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Nature and UnderstandingThe Metaphysics and Method of Science$
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Nicholas Rescher

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199261826

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261826.001.0001

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Ramifications of Realism

Ramifications of Realism

(p.92) 5 Ramifications of Realism
Nature and Understanding

Nicholas Rescher

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the ramifications of realism for understanding nature. It explains the concepts of three forms of realism: scientific, physical, and metaphysical. Scientific realism holds that science correctly describes the real world, physical realism suggests that the object of physics are actually real and not mere figments of speculations, and metaphysical realism maintains the existence of mind-independent natural reality. This chapter explains the shortcomings and problems of these doctrines of realism, and suggests that justification lies largely on their theoretical and practical utilities.

Keywords:   realism, nature, scientific realism, physical realism, metaphysical realism

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