By Lee Braver
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Extra resources for A Thing of This World: A History of Continental Anti-Realism
No doctrine of truth entails Realism. I conclude that no doctrine of truth is in any way constitutive of Realism. . Realism is about the nature of reality in general, about what there is, and what it is like” (Devitt 1997, 43). 8 Crispin Wright favors epistemological factors for the deﬁning feature of realism: “What seems essential [to realism] is the conception of truth as constituted by ﬁt between our beliefs, or statements, and the features of an independent, determinate reality” (Wright 1993, 3; see also Walker 1995, 257; Zemach in Krausz 1989, 51).
He rejected what he perceived as Husserl’s view that knowledge changed the object known (a view enabled by confusing objects with their presentations), insisting instead that “in my opinion the bringing of an object under a concept is merely the recognition of a relation which previously already obtained” (324). Russell transferred the model of empiricist R5 Passive perception to logical relations in order to secure their R1 Independence and absolute validity: “It is plain that where we validly infer one proposition from another, we do so in virtue of a relation which holds between the two propositions [R1] whether we perceive it or not: the mind, in fact, is as [R5] purely receptive in inference as common sense supposes it to be in perception of sensible objects” (Russell 1996, 33, bracketed comments added; see also Russell 1959b, 98).
As Tarski points out,5 this conception of correspondence truth goes back as far as Aristotle’s deﬁnition of truth in the Metaphysics as “to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not” 16 A THING OF THIS WORLD (1011b26–27; see also 1051b2–5). 6 Thinkers differ on how the metaphysical and epistemological components of Putnam’s deﬁnition of realism relate to each other. 7 On the other hand, Devitt insists on deﬁning realism solely in terms of metaphysical commitments. “Realism does not entail any doctrine of truth.
A Thing of This World: A History of Continental Anti-Realism by Lee Braver