Naturalistic Realism and the Antirealist Challenge

Overview

In this important book Drew Khlentzos explains the antirealist argument from a realist perspective. He defends naturalistic realism against the antirealist challenge, and he considers the consequences of his defense for our understanding of realism and truth. Khlentzos argues that the naturalistic realist view that the world exists independently of the mind must take into consideration what he calls the representation problem: if the naturalistic realist view is true, how can ...
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Overview

In this important book Drew Khlentzos explains the antirealist argument from a realist perspective. He defends naturalistic realism against the antirealist challenge, and he considers the consequences of his defense for our understanding of realism and truth. Khlentzos argues that the naturalistic realist view that the world exists independently of the mind must take into consideration what he calls the representation problem: if the naturalistic realist view is true, how can mental representation of the world be explained?

He examines this major antirealist challenge in detail and shows that many realists have dismissed it because they have not understood its nature. He sees it as a philosophical puzzle: the antirealist challenge, if sound, proves not that there are no objects that exist independently of the mind, but that there is no rational basis for thinking that there are; we have good reason to believe in the naturalistic view, but (given the antirealist arguments) we have no way of knowing how it could be true. Khlentzos surveys the antirealist arguments of Michael Dummett, Hilary Putnam, and Crispin Wright and suggests a realist answer. He argues for a radically nonepistemic conception of truth, and against pragmatist, intuitionist, verificationist, and pluralist alternatives. He examines and rejects some current versions of physicalism and functionalism and offers an original version of the correspondence theory of truth.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Drew Khlentzos thinks that naturalistic realists have been far too complacent in the face of Dummett, Putnam and others. In this wide-ranging and engaging book he tells us why. Very provocative!"—Michael Devitt, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, The Graduate Center, CityUniversity of New York

"Drew Khlentzos's book is the best I've read on the realism-antirealism debate.

Highly competent on the relevant mathematical logic and fair to his opponents, Khlentzos marshals new arguments and original proposals that will establish him as a truly world-class philosopher." J.

J. C. Smart, Emeritus Professor, Australian National University

"I know of no other book in recent years that can serve, as this book can, at once as a comprehensive survey of one of the most important debates in contemporary metaphysics and a genuinely important contribution to that debate." Hilary Putnam, Cogan University ProfessorEmeritus, Harvard University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262112857
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2004
  • Series: Representation and Mind series
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Drew Khlentzos is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of New England,Australia.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction : naturalistic realism and antirealism 1
I Metaphysical realism and truth 11
1 Contesting realism 13
II Dummett's antirealism 45
2 The antirealist arguments 47
3 Realist replies to antirealism 75
4 Intuitionistic foundations of antirealism 117
III Putnam's internalism 185
5 The internalist critique of realism 187
6 Models, representation, and reality 225
7 Internalism, pluralism, and antirepresentationalism 247
IV Prospects for naturalistic realism 279
8 Realism, facts, and truth 281
Notes 355
References 391
Index 401
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