Nominalism, realism and objectivity

Synthese 196 (2):519-534 (2019)

Authors
Catherine Elgin
Harvard University
Abstract
I argue that constructive nominalism is preferable to scientific realism. Rather than reflecting without distortion the way the mind-independent world is, theories refract. They provide an understanding of the world as modulated by a particular theory. Truth is defined within a theoretical framework rather than outside of it. This does not undermine objectivity, for an assertion contains a reference to the framework in terms of which its truth is claimed.
Keywords Constructive nominalism  Scientific realism  Objectivity
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-016-1114-0
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