Puzzled by realism: a response to Deichsel

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No realist project in and about economics is close to completion. There are many open issues that remain to be addressed and resolved. Simon Deichsel (2011) has written a healthy challenge that should offer some useful inspiration to anyone interested in assessing and perhaps contributing to the realist projects. He argues against realism and in support of some sort of anti-realism. My response first deals with some conceptual issues regarding the very ideas of realism and anti-realism. I will then discuss the role of pragmatics in relation to truth. Finally, I will address the issue of justifying realism — Deichsel’s title, after all, suggests his challenge is directed against what he calls the pragmatic justification of realism. My remarks are both brief and selective.
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Archival date: 2016-09-07
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