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Realism and Antirealism

by William P. Alston

Realism and Antirealism Synopsis

Throughout the past century, a debate has raged over the thesis of realism and its alternatives. Realism-the seemingly commonsensical view that all or most of what we encounter in the world exists and is what it is independently of human thought-has been vigorously denied by such prominent intellectuals as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Richard Rorty, Thomas Kuhn, Hilary Putnam, and Nelson Goodman. The opponents of realism, among them historians and social scientists who support social constructionism, hold that all or most of reality depends on human conceptual schemes and beliefs. In this volume of original essays, a group of philosophers explores the ongoing controversy. The book opens with an introduction by William P. Alston, whose writing on the subject has been widely influential. Selected essays then compare and contrast aspects of the arguments put forward by the realists with those of the antirealists. Other chapters discuss the importance of the debate for philosophical topics such as epistemology and for domains ranging from religion, literature, and science to morality.

Realism and Antirealism Press Reviews

This book will be especially useful as a primary text in any seminar pertaining to the contemporary realism debate. It will also serve usefully as a supplementary text for a philosophy of language course.... Realism and Antirealism is a significant collection and it will stimulate much vigorous discussion in the years to come. -- Gregory E. Ganssle, Riverdell Institute * Philosophia Christi * Realism and Antirealism looks at the issues from a number of different angles, and arrives at a variety of fascinating conclusions. The book is tightly unified and makes a genuine contribution to the discussion of realism and antirealism. -- Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale University

Book Information

ISBN: 9780801487903
Publication date: 25th October 2002
Author: William P. Alston
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 320 pages
Categories: Philosophy: metaphysics & ontology, Philosophy: epistemology & theory of knowledge,

About William P. Alston

The late William P. Alston was Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Syracuse University. His books include A Realist Conception of Truth, Illocutionary Acts and Sentence Meanings, The Reliability of Sense Perception, and Perceiving God: The Epistemology of Religious Experience, all from Cornell.

More About William P. Alston

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