Questions tagged [realism]

Realism is a view that the statements of a subject matter refer to what is real and therefore could be assigned a definite true or false valuation if we knew what that valuation should be. A realist need not be so for all subject matters but only for a select set of subject matters.

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Do numbers exist independently from observers?

Do numbers have an objective existence? If life had not evolved on planet earth would there be numbers or are numbers an invention of human minds? Are there any relevant works that discuss this? (I ...
leancz's user avatar
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What makes moral realism so popular a standpoint?

According to wikipedia page on moral realism: A survey from 2009 involving 3,226 respondents found that 56% of philosophers accept or lean towards moral realism (28%: anti-realism; 16%: other). ...
rus9384's user avatar
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What is the Anti-Realist and Constructionist interpretation of empirical dating methods and existence of the past?

I'm fairly interested in the realism, anti-realism debate and would like to hear, if possible by an anti-realist or constructivist, how dating methods fit into their world view. As a realist, dating ...
MM8's user avatar
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Do realists and nominalists actually disagree about what really is, or do they just disagree about words?

So I am reading Loux's contemporary introduction to metaphysics, and he starts by giving two broad ideas about universals. Do realists and nominalists actually disagree about what really is? For ...
Toby Peterken's user avatar
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Is there an idea of linguistic realism similar to moral realism?

The better way to phrase it is: "Are there objective truths about language?" -- this question is parallel to the question of moral realism: "Are there objective moral truths"? One way to interpret ...
Dave's user avatar
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Does Quantum Entanglement Disprove the Principle of Locality?

Regarding the debate between quantum mechanics and determinism I have encountered a problem I can't find the answer to. It is my impression that in order to solve Bell's inequality you would have to ...
Torstein Hatlebakk's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
5k views

Was Plato an idealist or a realist?

I'm a bit confused. As far as I know realism is opposed to idealism. But we can say that Plato was an idealist when speaking about Plato's forms. We also talk about Plato's realism in the philosophy ...
Boris's user avatar
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Does Einstein's local realism in quantum mechanics imply superdeterminism?

Einstein insisted that nature is locally real, which is also know as counterfactual defeniteness and means that results of experiments are predetermined. But, if everything is predetermined in every ...
Valentin Tihomirov's user avatar
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What is the underdetermination of theories by evidence, and how does it square with scientific realism?

What is the underdetermination of theories in philosophy of science? Is it the lack of ability to choose between alternative scientific theories? If so, how can it be that more than one theory ...
L.M. Student's user avatar
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Realist vs Nominalist views of empirical data

I was recently intrigued by this passage regarding time-series data from The Grammar of Graphics, section 3.2: Among the many prevailing views of the role of empirical data in modern science, ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
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1 answer
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Does Quine's dissolution of the Analytic/Synthetic distinction challenge mathematical realism?

I was surprised to learn that Quine is a mathematical realist (See this interview for example). I always assumed that his "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" and specifically his dissolution of the Analytic/...
Alexander S King's user avatar
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Structural Realism vs. Scientific Formalism?

How exactly do structural realism and scientific formalism differ? Are they compatible, or is this another rehashing of, say, the rationalism vs. idealism debate? I know Galileo, Kepler, et al. were ...
Geremia's user avatar
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Can nominalist logicians reject universals but accept universal statements?

I am aware that Nominalism comes in at least two flavors, one in particular is the denial of universals. Under this paradigm of Nominalsim, is it possible for a mathematician or even a logician to be ...
J. Dunivin's user avatar
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2 answers
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Ontic structural realism: what's the difference between 'structures are all there is' and 'all there is are structures'?

I'm a physics student reading a philosophy essay about ontic structural realism and quantum field theory. In that paper, the author presented ontic structural realism(OSR) and radical ontic structural ...
IGY's user avatar
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Are all pancomputationalist models for the universe compatible with informational realism?

Pancomputationalist theories are a group of physical theories that try to describe the universe itself as a computer or an informational (processing) structure. Informational (structural) realism is ...
bautzeman's user avatar
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For a mathematical realist, is there a distinction between real mathematical objects and constructed mathematical objects?

Mathematical realists believe that mathematical entities exit independently of human minds. Mathematical objects have an objective independent existence, and they are discovered by mathematicians, not ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
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How does constructive empiricism differ from instrumentalism?

Constructive empiricism is the belief that science aims to give theories which are empirically adequate (i.e. agree with observables), and accepting a theory means believing that it is empirically ...
NNN's user avatar
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Have any thinkers applied empiricism to the dreaming and deep sleep states?

The Mandukya Upanishad is a philosophical text found in the Vedas, which are among the most important scriptures of Hinduism. Here is what V. Subrahmanya Iyer says in a foreword to a translation of ...
Keshav Srinivasan's user avatar
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Can the laws of physics and the constants of nature exist in a fundamental sense without mathematical realism?

Can the laws of physics and fundamental constants of nature exist without fundamental mathematical constants, operators, and equations also existing? In other words, can there be fundamental physical ...
Mark's user avatar
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Is it possible to have faith in science while espousing anti-realism?

Realism is the theory that there is a mind-independent reality which we can know and interact with. Anti-realism holds, in general, either that there is no such mind-independent reality or that if ...
Bombadil's user avatar
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How does Kant rule out permanent soul in his argument for the existence of external world?

I have been studying Stephan Körner's intro to Kant's philosophy. I'm not sure if in the following excerpt I make sense of the reasoning quoted from Kant. In fact, I wonder how the permanence must be ...
infatuated's user avatar
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What is the difference between everyday realism and metaphysical realism?

At an everyday level, we seem to subscribe to a from of strong realism which doesn't leave any room for skepticism. We are certain that individuals who hear voices in their heads or who have ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
343 views

Does semantic externalism imply modal realism?

Semantic externalism, or more broadly externalism about mental content, is the idea that propositions, intentions, attitudes, etc. derive their meaning from the external world as opposed to internally ...
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How are epistemological and ontological realism related?

The SEP article on idealism begins: ... [this article] examines the relationship between epistemological idealism (the view that the contents of human knowledge are ineluctably determined by ...
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7 answers
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Does something that exists hypothetically exist at all?

So, I was asking myself the question: if something will exist in the future, with almost absolute certainty, but has not come to existence yet, can one claim that it exists? And, can one claim that it ...
Reocedas's user avatar
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3 answers
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Is G.E. Moore's here-is-one-hand argument a bit naive?

Are G.E. Moore, etc., a bit naive at times? (see here-is-one-hand argument). Does such trivial thing really need "formalization"? Why isn't Moore accused of idealism, when he could be interpreted as ...
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What does it mean for two properties of objects to be of the same class (or even identical)?

For people adhering to a realist ontology, what does it mean for you to say that a property p of an object of species a, and a property q of an object b are of the same class, or even that are ...
Brian Díaz Flores's user avatar
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3 answers
218 views

How can we defend conservation on a species level?

Background Many conservation measures in environmental biology such as the IUCN red list or measures against invasive species are done on the level of species rather than on the level of individuals. ...
COOLSerdash's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
353 views

What a "Bismarckian realist"

I know who Otto von Bismarck is, I understand how someone would qualify as a realist. I don't understand what a "Bismarckian realist" is. Could someone explain this concept to me in detail?
Wilhelm's user avatar
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What are facts as considered independently of any thinking being?

What confuses me about the notion of a fact, is that it seems like it's something that's discovered. So, a fact could be said to be this 'thing' that has a perfect correspondence with reality, and ...
user2901512's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
313 views

Implication of Rorty's concession to Ramberg that true statements "get things right"?

Richard Rorty (1932-2008) was the paradigmatic deflationist re the concept “truth.” He was an epistemic naturalist and historicist, an instrumental pragmatist, anti-realist/essentialist, and ...
gonzo's user avatar
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1 answer
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Aristotelian realism of universals

I'm trying to understand this realism. There are universals that exist in particulars and they are all identical. Is this Identity a numerical identity? i.e. are these universals one and the same ...
Abdul Rehman Mohsin's user avatar
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2 answers
160 views

Why do these common counter arguments to direct realism work?

So, I understand Direct Realism to be the idea that our experience (mental activity/sense experience) gives us exact information about matter as it truly is. In other words, objects that exist in the ...
ProfessorFinesse's user avatar
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2 answers
428 views

References for the Realism/Anti-Realism debate in Logic

The concept of anti-realism in logic seems to be an interesting and growing idea. I'm looking for references (papers, books, authors...) regarding the debate between realism and anti-realism but ...
Boris's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
365 views

Difference between Carnap and Quine's views

Could someone explain to me, in easy language, what the main differences are between Carnap and Quine's views regarding internal / external questions and realism? Quine called Carnap a Platoist, yet I ...
Siyah's user avatar
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3 votes
5 answers
742 views

Aesthetics: why is "formalism" used as a pejorative term?

Socialist realism regarded the avant-garde movements as "formalist". Modern styles like Cubism and Impressionism were considered non-representative forms of art, therefore hard to understand by the ...
s.dragos's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
256 views

Epistemic access to possible worlds for David Lewis and empiricism

David Lewis believed that possible worlds are real and their existence are similar to actual world. Any world is causally and spatio-temporally disconnected from other worlds. David Lewis was an ...
Arian's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
274 views

Is it possible for words to have a meaning other than how they are used?

Wittgenstein's language game concept holds that the meaning of a word can only be derived from its usage. However, some philosophers contend that some words have meanings other than that implied by ...
Meanach's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
289 views

What unique ideas does speculative realism present?

Speculative realism seems to be based primarily on opposing the Kantian philosophy of correlationism - I quote Meillassoux: Correlationism consists in disqualifying the claim that it is possible to ...
w128's user avatar
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How does mediation inherent in the senses not refute Searle's "direct realism"?

In an answer to this question How to start Philosophy and find the branches that are related to my questions?, an article by Searle came up http://www.klemens.sav.sk/fiusav/doc/organon/prilohy/2012/2/...
Jeff Y's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
394 views

Does natural science assume indirect realism?

The wiki on Direct and Indirect Realism seems to claim that indirect realism is part of natural science. The wiki defines indirect realism as follows: indirect or representative realism [is] the ...
user3776022's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
76 views

When Aristotle is speaking of things that are clear to us, is he thinking of entities or formulas?

I'm reading the commentaries of Aristotle's physics book I by William Charlton and he starts this debate in his commentaries. But it was too brief for me to grasp. As I understand, the question is ...
César D. Vázquez's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
743 views

Is there a cogent argument for whether there are objective moral facts?

I just finished an introductory ethics course in college and we talked about different perspectives in metaethics. We spent most time on realist vs anti-realist arguements and for my purposes here ...
ibanez221's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
921 views

How would you explain the fundamental difference between realism and idealism?

First of all, let me clarify that I'm talking about non-subjective idealism with respect to the physical world (Kant and Berkeley are two examples) and about indirect realists such as (I believe) most ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
546 views

Realism vs Antirealism...why does it matter?

I have a foundational knowledge of philosophy but Ive never managed to understand the basics of realism vs antirealism debates and why it matters. Ive read that there are ontological, epistemic, ...
kungfuhobbit's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

What does the term "ego" really mean?

According to different sources and authors, ego is referred to as one's self-perception by one's self concept. It is sometimes considered as selfishism. But what can a person do that will not refer to ...
Gratien Asimbahwe's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
86 views

How is that any non-causal explanation of reliability is incompatible with the language- and mind-independence of mathematical objects

In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy the article about Realism has an argument in section 2 presented by a philosopher named Field regarding Platonism. The argument goes this way. Platonic ...
Gmnd-i's user avatar
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2 answers
492 views

Can the correspondence theory of truth really be completely avoided?

Let us assume that 'truth' is a construct of the human mind. In this case truth is defined as some product of the mind's 'verification', and nothing else. What 'makes' a statement true is simply the ...
Bombadil's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
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"Impredicative" definitions in mathematics

In this blog post, the following definition of an "impredicative definition" is offered: A definition is said to be impredicative if it defines an object E by means of a quantification over a ...
Frank's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Did the physicist Erwin Schrödinger deny that reality existed?

I was having a conversation with a biographer of Schrödinger about the physicist's works and philosophy. I asked him if he eventually accepted that his "Cat (mental) experiment" could be actually real,...
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