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The Seas of Language$
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Michael Dummett

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198236214

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198236212.001.0001

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Realism

Realism

Chapter:
(p.230) 11 Realism
Source:
The Seas of Language
Author(s):

Michael Dummett (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198236212.003.0011

Realism has traditionally been understood as an epistemological doctrine about the direct awareness of the external objects. There is another sense of realism, in which one is said to be a realist about a particular subject matter. In the latter sense, it is a semantic thesis about the bivalence of the statements of the given subject matter. The anti‐realist semantical claim amounts to denying the possibility of knowing a statement to be true unless one has the means to arrive at such knowledge. Dummett argues that only the semantic thesis is coherent, exploring interactions between the semantic versions of realism and anti‐realism.

Keywords:   anti‐realism, bivalence, knowledge, realism, theory of meaning, verification

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