Objectivity and Realism


in Theory and Meaning

Published in print December 1979 | ISBN: 9780198245858
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680908 | DOI:
Objectivity and Realism

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This chapter reintroduces the distinction between epistemological and semanticoontological objectivity, and explains the priority of the latter. It argues for a ‘holist’ version of realism about scientific theories, rather than one involving one possible truth of constituent sentences, and this holist realism is then shown adequate to account for the possibility of conflicts between scientific views. The causal theory of reference and the notion of partial reference are considered as possible ways of rehabilitating traditional realism, but both prove inadequate.

Keywords: semanticoontological objectivity; holist realism; scientific theories; partial reference

Chapter.  18728 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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