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The Limits of Realism$
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Tim Button

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672172.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Limits of Realism

Tim Button

Oxford University Press

This chapter briefly characterises the spirit of the book and the scope of its ambition. The aim of the book is to sketch various limits: limits to realism, limits to ‘anti’-realism, and limits to what we can show at all. That aim is realised by considering the relevance of semantics and scepticism to the realism debate. This draws upon Hilary Putnam’s model-theoretic arguments against external realism. More generally, this book is constructed around Putnam’s contributions to the realism debate. Part A will show that the model-theoretic arguments should erode one’s faith in external realism; parts B–D consist in asking how we should reconcile ourselves to this loss.

Keywords:   external realism, metaphysical realism, god’s Eye point of view, credo, independence Principle, correspondence Principle, correspondence theory of truth, cartesianism Principle, model theory, model-theoretic arguments

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