Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 263-283

First online:

The Scope and Multidimensionality of the Scientific Realism Debate

  • Howard SankeyAffiliated withThe School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, The University of Melbourne Email author 
  • , Dimitri GinevAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Sofia University Email author 

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At stake in the classical realism-debate is the clash between realist and anti-realist positions. In recent years, the classical form of this debate has undergone a double transformation. On the one hand, the champions of realism began to pay more attention to the interpretative dimensions of scientific research. On the other hand, anti-realists of various sorts realized that the rejection of the hypostatization of a “reality out there” does not imply the denial of working out a philosophically adequate concept of reality. Against the background of this double transformation, new arguments in the realism-debate emerged. The present Introduction is an attempt at systematizing these arguments within the spectrum of doctrines between the poles of scientific realism (exposed and defended by Howard Sankey) and hermeneutic realism (advocated by Dimitri Ginev). The authors try also to demonstrate that after the classical debates the issue of scientism has to be addressed in new ways.


Scientific realism Hermeneutic realism Anti-realism Scientism