Chasing Reality. Strife over Realism

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  • Pages : XIV-342
  • Collection : Toronto Studies in Philosophy
  • Support : Print
  • Format : 24 cm.
  • Langues : Anglais
  • Édition : Original
  • Ville : Toronto
  • ISBN : 0-8020-9075-3
  • URL : Lien externe
  • Date de création : 04-01-2011
  • Dernière mise à jour : 03-10-2015



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”. – Table of Contents : 1. Reality and Hylorealism (Thing; Fact; The World: The Totality of Facts or the Maximal Thing?; Enter the Knower; Subject / Object Separability; Materialism; Reality; Realism; Objectivity and Impartiality; Concluding Remarks); – 2. Phenomena, Phenomenalism, and Science (Phenomenon and Noumenon; Primary and Secondary Properties; Phenomenalisms: Ontological and Epistemological; Qualia in Materialism; From the Scientific Revolution to Locke; The Counter-Revolution, Phase 1: Berkeley; The Counter-Revolution, Phase 2: Hume; The Counter-Revolution, Phase 3: Kant; Kant Concluded: Neither Nature nor God; Concluding Remarks); – 3. Antirealism Today: Positivism, Phenomenology, Constructivism (Logical Positivism; Worldmaking; Phenomenalism and Quanta; Ptolemy Redux; To Phenomena through Noumena; Interlude: Reduction; Psychological and Social Appearances; Scientists in the Crib?; Science and Technology Are Realist; Concluding Remarks); – 4 Causation and Chance: Apparent or Real? (Causation ; Chance: Types; Objective Probability; Probability in Science and Technology; Chance as Ignorance; Uncertainty ; Bayesianism Is Confused; Beliefs Are Not Bayesian; Bayesianism Is Hazardous; Concluding Remarks); – 5. Behind Screens: Mechanisms (A Handful of Examples; System and Systemism; Mechanism 129; Causal and Stochastic Mechanisms; Mechanism and Function; Mechanism and Law; Guessing Mechanisms; Explanation: Subsumptive and Mechanismic; Realism versus Descriptivism; Concluding Remarks); – 6. From Z to A: Inverse Problems (Preliminary Sample; The Direct–Inverse Relation: Generalities; Logic and Mathematics; Interlude: Induction; Mathematical Problems to Find and Problems to Prove; Astronomy and Microphysics; Reading Diffraction Patterns; Invertibility; Inverse Probabilities; Concluding Remarks); – 7. Bridging Fact and Theory (nduction Again; Abduction Again; Biology: Evolution; Medicine: From Symptoms to Diagnosis; Psychology: Behind Behaviour; Social Studies: From Individual to Society and Back: Figuring Out Social Mechanisms; Reverse Engineering; Bridging Theory to Fact; Concluding Remarks); – 8. To Reality through Fiction (The Need for Abstraction; Fictionism; Four Kinds of Truth; Mathematics Is Ontologically Neutral; Mathematics, Brains, and Society; How to Make Ontological Commitments; Responding to Some Objections; Conventionalism and Physicalism; Metaphysical Fictions: Parallel Worlds; Concluding Remarks); – 9. Transcendentals Are Of This World (Universal; Kind; Possibility; A Surfeit of Worlds; Many-Worlds Metaphysics Is Inexact; Counterfactuals; Disposition; Space and Time; Free Will and Liberty: Concluding Remarks); – 10. From Plato’s Cave to Galileo’s Hill: Realism Vindicated (Ontological Realism: Brain and History; Epistemological Realism: Kicking and Exploring; Semantic Realism: Reference and Correspondence; Methodological Realism: Reality Check and Scientism; Axiological Realism: Objective Values; Ethical Realism I: Moral Facts and Moral Truths; Ethical Realism II: Testability of Moral Norms; Practical Realism: Efficiency and Responsibility; Scientific Hylorealism; Concluding Remarks); – Appendix: Fact and Pattern (Thing, Property, and Predicate; State and State Function; State Space and Event; Process; Objective Pattern and Law-Statement; Lawful State Space; Concluding Remarks). M.-M. V.