Economics Dictionary of Arguments

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Realism, philosophy: realism is a collective term for theories which, in principle, believe that it is possible for us to acquire knowledge about objects of the external world that is independent from us as perceptual subjects. A strong realism typically represents the thesis that it would make sense to even create hypotheses about basically unknowable objects. See also metaphysical realism, internal realism, universal realism, constructivism.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 41
Modal Realism/Stalnaker: (thesis that there are possible worlds) - Vsmodal realism: objection: it is not possible, to know any metaphysical facts about it - (whether possible world exist) - thesis: there is no strategy to counter this objection that would be analog to VsBenacerraf.
Benacerraf: tension between the need for a plausible representation of mathematical statements and the representation of our respective knowledge about their truth.
I 42
Platonism: gives plausible semantics but no epistemology. - Reference/Benacerraf: thesis: needs causal link. - LewisVsBenacerraf: does not apply to abstract objects such as numbers and so on.
I 47
Conclusion: we cannot distinguish Platonism in terms of mathematical objects from that in terms of possible worlds.
I 49
Modal Realism/VsMR/Possible world/Stalnaker: Problem: the MR cannot say on the one hand that possible worlds are things of the same kind as the real world (contingent physical objects) and on the other hand, that possible worlds are things of which we know in the same way as of numbers, etc. - MR: will insist on the fact that even the reference to ordinary objects (actual or merely possible) needs no causal connection.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Stalnaker I
R. Stalnaker
Ways a World may be Oxford New York 2003

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