A Pragmatist Vision of Realism

In: Contemporary Pragmatism
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The article remarks that, despite what many relativists claim, realism still is an arguable and defendable position. Realism is for sure quite an unpopular stance today, but the standard arguments against it are by no means conclusive. If one asks what difference is made to our knowledge claims if we accept the existence of an extra-conceptual world, the answer is the following: such recognition is likely to undermine the largely diffused anthropocentric stance which identifies reality with our (limited) knowledge of it.

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  • 3

     See especially J. Dewey (1994). Davidson exploits Dewey’s insight in D. Davidson (1990).

  • 5

     See especially D. Davidson (1985), and R. Rorty (1982). We cannot take this problem into account here for reasons of space. For a criticism of Davidson’s and Rorty’s positions see S. Haack (1993).

  • 6

    W. James (1907), pp. 156–157.

  • 7

    Ibid., pp. 222–223.

  • 9

    Ibid., p. 171.

  • 10

    W.V.O. Quine (1980), pp. 42–43.

  • 11

     See W. Sellars (1963).

  • 12

    W. Heisenberg (1958).

  • 13

    J. Dewey (1994).

  • 15

    D. Davidson (1985), p. 187.

  • 16

     See, for example, H. Stapp (1993).

  • 18

    S. Weinberg (1992), pp. 166–167.

  • 20

    T. Burke (1994), pp. 56–57.

  • 21

     See, for instance, D. Oldroyd (1986).

  • 22

    R. Rorty (1991).

  • 23

     See D. Davidson (1996).

  • 24

    W. Sellars (1963), p. 14.

  • 25

    W.V.O. Quine (1970), pp. 93–94.

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