That is too simple. What he rejects is the realism/antirealism distinction. — Banno
It is exactly the point. Davidson maintained that "Given a correct epistemology, we can be realists in all departments" (A coherence theory of truth and knowledge). — Banno
But I was still under the influence of the idea that there is something important in the realist conception of truth; the idea that truth, and therefore reality, are (except for special cases) independent of what anyone believes or can know. Thus, I advertised my view as a brand of realism, realism with respect to the "external world," with respect to meaning, and with respect to truth.44
The terms 'realism' and 'correspondence' were ill-chosen because they suggest the positive endorsement of a position, or an assump- tion that there is a clear positive thesis to be adopted, whereas all I was entitled to maintain, and all that my position actually entailed with respect to realism and truth, was the negative view that episte- mic views are false. The realist view of truth, if it has any content, must be based on the idea of correspondence, correspondence as applied to sentences or beliefs or utterances-entities that are pro- positional in character; and such correspondence cannot be made intelligible. I simply made the mistake of assuming realism and epi- stemic theories were the only possible positions. The only legitimate reason I had for calling my position a form of realism was to reject positions like Dummett's antirealism; I was concerned to reject the doctrine that either reality or truth depends directly on our episte- mic powers. There is a point in such a rejection. But it is futile either to reject or to accept the slogan that the real and the true are "independent of our beliefs." The only evident positive sense we can make of this phrase, the only use that consorts with the intentions of those who prize it, derives from the idea of correspondence, and this is an idea without content.45
So how can one be a realist without correspondence theory? With a large dose of Davidson, it's possible... — frank
The realist view of truth, if it has any content, must be based on the idea of correspondence, correspondence as applied to sentences or beliefs or utterances - entities that are propositional in character; and such correspondence cannot be made intelligible. — Davidson
As argued previously, "objectively" is either a weasel word, or it adds nothing to the statement. — Banno
There are two general aspects to realism, illustrated by looking at realism about the everyday world of macroscopic objects and their properties. First, there is a claim about existence. Tables, rocks, the moon, and so on, all exist, as do the following facts: the table’s being square, the rock’s being made of granite, and the moon’s being spherical and yellow. The second aspect of realism about the everyday world of macroscopic objects and their properties concerns independence. The fact that the moon exists and is spherical is independent of anything anyone happens to say or think about the matter.
In general, where the distinctive objects of a subject-matter are a, b, c, … , and the distinctive properties are F-ness, G-ness, H-ness and so on, realism about that subject matter will typically take the form of a claim like the following:
a, b, and c and so on exist, and the fact that they exist and have properties such as F-ness, G-ness, and H-ness is ... independent of anyone’s beliefs, linguistic practices, conceptual schemes, and so on.
Non-realism can take many forms, depending on whether or not it is the existence or independence dimension of realism that is questioned or rejected. The forms of non-realism can vary dramatically from subject-matter to subject-matter, but error-theories, non-cognitivism, instrumentalism, nominalism, relativism, certain styles of reductionism, and eliminativism typically reject realism by rejecting the existence dimension, while idealism, subjectivism, and anti-realism typically concede the existence dimension but reject the independence dimension.
What I've long advocated is Tarski's analysis of true statements, together with a roughly deflationary view of truth; hence my approach does not depend on correspondence per se. — Banno
Hence the antirealist is in the contrary position of declaring that there is stuff while insisting that it is always part of our mental world, which is Berkeley's idealism, or declaring that there is stuff but it is not part of our mental word, which is transcendental idealism.
On the one hand, we may define the physical as whatever is currently explained by our best physical theories, e.g., quantum mechanics, general relativity. Though many would find this definition unsatisfactory, some would accept that we have at least a general understanding of the physical based on these theories, and can use them to assess what is physical and what is not. And therein lies the rub, as a worked-out explanation of mentality currently lies outside the scope of such theories.
On the other hand, if we say that some future, "ideal" physics is what is meant, then the claim is rather empty, for we have no idea of what this means. The "ideal" physics may even come to define what we think of as mental as part of the physical world. In effect, physicalism by this second account becomes the circular claim that all phenomena are explicable in terms of physics because physics properly defined is whatever explains all phenomena.
Or if you prefer, antirealism is a theory about belief, and has little to do with truth. — Banno
Realism is about there being stuff. — Banno
I seek first a statement of the doctrine of Realism that captures its traditional opposition to idealism and phenomenalism about common-sense entities. There are two dimensions to this doctrine: first, a claim about what exists; second, a claim about the nature of
that existence. To capture the first dimension we can say that it is common-sense physical entities that exist. Words that frequently occur in attempts to capture the second are 'independent', 'external', and 'objective'. The entities must be independent of the mental; they must be external to the mind; they must exist objectively in that they exist whatever anyone's opinions. We can capture both these dimensions well enough in the following doctrine:
Common-sense physical entities objectively exist independently of the mental
Whether our statements about that stuff are true or false is incidental to realism. Whether we understand things about that stuff is also incidental to realism.
A realist might well adopt a three-valued logic with regard to statements. Nothing in realism locks the realist into a particular logical system.
That is, it seems what is loosely called semantic realism, the view that realism must make use of a correspondence theory of truth, is a bit of a straw man. — Banno
Regardless of whether or not the metaphysical realist explicitly claims to be a semantic realist when he argues for the “objective independent existence of common-sense physical entities,” it may be, as Dummett believes, that this position entails semantic realism.
If these independent entities are the things we talk about and the things that determine our statements to be either true or false then is this not recognition-transcendent and bivalent truth-conditions?
Or would you say that metaphysical realism as Devitt describes it is compatible with semantic antirealism as Dummett describes it? Is the “objective independent existence of common-sense physical entities” compatible with something like a verificationist account of meaning and truth? If not then proving the latter disproves the former.
Speaking very roughly, just to get started, realism holds that ...stuff... is independent of what we say about it; anti-realism, that it isn't. — Banno
Stealing blatantly from my Rutledge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, a realist may hold to things like that correspondence to the facts is what makes a statement true; that there may be truths we do not recognise as such, do not believe and do not know; that the Law of excluded middle holds for things in the world; and that the meaning of a sentence may be found by specifying it's truth-conditions. An ant-realist may in contrast hold that truth is to be understood in sophisticated epistemic terms, perhaps as what a "well-conducted investigation" might lead us to believe; that there can be no unknown truths; that we need include "unknown" as well as true and false in our logical systems; and that the meaning of a sentence is to be found in what it might assert. — Banno
You also have a unique genetic signature (DNA). — Janus
The realist explanation is that you are a unique changing organism with a history that extends from your birth to your death — Janus
Then we are simply using the name "antirealism" in different fashions.
SO, what is antirealism?
So give your account - what is antirealism? — Banno
Dummett’s most celebrated original work lies in his development of anti-realism, based on the idea that to understand a sentence is to be capable of recognizing what would count as evidence for or against it. According to anti-realism, there is no guarantee that every declarative sentence is determinately true or false. This means that the realist and the anti-realist support rival systems of logic.
Idealism has long been out of favour in contemporary philosophy (though see Goldschmidt & Pearce 2017 for some recent discussion), but those who doubt the independence dimension of realism have sought more sophisticated ways of opposing it. One such philosopher, Michael Dummett, has suggested that in some cases it may be appropriate to reject the independence dimension of realism via the rejection of semantic realism about the area in question (see Dummett 1978 and 1993).
A semantic realist, in Dummett’s sense, is one who holds that our understanding of a sentence like (G) consists in knowledge of its truth-condition, where the notion of truth involved is potentially recognition-transcendent or bivalent. To say that the notion of truth involved is potentially recognition-transcendent is to say that (G) may be true (or false) even though there is no guarantee that we will be able, in principle, to recognise that that is so. To say that the notion of truth involved is bivalent is to accept the unrestricted applicability of the law of bivalence, that every meaningful sentence is determinately either true or false. Thus the semantic realist is prepared to assert that (G) is determinately either true or false, regardless of the fact that we have no guaranteed method of ascertaining which.
Dummett makes two main claims about semantic realism. First, there is what Devitt (1991a) has termed the metaphor thesis: This denies that we can even have a literal, austerely metaphysical characterisation of realism of the sort attempted above with Generic Realism.
According to the constitution thesis, the literal content of realism consists in the content of semantic realism. Thus, the literal content of realism about the external world is constituted by the claim that our understanding of at least some sentences concerning the external world consists in our grasp of their potentially recognition-transcendent truth-conditions. The spurious ‘debate’ in metaphysics between realism and non-realism can thus become a genuine debate within the theory of meaning: should we characterise speakers’ understanding in terms of grasp of potentially recognition-transcendent truth-conditions? As Dummett puts it:
"The dispute [between realism and its opponents] concerns the notion of truth appropriate for statements of the disputed class; and this means that it is a dispute concerning the kind of meaning which these statements have (1978: 146)."
I'll add that realism does permit us to say things about stuff. You seem to think it can't. — Banno
The answer is that it is up to us to choose. — Banno
Is that picture a duck or a rabbit? It's a picture that can be seen either way. Neither is obligatory.
Further, and more importantly in this case, it is a real picture.
If the verificationist hasn't verified it, it isn't true — Ennui Elucidator
knowing everything that is true (i.e. every proposition that has been verified) neatly discloses everything that is false (every proposition that hasn't). — Ennui Elucidator
If omniscience is knowing every true thing… . — Ennui Elucidator
So why do you say that verificationism doesn't require omniscience? All truths are known. — Ennui Elucidator
In logic, specifically in deductive reasoning, an argument is valid if and only if it takes a form that makes it impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion nevertheless to be false. It is not required for a valid argument to have premises that are actually true, but to have premises that, if they were true, would guarantee the truth of the argument's conclusion.
In logic, more precisely in deductive reasoning, an argument is sound if it is both valid in form and its premises are true.
If you are a realist and you wish to avail yourself of the power of logic to determine rTruth, can it do so? — Ennui Elucidator
In my mathematical understanding soundness merely means coherence, that is, freedom of contradictions. Logic can determine that a set of premises /cannot/ be true or show that the truth of a given conclusion holds under given premises and derive such already implied conlusions. — Heiko
The "what makes it sound" part is what I am discussing. — Ennui Elucidator
If soundness is judged by reference to the world (and that includes evaluating the propositions contained in the conclusion since they must have appeared among the premises), what work is the proof doing for you viz-a-viz the rTruth of the propositions in the conclusion?
So how do you evaluate soundness? — Ennui Elucidator
That isn't how logic works. A premise is assumed, not proven. The valid conclusion is of the form "If the premises are true, the conclusion must be true". — Ennui Elucidator
Anti-realism isn't concerned with explosion as a logical matter, it (the middle-way anti-realism) is concerned with how all truths are known yet some truths are unknown (anti-realism plus non-omniscience) in a meaningful (non-incoherent/useful) way. — Ennui Elucidator
I provided what is essentially a tautology in 1 and a claim about the world as a consequent of a conditional. The only way to show that 2 is false (and thereby show the argument is unsound) is to evaluate whether the consequent is true, which is precisely what the proof appears to be proving. — Ennui Elucidator
If we want to know if 3 is rTrue, how is a proof used as a proxy for the world? — Ennui Elucidator
i.e. what it means for a conclusion to follow from its premise, and trying to contrast it with the requirements of a realist account of truth. — Ennui Elucidator