, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 161-170
Date: 10 Dec 2011

Lee Braver: A thing of this world: A history of continental anti-realism

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It was in 1963 that Michael Dummett first formulated the jointly epistemological and semantic terminology of “realism” and “anti-realism.” With it, he sought to bring into focus the issue of whether truths in a particular domain are to be understood as exceeding, and in principle independent of, the means actually used to establish or demonstrate them (the “realist” position) or whether such truths could only be conceived as correlative to, and extending no further than, those means (the “anti-realist” one).

Dummett (1978).

Although Dummett had in mind the application of the framework only to specific problems and regions, analytic philosophers such as Devitt, Davidson, and Putnam subsequently expanded the terminology to larger and more domain-independent questions of general ontology, epistemology, and truth. This provided for a rich, if inconclusive, discussion during the last decades of the twentieth century among certain recognizably “analytic” philosophers of large-scale positional ...