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Truth -- Meaning -- Reality$
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Paul Horwich

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199268900

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199268900.001.0001

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A World without “Isms”

A World without “Isms”

(p.255) 12 A World without “Isms”
Truth -- Meaning -- Reality

Paul Horwich (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Humdrum material facts — e.g., that the cat is on the mat — are typically regarded as philosophically unproblematic. But with within certain domains, such as mathematics, morality, modal discourse, and esoteric parts of physics (such as eleven-dimensional string theory), philosophers have been inclined to think that the ‘facts’ of which we naively speak could not really exist, and that some form of sophisticated ‘anti-realist’ theory is needed — for example, non-factualism, relativism, fictionalism, error theory, constructive empiricism, revisionism, reductionism, or pragmatism. This chapter criticizes each of these strategies. But, more importantly, it exposes the confusions that lie behind the initial impulse to feel that some such account is required since the existence of realistically imagined moral facts, or mathematical facts, etc., would be intolerably weird.

Keywords:   facts, non-factualism, relativism, error theory, fictionalism, reductionism, revisionism, constructive empiricism

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