Realism, Science, and Pragmatism  book cover
1st Edition

Realism, Science, and Pragmatism

ISBN 9780815372004
Published November 28, 2017 by Routledge
320 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction Kenneth R. Westphal  Part I: Realism Contextualized  1. What is Real(ism)? Jaakko Hintikka  2. Aristotle’s Direct Realism and Some Later Developments Mika Perälä  3. Late Mediaeval Realisms: Key Arguments Supporting Non-Semantic Universality Laurent Cesalli  4. Descartes on the Formal Reality, Objective Reality, and Material Falsity of Ideas: Realism through Constructivism? Dermot Moran  5. Quine’s Conception of Objects: Beyond Realism and Anti-Realism Antti Keskinen  6. Did Sherlock Holmes Inhale Pipe Smoke Through a Hole In His Forehead? Peter Swirski  Part II: Scientific Realism  7. Realism: Metaphysical, Semantic, and Scientific Panu Raatikainen  8. Scientific Realism: Independence, Causation, and Abduction Ilkka Niiniluoto  9. Cognitive Semantics and Newton’s Rule Four of Experimental Philosophy: Scientific Realism without Empiricism Kenneth R. Westphal  10. Naturalism without Metaphysics Jonathan Knowles  Part III: Pragmatism and Realism  11. Majesty of Truth and the Moral Sentiment: Emerson’s and Peirce’s Ethico-Ontological Realism Heikki A. Kovalainen and Douglas R. Anderson  12. Concepts and the Real in C. I. Lewis’ Epistemology Lauri Järvilehto  13. Pragmatic Realism Sami Pihlström  14. McDowell’s Pragmatist Anti-Anti-Realism Eirik Julius Risberg

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Kenneth R. Westphal is Professor of Philosophy at Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, İstanbul, Turkey


"This is a first-rate collection of essays on the general issue of realism, on the relation of realism to contemporary philosophy of science and epistemology, and on the challenge that has been made to traditional realism by classical pragmatism and neo-pragmatism. The contributors are among the leading scholars in the field, and their essays advance the debates in ways that will provoke response and further inquiry. Anyone interested in the topic of realism, its history and current controversies, will benefit from paying the close attention that these essays deserve." —John Ryder, American University of Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates