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Anti-Realism and Reality Principle

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By marianna
Words 1056
Pages 5
Does anti-realism violate the reality principle in denying the existence of a verification independent 'target for our thoughts to aim at'?

On the Realists view, there is a mind-independed world about which we form beliefs, and truth is the correspondence between a statement or belief and the mind-independed world the statement or belief is about. Central in the Realists conception is that its obtaining is independed of our ways of finding out about it. That is, that truth transcends our ability to know the truth. For the Realist, if reality did not contain answers to our questions, then there would be no ‘target for our thoughts to aim at’ and ‘truth’ or ‘falsity’ would cease to matter. Opposed to Realism is the Anti-Realists view that ‘reality’ is constituted in part by our conceptual activities or the conceptual tools we employ in our inquiry. The anti-realist seeks a notion of truth that can be constructed out of verification. For anti-realism truth is to be analyzed in terms of concepts like evidence or scientific inquiry. For a statement to be true is to be capable of being verified or asserted. Reality for the Anti-Realist is defined as the totality of these ‘actual truths’.

The Anti-realist identifies truth with verification. He argues that when we are making any assertions, the actual standard these assertions have to pass, is the best interpretation of the best available evidence. So the Anti-realist asks ‘what use does a truth that transcends verification have, if the only target we have in making assertions is the test of verification?’
According to the reality principle if this is a judgement then it is possible for me to be mistaken in making this judgement. But verification is a matter of judgement and belief, and is always corrigible. Anti-realism violates the reality principle in this way.

The Anti-realist...

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