more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 6280

[catalogued under 7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 1. Realism]

Full Idea

Realism is an empirical theory; it explains the convergence of scientific theories, where earlier theories are often limiting cases of later theories (which is why theoretical terms preserve their reference); and it explains the success of language.

Gist of Idea

Realism is a theory, which explains the convergence of science and the success of language


Hilary Putnam (Meaning and the Moral Sciences [1978], Pt Four)

Book Reference

Putnam,Hilary: 'Meaning and the Moral Sciences' [RKP 1981], p.122

A Reaction

I agree. Personally, I think of Plato's Theory of Forms and all religions as empirical theories. The response from anti-realists is generally to undermine confidence in the evidence which these 'empirical theories' are said to explain.

Related Idea

Idea 6782 Realism is the only philosophy of science that doesn't make the success of science a miracle [Putnam]