Chapter

Worlds Given, Worlds Made

in What Did the Romans Know?

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780226471143
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226471150 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226471150.003.0010
Worlds Given, Worlds Made

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This chapter illustrates how pressure can be relieved by looking very closely at the conjunction between real and true. It also demonstrates why some degree of realism is inescapable for the historian, even if there are some real historiographic advantages to relativism. It then reviews a version of realism that is consistent with the historiographic insights at the heart of the post-Kuhnian move. The post-Kuhnian move emphasized seeing past scientific practice as embedded in historical social and intellectual cultures, and emphasizing a less anachronistic approach to problem sets and what is called intellectual tool kits. Truths varied over time and across cultures. Careful differentiation of different types of coherence, and careful attention to their relative weights and constraints, has shown how coherence determination is in fact tractable, and how coherence itself models the ways in which reasoning takes place out in the real world.

Keywords: real; true; pressure; realism; coherence; intellectual tool kits

Chapter.  8713 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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