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The Limits of Realism

Oxford University Press UK (2013)

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  1. Kant, the Paradox of Knowability, and the Meaning of ‘Experience’.Andrew Stephenson - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    It is often claimed that anti-realism is a form of transcendental idealism or that Kant is an anti-realist. It is also often claimed that anti-realists are committed to some form of knowability principle and that such principles have problematic consequences. It is therefore natural to ask whether Kant is so committed, and if he is, whether this leads him into difficulties. I argue that a standard reading of Kant does indeed have him committed to the claim that all empirical truths (...)
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  • The Dilemma Imposed on the Realist by Putnam's and Kripkensteinian Argument.Henrik Sova - 2017 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 10 (1):62-82.
    In this article, I have two aims. Firstly, I argue that Hilary Putnam's model theoretic indeterminacy argument against external realism and Saul Kripke's so-called Kripkensteinian argument against semantic realism have the same dialectical structure and the same conclusion---both force the opponent to face the same dilemma. Namely: either adopt meaning minimalism or postulate unobservable semantic facts. Secondly, I analyze more closely the first horn of the dilemma---meaning minimalism. This is the position according to which there are no truth conditions for (...)
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  • The Unattainability of the True World: The Putnamian and Kripkensteinian Interpretation of Nietzsche’s The History of an Error.Henrik Sova - 2016 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 9 (2):1-19.
    In this article I am interpreting Friedrich Nietzsche's piece of writing "How the "True World" finally became a fable - The History of an Error" in the context of 20th-century analytical philosophy of language. In particular, I am going to argue that the main theme in this text - the issue of abolishing "the true world" - can be interpreted as Hilary Putnam's model-theoretic arguments against external realism and Saul Kripke's Wittgensteinian arguments against truth-conditional meaning theories. Interpreting this Nietzsche's text (...)
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  • Non-Naturalism and Reference.Jussi Suikkanen - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2):1-24.
    Metaethical realists disagree about the nature of normative properties. Naturalists think that they are ordinary natural properties: causally efficacious, a posteriori knowable, and usable in the best explanations of natural and social sciences. Non-naturalist realists, in contrast, argue that they are sui generis: causally inert, a priori knowable and not a part of the subject matter of sciences. It has been assumed so far that naturalists can explain causally how the normative predicates manage to refer to normative properties, whereas non-naturalists (...)
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  • Structure and Categoricity: Determinacy of Reference and Truth Value in the Philosophy of Mathematics.Tim Button & Sean Walsh - 2016 - Philosophia Mathematica 24 (3):283-307.
    This article surveys recent literature by Parsons, McGee, Shapiro and others on the significance of categoricity arguments in the philosophy of mathematics. After discussing whether categoricity arguments are sufficient to secure reference to mathematical structures up to isomorphism, we assess what exactly is achieved by recent ‘internal’ renditions of the famous categoricity arguments for arithmetic and set theory.
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  • Deflationary Metaphysics and Ordinary Language.Tim Button - forthcoming - Synthese:1-25.
    Amie Thomasson and Eli Hirsch have both attempted to deflate metaphysics, by combining Carnapian ideas with an appeal to ordinary language. My main aim in this paper is to critique such deflationary appeals to ordinary language. Focussing on Thomasson, I draw two very general conclusions. First: ordinary language is a wildly complicated phenomenon. Its implicit ontological commitments can only be tackled by invoking a context principle; but this will mean that ordinary language ontology is not a trivial enterprise. Second: ordinary (...)
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  • Can Semantics Guide Ontology?Katherine Ritchie - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):24-41.
    Since the linguistic turn, many have taken semantics to guide ontology. Here, I argue that semantics can, at best, serve as a partial guide to ontological commitment. If semantics were to be our guide, semantic data and semantic treatments would need to be taken seriously. Through an examination of plurals and their treatments, I argue that there can be multiple, equally semantically adequate, treatments of a natural language theory. Further, such treatments can attribute different ontological commitments to a theory. Given (...)
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  • Closure Scepticism and The Vat Argument.Joshua Rowan Thorpe - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):667-690.
    If it works, I can use Putnam’s vat argument to show that I have not always been a brain-in-a-vat. It is widely thought that the vat argument is of no use against closure scepticism – that is, scepticism motivated by arguments that appeal to a closure principle. This is because, even if I can use the vat argument to show that I have not always been a BIV, I cannot use it to show that I was not recently envatted, and (...)
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  • From the Ultimate God to the Virtual God: Post-Ontotheological Perspectives on the Divine in Heidegger, Badiou, and Meillassoux.Jussi Backman - 2014 - Meta:113-142.
    The Heideggerian account of the ontotheological constitution of Western metaphysics has been extremely influential for contemporary philosophy of religion and for philosophical perspectives on theology and the divine. This paper introduces and contrasts two central strategies for approaching the question of the divine in a non- or post-ontotheological manner. The first and more established approach is that of post-Heideggerian hermeneutics and deconstruction, inspired by Heidegger’s suggestion of a “theology without the word ‘being’” and by his later notions of an “ultimate (...)
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  • New Realism as Positive Realism.Maurizio Ferraris - 2014 - Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy:172-213.
    In this essay I try to give some overall statements in order to show that new realism is to be understood as a kind of positive philosophy. Against constructivism, I argue that there is a prevalence of the objects themselves on our understanding of them because reality offers a resistance to our attempt to grasp it depending on its level of dependence from our own understanding, which is different in the case of natural objects, ideal object and social object. This (...)
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  • Dreams in a Vat.Danilo Suster - 2016 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 12 (2):89-105.
    Putnam’s semantic argument against the BIV hypothesis and Sosa’s argument against dream skepticism based on the imagination model of dreaming share some important structural features. In both cases the skeptical option is supposed to be excluded because preconditions of its intelligibility are not fulfilled (affirmation and belief in the dream scenario, thought and reference in the BIV scenario). Putnam’s reasoning is usually interpreted differently, as a classic case of deception, but this feature is not essential. I propose to interpret BIV’s (...)
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  • What It Means to Live in a Virtual World Generated by Our Brain.Jan Westerhoff - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (3):507-528.
    Recent discussions in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind have defended a theory according to which we live in a virtual world akin to a computer simulation, generated by our brain. It is argued that our brain creates a model world from a variety of stimuli; this model is perceived as if it was external and perception-independent, even though it is neither of the two. The view of the mind, brain, and world, entailed by this theory has some peculiar (...)
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  • Mill's Antirealism.Christopher Macleod - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):261-279.
    One of Mill's primary targets, throughout his work, is intuitionism. In this paper, I distinguish two strands of intuitionism, against which Mill offers separate arguments. The first strand, a priorism, makes an epistemic claim about how we come to know norms. The second strand, ‘first principle pluralism’, makes a structural claim about how many fundamental norms there are. In this paper, I suggest that one natural reading of Mill's argument against first principle pluralism is incompatible with the naturalism that drives (...)
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