heidegger’s thought in relation to his ontological discourse: as what is explained through different understandings of being, things allow for a simultaneous differentiation and discussion of the different epochs in the so-called history of being. Thus a henomenology of things and thingness serves as frame of reference for all explications of ‘what there is.’ If Heidegger is a realist, (...)
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  17. The Failure of Diagnostic Psychiatry and Some Prospects of Scientific Progress Offered by Critical Realism.David Pilgrim - 2013 - Journal of Critical Realism 12 (3):336-358.
    A brief overview is provided of sociological and historical critiques of Western psychiatry before focusing on pre-empirical, non-empirical and empirical aspects of psychiatric diagnosis. These are then discussed using the analytical devices of the ontic fallacy, the epistemic fallacy and generative mechanisms. It is concluded that mental disorders do not really exist but particular presenting problems of unintelligibility, interpersonal dysfunction and common human misery, in particular social contexts, recur in modern life and thus constitute real problems for those intimately implicated (...)
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  18. On Drawing Lines Across the Board.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - In Leo Zaibert (ed.), The Theory and Practice of Ontology. London: Palgrave Macmillian. pp. 45-78.
    In his Romanes Lecture of 1907, Lord Curzon emphasized the overwhelming influence of “natural” and “artificial” frontiers in the political history of the modern world. As Barry Smith has shown, the same could be said, more generally, of the natural and artificial boundaries that are at work in articulating every aspect of the reality with which we have to deal, not only in the world of geography, but the world of human experience at large. Moreover, once the natural/artificial distinction has (...)
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  19. The Manifestation Challenge: The Debate Between McDowell and Wright.Ali Hossein Khani & Saeedeh Shahmir - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 12 (24): 287-306.
    In this paper, we will discuss what is called the “Manifestation Challenge” to semantic realism, which was originally developed by Michael Dummett and has been further refined by Crispin Wright. According to this challenge, semantic realism has to meet the requirement that knowledge of meaning must be publically manifested in linguistic behaviour. In this regard, we will introduce and evaluate John McDowell’s response to this anti-realistic challenge, which was put forward to show that the challenge cannot undermine realism. According to (...)
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  20. Prolegomena zu einer jeden künftigen '(Nicht-)Metaphysik' der Religion: (Anti-)Realismus, (Non-)Kognitivismus und die religiöse Imagination.Amber Griffioen - 2016 - In Rico Gutschmidt & Thomas Rentsch (eds.), Gott ohne Theismus. Münster, Germany: pp. 127-147.
    In this chapter, I first explore the possible meanings of the expression 'non-metaphysical religion' and its relation to the realism and cognitivism debates (as well as these debates' relation to each other). I then sketch out and defend the germs of an alternative semantics for religious language that I call 'religious imaginativism'. This semantics attempts to move us away from the realism-antirealism debates in Philosophy of Religion and in this sense might count as 'non-metaphysical'. At the same time, it allows (...)
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  21. From Phenomenology to Formal Ontology: How Barry Smith and Kevin Mulligan Made Husserl’s Descriptive Psychology Into a Form of Realism.Marco Tedeschini - 2015 - Archivio Di Filosofia 83 (3):177-188.
    In this paper I will discuss Barry Smith’s and Kevin Mulligan’s revision of Husserl’s phenomenology, starting from the fact that many Italian scholars seem to follow them in a sense, by dealing with phenomenology as a sort of a priori ontology. Therefore, I will first reconstruct Smith’s and Mulligan’s attempt and its objectives, then I will show how it is rooted in the school of Brentano and, in particular, in Husserl’s phenomenology. Finally, I will provide some arguments against this attempt (...)
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  22. Réalisme, critique du langage et inventivité conceptuelle.Daniel Schulthess - 2001 - In Jean-Pierre Cotten & Benoît Hufschmitt (eds.), Repérer, formaliser, traduire les concepts philosophiques: Actes du colloque de Besançon des 23-24 juin 1999. Besançon: Presses universitaires franc-comtoises. pp. p.219-221..
    Platonic realism has little place for conceptual invention. The possibilities of conceptual inventivity are assessed in the paper.
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  23. Categories We Live By: The Construction of Sex, Gender, Race, and Other Social Categories.Ásta . - 2018 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    We are women, we are men. We are refugees, single mothers, people with disabilities, and queers. We belong to social categories and they frame our actions, self-understanding, and opportunities. But what are social categories? How are they created and sustained? How does one come to belong to them? -/- Ásta approaches these questions through analytic feminist metaphysics. Her theory of social categories centers on an answer to the question: what is it for a feature of an individual to be socially (...)
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  24. Davidson’s Antirealism?Alexander Miller & Ali Hossein Khani - 2015 - Revista de Filosofia Aurora 27 (40):265.
    Frederic Stoutland (1982a, 1982b) has argued that a Davidsonian theory of meaning is incompatible with a realist view of truth, on which the truth-conditions of sentences consist of mind-independent states of affairs or concatenations of extra-linguistic objects. In this paper we show that Stoutland’s argument is a failure.
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  25. Logic is Metaphysics.Daniel Durante Pereira Alves - 2011 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 15 (1):31-42.
    Analyzing the position of two philosophers whose views are recognizably divergent, W. O. Quine and M. Dummett, we intend to support a striking point of agreement between them: the idea that our logical principles constitute our principles about what there is, and therefore, that logic is metaphysics.
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  26. Ayer's Critique of Metaphysics.Damian Ilodigwe - 2014 - EKPOMA Review 2 (2014):35-55.
    Ayer’s critique of Metaphysics is much indebted to Hume and Kant’s pioneering appraisals of metaphysics. Its uniqueness lies mainly in the attempt to ground the rejection of metaphysics on a linguistic basis rather than epistemic premise as Hume and Kant before him. Yet it remains to be seen whether Ayer’s initiative fares better than its predecessors in discrediting metaphysics.
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  27. The Advancement of Realism. [REVIEW]Richard W. Miller - 1995 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (3):637.
    Some of us think that the current consensus in the natural sciences is closer to the truth than it has ever been before. But for decades we have been told that important parts of this consensus are due to interactions of power, rhetoric and custom which have no tendency to promote truth in our own view. I think that the debunking of this debunking in The Advancement of Science is a devastating success, an awesome combination of erudition, philosophical insight and (...)
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  28. Incompleteness, Nonlocality and Realism: A Prolegomenon to the Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics. Michael Redhead.Richard A. Healey - 1991 - Philosophy of Science 58 (3):503-505.
  29. The Shaky Game: Einstein, Realism, and the Quantum Theory. Arthur Fine.Paul Teller - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (1):155-156.
  30. Our Incorrigible Ontological Relations and Categories of Being.Julian M. Galvez Bunge (ed.) - 2017 - USA: Amazon.
    The purpose of this book is to address the controversial issues of whether we have a fixed set of ontological categories and if they have some epistemic value at all. Which are our ontological categories? What determines them? Do they play a role in cognition? If so, which? What do they force to presuppose regarding our world-view? If they constitute a limit to possible knowledge, up to what point is science possible? Does their study make of philosophy a science? Departing (...)
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  31. A Critical Introduction to Scientific Realism, by Paul Dicken : London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016, Pp. Vii + 214, £28.99. [REVIEW]K. Brad Wray - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):205-206.
  32. Buddhism and Modern Physics, Volume 1.Robert Alan Paul - 2016 - Halifax, Canada: Self-published, Amazon.com.
    The book investigates distinctions between independent individuality and interactive relationality in physical phenomena. This is a common topic for investigation in modern physics and philosophy of science, and the topic is explored using contemporary research in those disciplines. Additionally, it is common for Buddhism to focus on relationships, and it proposes that independent individual things do not exist. In the context of physical reality, I take this Buddhist view as a hypothesis and examine it critically. We evaluate its arguments and (...)
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  33. More Than Allegory: On Religious Myth, Truth and Belief.Bernardo Kastrup - 2016 - Winchester, UK: Iff Books.
    This book is a three-part journey into the rabbit hole we call the nature of reality. Its ultimate destination is a plausible, living validation of transcendence. Each of its three parts is like a turn of a spiral, exploring recurring ideas through the prisms of religious myth, truth and belief, respectively. With each turn, the book seeks to convey a more nuanced and complete understanding of the many facets of transcendence. Part I puts forward the controversial notion that many religious (...)
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  34. Invisible Disagreement: An Inverted Qualia Argument for Realism.Justin Donhauser - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):593-606.
    Scientific realists argue that a good track record of multi-agent, and multiple method, validation of empirical claims is itself evidence that those claims, at least partially and approximately, reflect ways nature actually is independent of the ways we conceptualize it. Constructivists contend that successes in validating empirical claims only suffice to establish that our ways of modelling the world, our “constructions,” are useful and adequate for beings like us. This essay presents a thought experiment in which beings like us intersubjectively (...)
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  35. Relativism, Translation, and the Metaphysics of Realism.Aristidis Arageorgis - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):659-680.
    Thoroughgoing relativists typically dismiss the realist conviction that competing theories describe just one definite and mind-independent world-structure on the grounds that such theories fail to be relatively translatable even though they are equally correct. This line of argument allegedly brings relativism into direct conflict with the metaphysics of realism. I argue that this relativist line of reasoning is shaky by deriving a theorem about relativistic inquiry in formal epistemology—more specifically, in the approach Kevin Kelly has dubbed “logic of reliable inquiry”. (...)
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  36. Giovanni Gentile and the State of Contemporary Constructivism: A Study of Actual Idealist Moral Theory.James Wakefield - 2015 - Imprint Academic.
    Recent moral philosophers have had little to say about Giovanni Gentile's 'actual idealism’, which is widely dismissed as a kind of obscurantist Hegelianism used to conceal flimsy justifications for the state’s total impunity over questions of morality and truth. While Gentile is increasingly recognised as a major figure in twentieth-century Italian culture, actual idealism itself has yet to be given a full and impartial philosophical appraisal. Giovanni Gentile and the State of Contemporary Constructivism represents the first book-length treatment of actual (...)
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  37. Radical Realism: Direct Knowing in Science and Philosophy.Jude P. Dougherty - 1995 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (3):723-725.
    Edward Pols long ago established himself as a philosopher of first rank. His carefully wrought studies have succeeded each other with regularity, The Recognition of Reason, Whitehead’s Metaphysics, Meditation on a Prisoner: Towards Understanding Action and Mind, and The Acts of Our Being: A Reflection on Agency and Responsibility. While clearly within a tradition that can be traced through modernity to the middle ages and to classical philosophy, Pols is no slave to the past. He recognizes the perennial character of (...)
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  38. Constructs and Fictions.David Gruender - 1968 - Dialectica 22 (1):20-27.
    . — The issues of realism and ontologically more chaste views are discussed within the context of constructivist as opposed to non‐constructivist approaches to scientific theories. Although many take non‐constructivistic interpretations to require the existence of all the elements of theories, this essay argues against that conclusion. A consideration of the use of the analytic‐synthetic distinction and the greater fruitfulness of theories interpreted realistically both arrive at negative results. And since no simple criterion of reality is known, it is concluded (...)
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  39. The Philosophy of Physical Realism.L. P. Chambers - 1933 - Journal of Philosophy 30 (18):495-500.
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  40. Realism and the Aim of Science.Karl Raimund Popper & William Warren Bartley - 1983 - Hutchinson.
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  41. A Caution To The Anti-Realist.Charles B. Daniels - 1997 - Dialogue 36 (3):489-492.
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  42. The Metaphysics of Logical Positivism.James K. Feibleman - 1951 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 17 (3):218-218.
  43. Realism and the New Physical Theories.Augustine Osgniach - 1932 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 8:25.
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  44. Metaphysical Understanding of Reality.M. A. Krapiec - 1986 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 60:11.
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  45. Empirical Realism.Augustin Riska - 1985 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 59:331.
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  46. Response‐Dependence Theory and Empirical Claims for the Social Sciences.Steven I. Miller - 2006 - Metaphilosophy 37 (5):705-724.
    : The analysis here is an attempt to show how the current epistemological theory of response‐dependence may be relevant to understanding putative ontological claims of the empirical social sciences. To this end I argue that the constitutive features of human response, central to R‐D theory, can be made explicit for social science. I conclude that for the empirical social sciences the implication of combining R‐D and certain forms of statistical analyses leads to the possibility of an events‐based ontology.
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  47. Realismo y antirrealismo en la concepción semántica de las teorías científicas.León Olivé - 1985 - Critica 17 (51):31-40.
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  48. The Instrumentalism-Realism Debate: A Case for a Diachronic Phase Theory.L. Keita - 1983 - Critica 15 (43):79-102.
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  49. Realism and Anti-Realism in Davidson's Philosophy of Language I.Frederick Stoutland - 1982 - Critica 14 (41):13-53.
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  50. Realism and Anti-Realism in Davidson's Philosophy of Language, II.Frederic Stoutland - 1982 - Critica 14 (42):19-48.
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