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The Limits of Realism

Tim Button

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
September 2013
ISBN:
9780199672172
eISBN:
9780191758393
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672172.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

This book explores the relationship between words and world; between semantics and scepticism. A certain kind of philosopher—the external realist—worries that appearances might be radically ... More


Introduction

Tim Button

in The Limits of Realism

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
September 2013
ISBN:
9780199672172
eISBN:
9780191758393
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672172.003.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

This chapter briefly characterises the spirit of the book and the scope of its ambition. The aim of the book is to sketch various limits: limits to realism, limits to ‘anti’-realism, and limits to ... More


The picture of external realism

Tim Button

in The Limits of Realism

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
September 2013
ISBN:
9780199672172
eISBN:
9780191758393
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672172.003.0002
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

This chapter details the faith held by external realists (also known as metaphysical realists). External realists employ the picture of reasoning from a ‘God’s Eye point of view’. Putnam presents us ... More


The just-more-theory manœuvre

Tim Button

in The Limits of Realism

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
September 2013
ISBN:
9780199672172
eISBN:
9780191758393
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672172.003.0005
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

Since Putnam wants to undercut the entire picture of external realism, he cannot present piecemeal attacks on various attempts to constrain reference. Instead, he presents a completely general ... More


Coda

Tim Button

in The Limits of Realism

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
September 2013
ISBN:
9780199672172
eISBN:
9780191758393
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672172.003.0021
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

This Coda presents some final thoughts. This book has aimed to obliterate faith in external realism. No alternative faith has been offered. The text has merely rejected external realism arguing that ... More


Sceptical veils of various fabrics

Tim Button

in The Limits of Realism

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
September 2013
ISBN:
9780199672172
eISBN:
9780191758393
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672172.003.0007
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

Chapter 5 raised problems for external realists who accepted a bracketed empiricist theory of empirical content. Many external realists do, indeed, accept such a theory of empirical content. But in ... More


Natural Kinds and Biological Realisms

Michael Devitt

in Carving Nature at Its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262015936
eISBN:
9780262298780
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262015936.003.0008
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

This chapter discusses issues regarding realism, specifically the realism issues in biology. The discussion starts with an issue that arises from the debate between “species monists” who argue that ... More


From Cartesian to Kantian angst

Tim Button

in The Limits of Realism

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
September 2013
ISBN:
9780199672172
eISBN:
9780191758393
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672172.003.0008
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

The external realist might attempt to embrace the conclusion that her attempts to constrain reference are bereft of empirical content. She might think that, in addition to worrying that she is a ... More


Empiricism and empirical content

Tim Button

in The Limits of Realism

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
September 2013
ISBN:
9780199672172
eISBN:
9780191758393
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672172.003.0006
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

This chapter explores three versions of bracketed empiricism. The first involves the idea of a constructed world (as in Carnap’s Aufbau). The second involves the idea that there is a dichotomy ... More


The model-theoretic arguments

Tim Button

in The Limits of Realism

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
September 2013
ISBN:
9780199672172
eISBN:
9780191758393
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672172.003.0003
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

Chapter 1 showed how to use model theory to understand external realist’s Credo. This chapter presents the model-theoretic results that Putnam brings to bear against external realism. Putnam’s ... More


Attempts to constrain reference

Tim Button

in The Limits of Realism

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
September 2013
ISBN:
9780199672172
eISBN:
9780191758393
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672172.003.0004
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

The model-theoretic arguments show that the external realist cannot pin down a single correspondence relation just by producing her favourite theory. On these grounds, one might try to conclude that ... More


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