Three Forms of RealismAssoc. Prof. Howard Sankey (University of Melbourne)
G 16 (Jim Potter Room), Old Physics Building
University of Melbourne
The talk will explore the relationship between scientific realism, commonsense realism and a direct realist theory of perception. I will suggest that the combination of these three positions provides a stronger basis on which to defend scientific realism than either scientific realism by itself or scientific realism conjoined with commonsense realism. Two stumbling-blocks for this suggestion will be highlighted. First, it is not clear why a direct realist approach to perceptual warrant combined with an inference to the best explanation for scientific realism provides greater justification than an inference to best explanation for both commonsense and scientific realism. Second, it is not clear that there is a direct route from experience to perceptual warrant for belief in theoretical entities. Advice on how to overcome these stumbling-blocks will be sought from the audience.
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