Realism and Anti-Realism

In ¸ Itedummett:Sl. pp. 462--78 (1993)
In this article the contemporary debate between realism and anti-realism in analytical philosophy is analyzed and discussed. It is claimed that the nature of the reference relation which holds between language and the world is central in this discussion which has both logical, semantical, and epistemological aspects. In a firstpart, A Tarski's (semantic) theory of truth is explained and it is shown how, amongst several theories of truth, Tarski's may be called a realist one. However, a Tarski-style semantics need not lead to a realist theory of Truth and Reference, as is shown in a subsequent part. Here, H Putnam's views on these matters are discussed. It is shown how Putnam in the course of his intellectual history has changed his view from a realist to an anti-realist position. Putnam'sarguments show the importance of logical and metalogical issues in the debate. In a final part, Putnam's views are criticized and it is shown how a line of argument, analogous to Putnam's, may lead to a realist theory of meaning and reference
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