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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1843 found
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  1. 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 (...)
  2. 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 (...)
  3. 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 (...)
  4. 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 (...)
  5. 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.
  6. 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 (...)
  7. 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.
  8. A Critical Introduction to Scientific Realism, by Paul Dicken. [REVIEW]K. Brad Wray - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):205-206.
  9. Right Out of the Box: How to Situate Metaphysics of Science in Relation to Other Metaphysical Approaches.Alexandre Guay & Thomas Pradeu - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    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 (...)
  10. 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 (...)
  11. 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 (...)
  12. 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 (...)
  13. 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”. (...)
  14. 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 (...)
  15. Realismo y antirrealismo en la concepción semántica de las teorías científicas.León Olivé - 1985 - Critica 17 (51):31-40.
  16. Realism and Anti-Realism in Davidson's Philosophy of Language I.Frederick Stoutland - 1982 - Critica 14 (41):13-53.
  17. Locke on Real Essences, Intelligibility, and Natural Kinds.Jan-Erik Jones - 2010 - Journal of Philosophical Research 35:147-172.
    In this paper I criticize the interpretations of John Locke on natural kinds offered by Matthew Stuart and Pauline Phemister who argue that Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding allows for natural kinds based on similar real essences. By contrast, I argue for a conventionalist reading of Locke by reinterpreting his account of the status of real essences within the Essay and arguing that Locke denies that the new science of mechanism can justify the claim that similarities in corpuscular structure imply (...)
  18. What’s Wrong with Being Strange?Alan Sidelle - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (1):209-215.
    Contribution to symposium on Eli Hirsch's Dividing Reality.
  19. Ontogenesis Versus Morphogenesis Towards an Anti-Realist Model of the Constitution of Society.Christoforos Bouzanis - 2016 - Human Studies 39 (4):569-599.
    This article firstly criticizes Margaret Archer’s Morphogenetic Approach for being indecisive about the realist notion of emergence it proposes as well as for her inadequate account of structural conditioning. It is argued that critical realists’ conceptualizations of emergence cannot but lead to inconsistencies about the adequate placement of agents as parts of emergent entities. The inconsistencies to which these conceptualizations lead necessitate an anti-realist model of the constitution of societies which takes into account that social structures are existentially dependent upon (...)
  20. A Brief History of New Realism.Maurizio Ferraris - 2016 - Filozofija I Društvo 27 (3):591-609.
  21. Metaphysical Realism and Castañeda’s Minimal Transcendental Realism.Francesco Orilia - 2014 - In Adriano Palma (ed.), Castañeda and His Guises: Essays on the Work of Hector-Neri Castañeda. De Gruyter. pp. 97-106.
  22. Buchbesprechungen – Buchhinweise. [REVIEW]J. Woltmann, G. -R. Fendler, E. -A. Scharffenorth, K. Hungar, J. Schwerdtfeger, H. Janowski & Selge - 1966 - Zeitschrift Für Evangelische Ethik 10 (1):183-190.
  23. Numerical Cognition and Mathematical Realism.Helen De Cruz - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16.
    Humans and other animals have an evolved ability to detect discrete magnitudes in their environment. Does this observation support evolutionary debunking arguments against mathematical realism, as has been recently argued by Clarke-Doane, or does it bolster mathematical realism, as authors such as Joyce and Sinnott-Armstrong have assumed? To find out, we need to pay closer attention to the features of evolved numerical cognition. I provide a detailed examination of the functional properties of evolved numerical cognition, and propose that they prima (...)
  24. Modern Anti-Realism and Manufactured Truth.Timothy Williamson & Gerald Vision - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):420.
  25. Realism and Truth.Philip Gasper & Michael Devitt - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (3):446.
  26. A Realist Theory of Science.Caroline Whitbeck & Roy Bhaskar - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (1):114.
  27. The Revival of Realism.W. E. Schlaretzki & James Feibleman - 1948 - Philosophical Review 57 (2):195.
  28. Personal Realism.George P. Conger & James Bissett Pratt - 1938 - Philosophical Review 47 (5):544.
  29. The Philosophy of Physical Realism.Charles W. Morris & Roy Wood Sellars - 1934 - Philosophical Review 43 (2):205.
  30. Moderate Realism and Its Logic.Amie L. Thomasson & D. W. Mertz - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (3):474.
  31. Holistic Realism: A Marriage of Metaphysical Realism and Conceptual Relativity.William David Ferraiolo - unknown
    The following two claims have each captivated some of the very most penetrating intellects both in and out of philosophy, yet they are typically taken to be mutually exclusive: The world exists and has its nature independently of cognition Many facts obtain only relative to some conceptual scheme for ordering reality.
  32. Review: C Insole, The Realist Hope: A Critique of Anti-Realist Approaches in Contemporary Philosophical Theology. Ashgate Press, 2006. [REVIEW]John Cottingham - unknown
  33. Fictionalism.Fiora Salis - 2015 - Online Companion to Problems in Analytic Philosophy.
    In this entry I will offer a survey of the contemporary debate on fic- tionalism, which is a distinctive anti-realist view about certain regions of discourse that are valued for their usefulness rather than their truth.
  34. ¿Es Solipsista El Realismo Interno de Putnam?Javier Toro - 2015 - Universitas Philosophica 32 (64):267.
  35. Is Realism Really the Best Hypothesis?Berent Enç - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy 87 (11):667-668.
  36. On Extending "Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology" to the Realism/Instrumentalism Controversy.William Demopoulos - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy 108 (12):647-669.
  37. Putnam's Pragmatic Realism.Ernest Sosa - 1993 - Journal of Philosophy 90 (12):605-626.
  38. How Not to Refute Realism.Alexander George - 1993 - Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):53-72.
  39. New Realism and Old Reality.Marten Ten Hoor & D. Luther Evans - 1928 - Journal of Philosophy 25 (21):575.
  40. VII—On Not Being a Realist.Frederick Stoutland - 1989 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 89 (1):95-112.
  41. X—What Is “Realism”?Hilary Putnam - 1976 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 76 (1):177-194.
  42. VII.—The Metaphysical Criterion and its Implications.H. Wildon Carr - 1905 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 5 (1):117-135.
  43. VII.—Natural Realism and Present Tendencies in Philosophy.A. Wolf - 1909 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 9 (1):141-182.
  44. II.—Physical and Metaphysical Reality.H. F. Hallett - 1932 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 32 (1):19-40.
  45. XIII.—Realism and the Status of Mind.D. J. Moxley - 1932 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 32 (1):277-300.
  46. X.—Realism and Values.Margaret McFarlane - 1922 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 22 (1):173-188.
  47. Relativism and Realism in ScienceRobert Nola.Thomas Nickles - 1990 - Isis 81 (3):614-615.
  48. A Realist Theory of ScienceRoy Bhaskar.Janet A. Kourany - 1980 - Isis 71 (1):154-155.
  49. The Foundations of Scientific InferenceWesley C. Salmon.Kenneth F. Schaffner - 1968 - Isis 59 (4):447-448.
  50. "To Carve Nature at its Joints": On the Existence of Discrete Classes in Personality.Steve Gangestad & Mark Snyder - 1985 - Psychological Review 92 (3):317-349.
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