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Realism and Anti-realism
2017 Spring semester
BMA-LOTD-105, BMI-LOTD-105E, BMA-LOTD-208, BMI-LOTD-208E
András Máté,Péter Mekis
Tue 14:00-15:30
 i/221
First class: 21st February
The course has no prerequisites.



Exam
Grades based on a short presentation on an optional paper during the semester.
Description
Realism vs. antirealism is a central issue in contemporary metaphysics as well as it has been in the late centuries of the history of philosophy. But in recent times, the question is put mostly not as to be or not to be a realist in general, but as to be a realist concerning some definite class of objects. It is not the same thing to be realist about physical objects, mental processes or fees. In this seminar, we shall read three modern classical texts and some reflexions on them. The three keynote texts and their central topics are the following:
  1. Michael Dummett, „Realism”. Dummett gives a general conceptual framework for realism-antirealism debates, but his central interest is realism about mathematical objects.
  2. Hilary Putnam, „Models and Reality”. Putnam elaborates a metaphysical alternative that makes possible to preserve empirical realism for the sciences, but rejects metaphysical realism.
  3. David Lewis, "A philosophers' paradise". Lewis defends a radical form of realism about possible worlds.

Literature
  • M. Dummett, Realism. In Dummett, The Seas of Language, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1996 
  • H. Putnam, Models and Reality. In Putnam, Realism and Reason. Philosophical Papers vol 3. Cambridge UP, 1983.
  • D. Lewis, A philosophers' paradise. Chapter 1 in Lewis, On the Plurality of Worlds. Blackwell, 1986.
  • Papers reflecting on the above three texts, a list will be given during the course.
Presentations

 
2008