What is the ontological status of facts? Are facts linguistic or extra-linguistic entities? If facts are extra-linguistic entities, are they mind-independent or relative to languages, theories or conceptual schemes? Based on a minimal definition of facts, the author argues that what are specified by true statements are not identical to true propositions expressed, so facts are not linguistic entities. Furthermore, what are specified by true statements are not to which a true statement corresponds, so facts are not mind-independent, either as (...) concrete entities in the universe or as abstract entities in the world as it is. Last, the author presents an internalfactual realist answer: although facts are neither in the world as it is, nor in a language, facts are real and exist in a world under consideration. A fact, as a non-linguistic correlate of a true statement of a language, exists in a world specified by the language. (shrink)
In this article I argue that it is the task of philosophy of history to elucidate the practice of history. Therefore philosophy of history must stick to the analysis of the debates of historians and neither literary theory nor aesthetics can function as "models: for philosophy of history. This is so because historians present reconstructions of a past reality on the basis of factual research and discuss these reconstructions primarily in terms of factual adequacy. The fact that these (...) discussions seldom lead to a consensus constitutes a basic feature of "doing history" to be analyzed by its philosophy.An analysis of the "Historikerstreit" leads, first, to the observation that traditional objectivism and relativism can not account for the fact that historians do debate at all. Second, it leads to the observation that according to most historians judgements of value are supposed to fall outside the scope of rational debate. This conviction is traced back to deeprooted but outdated conceptions of rationality. To get beyond objectivism and relativism "internalrealism" is proposed and connected to the notion of practical identity. The fact-value distinction is re-analyzed in this framework of "internalrealism" and put to work in the "Historikerstreit." Third, it is argued that the theory of "speechacts" and the notion of "horizon of expectation" can be connected to "internalrealism" in order to give a more adequate elucidation of the normative aspects of historiography. Fourth, and along the way, I maintain that historians can profit from "internalrealism" because the scope of their discussion would be widened so as to include the traditionally implicit normative issues involved. (shrink)
As is well known, Putnam changed his philosophical position on a number of occasions throughout his career. In this paper, I reconsider the position of internalrealism which Putnam defended from the mid-1970’s until around 1990. The paper opens with a discussion of the position that Putnam called “metaphysical realism”, since his internalrealism emerged out of a critique of that position. The paper then briefly presents the internal realist view as one which involves (...) an epistemic conception of truth, as well as an anti-realist metaphysical outlook on which objects depend on conceptual scheme. The paper then provides a survey of the key objections to internalrealism which emerged in the ensuing debate with defenders of realism. The paper concludes with a brief consideration of the relevance of Putnam’s later adoption of a direct realist theory of perception with respect to the issue of realism. (shrink)
This article applies Hilary Putnam’s theory of internalrealism to the issue of religious plurality. The result of this application – ‘internalist pluralism’ – constitutes a paradigm shift within the Philosophy of Religion. Moreover, internalist pluralism succeeds in avoiding the major difficulties faced by John Hick’s famous theory of religious pluralism, which views God, or ‘the Real,’ as the noumenon lying behind diverse religious phenomena. In side-stepping the difficulties besetting Hick’s revolutionary Kantian approach, without succumbing to William Alston’s (...) critique of conceptual-scheme dependence, internalist pluralism provides a solution to significant theoretical problems, while doing so in a manner that is respectful of cultural diversity and religious sensitivities. (shrink)
Putnam’s internalrealism is aimed at reconciling realist and antirealist intuitions about truth and the nature of reality. A common complaint about internalrealism is that it has never been stated with due precision. This paper attempts to render the position precise by drawing on the literature on conceptual spaces as well as on earlier work of the authors on the notion of identity.
Arguments pro and contra convergent realism – underdetermination of theory by observational evidence and pessimistic meta-induction from past falsity – are considered. It is argued that, to meet the counter-arguments challenge, convergent realism should be considerably changed with a help of modification of the propositions from this meta-programme “hard core” or “protecting belt”. Two well-known convergent realism rivals – “entity realism” of Nancy Cartwright and Ian Hacking and John Worrall’s “structural realism” – are considered. Entity (...)realism’s main drawback is fundamental laws underestimation. As for structural realism, its limitation of theoretical propositions by pure structural ones is ineffective. One always can transform propositions about objects into propositions about structures and vice versa. Both conceptions are kinds of “metaphysical revisionism” that tries to reformulate the good old convergent realism propositions using more decent language and applying ad hoc modifications of the solutions first obtained within the anti-realist epistemological meta-programmes. It is stated that to overcome the troubles of convergent realism one has to turn from classical or “metaphysical” realism to nonclassical or “internal” one and to coherent theory of truth. Internalrealism has no troubles in solving the problem of empirically-equivalent theoretical descriptions and historical meta-induction problem, but gets the problem of scientific knowledge objectivity instead. Where does this objectivity come from? One of the answers is proposed by the scientific knowledge growth model elaborated by Rinat Nugayev and by Peter Galison. Each paradigm is a local viewpoint determined by the peculiarities of a culture into which its creator . was submerged. However, the meeting of the different paradigms leads to their interaction; as a result, the crossbred theoretical objects are constructed. Through these systems the infiltration of one paradigm on the other’s domain takes place. After the old paradigms’ grinding the new ones emerge that reconcile to each other much better than the old ones. Scientific theories reconcile results in elimination of many contingent details. In the process of competition more universal components survive. It is demonstrated that the process of objective knowledge genesis takes place in modern superstring theory too. The list of its drawbacks is rather long; it is clear that the theory cannot pretend on the role of the Theory of Everything. Nevertheless the process of argumentation pro and contra convergent realism – underdetermination of theory by observational evidence and pessimistic meta-induction from past falsity – are considered. It is argued that, to meet the counter-arguments challenge, convergent realism should be considerably changed with a help of modification of the propositions from this meta-programme “hard core” or “protecting belt”. It is stated that to overcome the troubles of convergent realism one has to turn from classical or “metaphysic” of quantum field theory and general relativity interpenetration have already begun. (shrink)
This paper discusses the proposal made by Lombardi and Labarca (Found Chem 7:125–148, 2005) that internalrealism can secure the ontological autonomy of chemistry. I argue that internalrealism is not, by itself, sufficient to accomplish this task. The fact that conceptual schemes may differ with respect to their theoretical virtues, and the possibility that the relations between them may be reductive undermine the premise that each conceptual scheme has an equal right to define its own (...) ontology, which is a key premise in Lombardi and Labarca’s proposal. (shrink)
Failure to recognize the "realistic" motivations for Putnam's commitment to internalrealism has led to a widely shared misunderstanding of Putnam's arguments against metaphysical realism. Realist critics of these arguments frequently offer rebuttals that fail to confront his arguments. Simply put, Putnam's arguments --the brains in a vat argument as well as the model-theoretic argument -- are "reductios" that are intended to show that "metaphysical realism itself is not sufficiently realistic". If that claim can be substantiated (...) then Putnam can go on to argue that his own view is, by comparison, more realistic than metaphysical realism. (shrink)
Putnam originally developed his causal theory of meaning in order to support scientific realism and reject the notion of incommensurability. Later he gave up this position and adopted instead what he called ‘internalrealism’, but apparently without changing his mind on topics related to his former philosophy of language. The question must arise whether internalrealism, which actually is a species of antirealism, is compatible with the causal theory of meaning. In giving an answer I (...) begin with an analysis of the content and metaphysical background of scientific realism. I show that it presupposes metaphysical realism and that Putnam's philosophical conversion is due to his becoming aware of the latter's incoherence. After giving a brief sketch of internalrealism I conclude by arguing that within this new theoretical framework the causal theory of meaning loses its force as a weapon against incommensurability. (shrink)
The paper discusses which modal principles should hold for a truth operator answering to the truth theory of internalrealism. It turns out that the logic of truth in internalrealism is isomorphic to the modal system S4.
This systematic development of the internal realist approach, first developed by Hilary Putnam, tries to steer a middle course between metaphysical realism and relativism. It argues against metaphysical realism that it is open to global skepticism and cannot cope with conceptual pluralism. Against relativism it is claimed that there are mind-independent constraints on the validity of our claims to knowledge. The book provides a moderately verificationist account of semantics and novel explanation of the idea of conceptual schemes. (...) It is also argued that internalism realism can accommodate our common sense realist intuitions adn is also compatible with physicalism and naturalism. (shrink)
Internalist pluralism is an attractive and elegant theory. However, there are two apparently powerful objections to this approach that prevent its widespread adoption. According to the first objection, the resulting analysis of religious belief systems is intrinsically atheistic; while according to the second objection, the analysis is unsatisfactory because it allows religious objects simply to be defined into existence. In this article, I demonstrate that an adherent of internalist pluralism can deflect both of these objections, and in the course of (...) so arguing, I deploy a distinction between “conceptual-scheme targetability” and “successful conceptual-scheme targeting”. (shrink)
This essay deals with the concept of truth in the context of a version of internalrealism . In §1 I define some variants of realism using a set of realistic axioms. In §2 I will argue that for semantical reasons we should be realists of some kind. In §3 I plead for an internalistic setting of realism starting from the thesis that truth is, at least, not a non-epistemic concept. We have to bear the consequences (...) of this in form of a more complicated concept of truth. The "internal" of "internalrealism" points to the justification aspect of truth. The "realism" of "internalrealism" points to the correspondence aspect. A thesis concerning the irreducibility of the two aspects will be established in §4. (shrink)
This article reconstructs Hegel’s chapter “Sense Certainty” (Phenomenology of Spirit, chap. 1) in detail in its historical and philosophical context. Hegel’s chapter develops a sound internal critique of naive realism that shows that sensation is necessary but not sufficient for knowledge of sensed particulars. Cognitive reference to particulars also requires using a priori conceptions of space, spaces, time, times, self, and individuation. Several standard objections to and misinterpretations of Hegel’s chapter are rebutted. Hegel’s protosemantics is shown to accord (...) in important regards with Gareth Evans’ view in “Identity and Predication.”. (shrink)
This paper challenges Putnam's claim that his internalrealism is a revival of Kant's empirical realism. I agree with Putnam that there are good reasons to revive Kant's rather neglected empirical realist doctrine. However, internalrealism is not the way this should be done. At the center of the following discussion lies the important difference between Putman's "real within a scheme" model and Kant's assertion of the independent existence of empirical objects. The strategy for the (...) paper is as follows. I intend to first detail the real and important connections that exist between the analyses of experience offered by Putnam and Kant. These similarities should not be discounted. In fact, I think we can distinguish the two projects only if we first appreciate the conceptual overlap that naturally gives rise to the perceived union of the two programmes. I will then develop a representative response that is invoked commonly by Kantians who disagree with Putman's identification. This will be followed by a brief discussion concerning why this standard reply fails. I will conclude by canvassing a more powerful epistemological reason for dissociating the two programmes. (shrink)
The traditional metaethical distinction between cognitivist absolutism,on the one hand, and speaker relativism or noncognitivism, on the other,seemed both clear and important. On the former view, moral judgmentswould be true or false independently on whose judgments they were, andmoral disagreement might be settled by the facts. Not so on the latter views. But noncognitivists and relativists, following what Simon Blackburn has called a “quasi-realist” strategy, have come a long way inmaking sense of talk about truth of moral judgments and itsindependence (...) of moral judges and their attitudes or standards. Thesuccess of this strategy would undermine the traditional way of understanding the distinction, and it is not obvious how it can be reformulated. In this paper, I outline the difficulty posed by quasi-realism, raise problems for some prior attempts to overcome it, and present my own suggestion, focusing on correctness conditions that are internal to the act of moral judgment. (shrink)
Idealism is an ontological view, a view about what sorts of things there are in the universe. Idealism holds that what there is depends on our own mental structure and activity. Berkeley of course held that everything was mental; Kant held the more complex view that there was an important distinction between the mental and the physical, but that the structure of the empirical world depended on the activities of minds. Despite radical differences, idealists like Berkeley and Kant share what (...) Ralph Barton Perry called "the cardinal principle of idealism," namely, the principle that "being is dependent on the knowing of it."1 I believe that Hilary Putnam intends his "internalrealism" to be a version of idealism in this broad sense; although many of his arguments concern semantic notions like truth and reference, he takes these semantic arguments to have ontological consequences. This is strongly suggested, for instance, by his claim that "'objects' themselves are as much made as discovered, as much products of our conceptual invention as of the 'objective' factor in experience."2 Or again there is this rather Kantian metaphor: "the mind and the world jointly make up the mind and the world."3 But just what is Putnam's ontology? (shrink)
I argue in this paper that anyone who accepts the ontology of scientific realism can only accept a pragmatic theory of truth, i.e., a theory on which truth is what it is epistemically right to believe. But the combination of realism with such a theory of truth is a form of internalrealism; therefore, a scientific realist should be an internal realist. The strategy of the paper is to argue that there is no adequate semantic (...) or correspondence theory of truth compatible with a realist ontology, that a redundancy theory cannot account for the value of truth, and that the only kind of truth theory which can account for the value of truth, and is compatible with a realist ontology, is a pragmatic theory. The kind of truth theory I wish to defend is objective and naturalistic, and the ontology is realistic. My position is, therefore, one of objective, naturalistic realism. (shrink)
This essay characterizes a version of internalrealism. In §1 I will argue that for semantical reasons we should be realists of a strong kind. In §2 I plead for an internalistic setting of realism starting from the thesis that truth is, at least, not a non-epistemic concept. We have to bear the consequences of this in form of a more complicated concept of truth. The ‘internal’ of ‘internalrealism’ points to the justification aspect (...) of truth. The ‘realism’ of ‘internalrealism’ points to the correspondence aspect. A thesis concerning the irreducibility of the two aspects will be established in §3. (shrink)
Putnam presents a Peircean characterization of truth in an attempt to avoid relativism, which he argues is incoherent. I argue that Putnam has not avoided relativism. According to Putnam's theory of understanding, we must understand all claims concerning a Peircean community in terms of our own experiences and in terms of our own standards of rational assertability. Truth simply collapses into warranted assertability. At this point Putnam appeals to the objectivity of our standards of assertability. But Putnam's notion of "objectivity (...) for us" is a notion of objectivity which the relativist can happily adopt. Putnam's failure to provide more than a superficial distinction between internalrealism and relativism means that internalrealism faces the same problems which Putnam directs at "self-refuting" relativism. (shrink)
Gabor Forrai has written a very clear and articulate defense of internalrealism, the view that the categories and structures of the world are a function of our conceptual schemes. Internalrealism is opposed to metaphysical realism, the view that the world’s structure is wholly independent, both causally and ontologically, of the human mind. For the metaphysical realist, the world is one thing and the mind is another. For the internal realist, on the other (...) hand, though the world is causally independent of the human mind, the structure of the world – the individuals, kinds and categories of the world -- is a function of the human mind. (shrink)
The paper explores the relationship between skepticism on the one hand and the metaphysical realist and the internal realist conceptions of truth on the other. After a brief description of the metaphysical realist and the internal realist positions, it is argued that the former but not the latter is committed to an important sort of skepticism, namely, that we might be wrong about practically everything at the same time. First an abstract argument is presented to this effect, then (...) the issue is further clarified through an analysis of Hilary Putnam's anti‐skeptical argument about brains in a vat. The analysis shows that the argument can be rejected only from the metaphysical realist standpoint. Since the argument is conclusive from the internal realist point of view, internalrealism, in contrast with metaphysical realism, is safe from skepticism. (shrink)
In what follows, I will first try to show that both anti-realist and realist intensionalist truthconditional accounts of internal metafictional sentences (i.e., sentences of the form "in the story S, p") are unsatisfactory. Moreover, I will claim that this does not mean that propositional truthconditional accounts of those sentences are to be dispensed with; simply, one has to provide a non-intensionalist propositional truthconditional account of those sentences. Finally, I will show that this account is fully compatible with a realist (...) interpretation of those sentences' truthconditions according to which at least some of those sentences commit one to fictional entities. (shrink)
The purpose of the dissertation is to defend and elaborate on internalrealism, a doctrine first put forward by Hilary Putnam. Chapter 1 surveys the current philosophical conceptions of truth and reference, a necessary background for the ensuing discussion. Chapter 2 explains the metaphysical realism vs. internalrealism controversy. Internalrealism is construed as consisting of three theses: the ontological mind-dependence of the world, verificationism about truth , and conceptual relativism . Chapter 3 (...) offers an internal realist account of reference. The key idea is that the references of words get fixed by justification conditions of sentences. It also discusses Putnam's controversial Twin Earth and model-theoretic arguments. These arguments might seem to pull into different directions, but they can be reconciled, and they fit well with the internal realist account. Chapter 4 presents an internal realist account of truth. Within a conceptual scheme, given the reference of words, truth can be defined by Tarkis's method. Conceptual schemes themselves are adequate if they can support a choiceworthy and successful practice. It is also shown--through an analysis of Putnam's brains-in-a-vat argument--that internalrealism leaves no room for global skepticism. Chapter 5 defends the much maligned notion of conceptual scheme. It is argued that the analytic-synthetic and the observational-theoretical distinctions, which provided its basis, can be revised so that the familiar criticism are rendered harmless. The key idea is that the distinctions are relative to the perspective of an interpreter. The revised notion of conceptual scheme can also withstand Davidson's attack and other frequent objections. (shrink)
Victoria S. Harrison’s theory of internal pluralism approaches religious beliefs in terms of conceptual schemes. To her, this approach has the advantage of preserving core pluralist intuitions without being challenged by the usual difficulties. My claim is that this is not the case. After providing a succinct presentation of internal pluralism, I show that the critique of traditional pluralist views such as Hick’s may also be addressed to Harrison. There are two main reasons in support of my claim. (...) Firstly, a believer’s common understanding of religious experiences conflicts with the way in which internal pluralism understands religious belief. Such conflict implies that if internal pluralism were a sound theory, most religious beliefs would turn out to be false, and, contrary to Harrison’s intention, they would be rendered cognitively irrelevant. Secondly, internal pluralism excludes the possibility of religious disagreements. By applying to religions an epistemological approach based on conceptual schemes, doxastic dissent is actually dismantled at the cost of developing an entirely solipsistic reading of religious beliefs. In the final section of my paper, I will show that such unattractive features are consequences of the notion of conceptual scheme. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to show that a cognitivist–externalist view about moral judgment is compatible with a key intuition that motivates non-cognitivist expressivism. This is the intuition that normative judgments have a close connection to action that ordinary “descriptive factual beliefs” do not have, or, as James Dreier has suggested, that part of the fundamental role of normative judgment is to motivate. One might think that cognitivist–externalist positions about normative judgment are committed to viewing normative judgments as (...) having the same role in our psychology as ordinary descriptive factual beliefs. This paper argues to the contrary. It restricts attention to moral judgments. It develops an account of moral belief according to which, first, moral beliefs are representational cognitive states that have the same basic nature as ordinary descriptive factual beliefs. Yet, second, their fundamental role is such that, when all goes well, moral beliefs mesh with our moral policies to motivate action. The paper draws on a society-centered account of the grounding of morality, a distinction between “basic” and “internal” ways of thinking of the moral properties, and a hybrid account of the “meaning” of moral predicates, called “realist-expressivism.”. (shrink)
_Grounds of Pragmatic Realism_ shows Hegel is a major epistemologist, who disentangled Kant’s critique of judgment, across the Critical corpus, from transcendental idealism, and augmented its enormous evaluative and justificatory significance for commonsense knowledge, the natural sciences and freedom of action.
In this paper, I shall present a comparative study of two leading Daoists’ different conceptions of truth in the context of modern metaphysical debate on realism and antirealism. My basic contention in this paper is that both Laozi and Zhuangzi embrace the realist's thesis that the world is largely independent of us and the way we are; it has its own objective nature.
This paper is structured as follows. First, it offers a brief presentation of the Twin Earth thought experiment. Second, it offers an interpretation of Putnam'santi-realism. Third, it argues for the incompatibility of anti-realism and the semantic role of extension that Twin Earth is supposed to establish.
This article is principally concerned with a possible defense of some of the epistemological presuppositions of von Balthasar’s theological philosophy. The article claims that, taken as a whole, von Balthasar’s writings provide a systematic critique of a widely held epistemological paradigm, thereby implying a novel conception of rationality and objectivity. In so doing, he anticipates the central concerns of Hilary Putnam, whose own more developed work on rationality and objectivity can be employed to supplement von Balthasar’s critique of these concepts (...) as they are traditionally under. (shrink)
The Cartesian skeptic’s strategy is to tell a story about the world that is entirely consistent with all of the empirical evidence that we do, or can, have, but according to which many or all of our ordinary beliefs are false. He then suggests that, since we cannot show that his story is false, we ought to surrender those beliefs. In this paper I offer a decision-theoretic response to skepticism. Say that a cognitive attitude is a propositional attitude that may (...) be true or false. I argue that rejecting the skeptic’s story, and so retaining our ordinary opinions, will yield for us true cognitive attitudes, no matter whether the skeptic’s story is true or false, and that the best any alternative can do is yield no cognitive attitudes at all. Hence, it is rational to retain our ordinary opinions. One may be concerned that I can maintain this surprising conclusion because the cognitive attitudes at issue are not real beliefs, and do not represent the real world. I conclude the paper by arguing that this concern is misplaced. (shrink)