The Anti-Realist Bogeyman
Dana Goswick (University of Melbourne)

May 3, 2018, 4:15pm - 6:15pm
School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, The University of Melbourne

Jim Potter Room, Old Physics
The University of Melbourne

Topic areas


I distinguish Local Constructivism (humans play a constitutive role in constructing some of  the objects we have epistemic access to) from Global Constructivism (humans play a constitutive role in constructing all of  the objects we have epistemic access to).  I, then, explicate and clarify Local Constructivism and show how the metaphysical concerns which motivate endorsing Local Constructivism about some objects (e.g. social objects, modal objects) differ from the epistemic and semantic concerns which motive endorsing Global Constructivism.  I, then, examine the criticisms Michael Devitt and other Realists typically present against constructivism.  I argue that, although these criticisms undermine Global Constructivism, Local Constructivism is immune to them.  If one has anti-Realist inclinations, but wishes to avoid the morass anti-Realism usually falls into (aka: the anti-Realist Bogeyman), one should endorse Local, rather than Global, Constructivism.

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