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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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The just-more-theory manœuvre

The just-more-theory manœuvre

(p.27) 4 The just-more-theory manœuvre
The Limits of Realism

Tim Button

Oxford University Press

Since Putnam wants to undercut the entire picture of external realism, he cannot present piecemeal attacks on various attempts to constrain reference. Instead, he presents a completely general manoeuvre for dismissing all interpretative constraints: his just-more-theory manoeuvre. Putnam is often accused of question-begging, but he is best understood as raising a dilemma against the external realist’s attempts to constraint reference. On the one hand, if their ‘constraints’ have empirical content, then they are indeed just-more-theory. In that case, they cannot constrain reference after all. On the other hand, if they are supposed to constrain reference, then they will be bereft of empirical content.

Keywords:   interpretative constraint, just-more-theory manoeuvre, question-begging, magical Constraint, empirical content, external realism, putnam’s model-theoretic arguments

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