Chapter

Realism in Epistemology

Ilkka Niiniluoto

in Critical Scientific Realism

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780199251612
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598098 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199251614.003.0004
 Realism in Epistemology

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Epistemological realism claims that it is possible to obtain knowledge about mind‐independent reality. Critical realism accepts fallibilism as a via media between scepticism and dogmatism: scientific knowledge is uncertain, incomplete, and truthlike. Against Kantianism, such knowledge is directly about reality, so that the Kantian idea of unknowable things‐in‐themselves is rejected. Epistemic definitions of truth (coherence, pragmatist, and consensus theories) are rejected, but epistemic probability and estimated verisimilitude are shown to be fallible indicators of truth and truthlikeness.

Keywords: coherence theory of truth; consensus; epistemological realism; fallibilism; Kant; Kantianism; pragmatist theory of truth; probability; scepticism; things‐in‐themselves; truthlikeness; uncertainty

Chapter.  13095 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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