Realism and Anti-realism2017 Spring semester
BMA-LOTD-105, BMI-LOTD-105E, BMA-LOTD-208, BMI-LOTD-208EAndrás Máté,Péter Mekis
First class: 21st February
The course has no prerequisites.
Grades based on a short presentation on an optional paper during the semester.
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:
- Michael Dummett, „Realism”. Dummett
gives a general conceptual framework for realism-antirealism debates,
but his central interest is realism about mathematical objects.
Putnam, „Models and Reality”. Putnam elaborates a metaphysical
alternative that makes possible to preserve empirical realism for the
sciences, but rejects metaphysical realism.
- David Lewis, "A philosophers' paradise". Lewis defends a radical form of realism about possible worlds.
- 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.