Semantic Challenges to Realism: Dummett and Putnam
Published: August 2000© 2000
320 Pages, 6.28 x 9.27 x 1.02 in
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Anti-realism entered the philosophical scene some twenty years ago, and has since become a widely accepted view. But although many philosophers espouse anti-realism, the only sustained arguments for the position are due to Michael Dummett and Hilary Putnam. Much discussion of their views has appeared in the journals, especially concerning some of Putnam's pithy and memorable expositions, like the 'Brain in the Vat'; however, this is the first book to provide a thorough examination and rebuttal of their arguments.
Dummett's and Putnam's arguments are long, complex, and often technical. They have been developed over time, often in response to criticisms of earlier formulations or to the parallel but independent research of others, and accordingly, each of their premises gives rise to a host of issues, questions, and concerns. Mark Gardiner guides us through this difficult terrain, discussing the abundant literature on the subject along the way. With its compelling argument and accessible style, this thorough and authoritative study will provide an important contribution to the realism/anti-realism debate.