Real Realism: The Galilean Strategy


Authors
Philip Kitcher
Columbia University
Abstract
This essay aims to disentangle various types of anti-realism, and to disarm the considerations that are deployed to support them. I distinguish empiricist versions of anti-realism from constructivist versions, and, within each of these, semantic arguments from epistemological arguments. The centerpiece of my defense of a modest version of realism - real realism - is the thought that there are resources within our ordinary ways of talking about and knowing about everyday objects that enable us to extend our claims to unobservable entities. This strategy, the Galilean strategy, is explained using the historical example of the telescope.
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