Chasing Reality: Strife over Realism

Overview

Chasing Reality deals with the controversies over the reality of the external world. Distinguished philosopher Mario Bunge offers an extended defence of realism, a critique of various forms of contemporary anti-realism, and a sketch of his own version of realism, namely hylorealism. Bunge examines the main varieties of antirealism - Berkeley's, Hume's, and Kant's; positivism, phenomenology, and constructivism - and argues that all of these in fact hinder scientific research.

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Overview

Chasing Reality deals with the controversies over the reality of the external world. Distinguished philosopher Mario Bunge offers an extended defence of realism, a critique of various forms of contemporary anti-realism, and a sketch of his own version of realism, namely hylorealism. Bunge examines the main varieties of antirealism - Berkeley's, Hume's, and Kant's; positivism, phenomenology, and constructivism - and argues that all of these in fact hinder scientific research.

Bunge's realist contention is that genuine explanations in the sciences appeal to causal laws and mechanisms that are not directly observable, rather than simply to empirical generalisations. Genuine science, in his view, is objective even when it deals with subjective phenomena such as feelings of fear. This work defends a realist view of universals, kinds, possibilities, and dispositions, while rejecting contemporary accounts of these that are couched in terms of modal logic and 'possible worlds.'

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Editorial Reviews

Daniel Forbes
‘Mario Bunge’s work itself stands out because it not only incorporates current knowledge from the world of science (both natural and social/psychological), but it is thoroughly informed by the methodology of science as it is actually practised.’
Sheldon Richmond
‘Bold, forward thinking, and illuminating.’
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442628229
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 7/9/2014
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Mario Bunge is the Frothingham Professor of Logic and Metaphysics in the Department of Philosophy at McGill University.
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Table of Contents

1 Reality and hylorealism 9
2 Phenomena, phenomenalism, and science 34
3 Antirealism today : positivism, phenomenology, constructivism 56
4 Causation and chance : apparent or real? 88
5 Behind screens : mechanisms 119
6 From Z to A : inverse problems 145
7 Bridging fact and theory 165
8 To reality through fiction 188
9 Transcendentals are of this world 218
10 From Plato's cave to Galileo's hill : realism vindicated 250
App Fact and pattern 283
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