Realism, Science, and Pragmatism

Routledge (2014)
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Abstract

This collection of original essays aims to reinvigorate the debate surrounding philosophical realism in relation to philosophy of science, pragmatism, epistemology, and theory of perception. Questions concerning realism are as current and as ancient as philosophy itself; this volume explores relations between different positions designated as ‘realism’ by examining specific cases in point, drawn from a broad range of systematic problems and historical views, from ancient Greek philosophy through the present. The first section examines the context of the project; contributions systematically engage the historical background of philosophical realism, re-examining key works of Aristotle, Descartes, Quine, and others. The following two sections epitomize the central tension within current debates: scientific realism and pragmatism. These contributions address contemporary questions of scientific realism and the reality of the objects of science, and consider whether, how or the extent to which realism and pragmatism are compatible. With an editorial introduction by Kenneth R. Westphal, these fourteen original essays provide wide-ranging, salient insights into the status of realism today.

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