Chasing Reality: Strife over Realism
Published: July 2014© 2006
356 Pages, 6.05 x 9.00 x 0.90 in
Chasing Reality deals with the controversies over the reality of the external world. Distinguished philosopher Mario Bunge offers an extended defence of realism, a critique of various forms of contemporary anti-realism, and a sketch of his own version of realism, namely hylorealism. Bunge examines the main varieties of antirealism - Berkeley's, Hume's, and Kant's; positivism, phenomenology, and constructivism - and argues that all of these in fact hinder scientific research.
Bunge's realist contention is that genuine explanations in the sciences appeal to causal laws and mechanisms that are not directly observable, rather than simply to empirical generalisations. Genuine science, in his view, is objective even when it deals with subjective phenomena such as feelings of fear. This work defends a realist view of universals, kinds, possibilities, and dispositions, while rejecting contemporary accounts of these that are couched in terms of modal logic and 'possible worlds.'
‘Mario Bunge’s work itself stands out because it not only incorporates current knowledge from the world of science (both natural and social/psychological), but it is thoroughly informed by the methodology of science as it is actually practised.’ Daniel Forbes, The Review of Metaphysics
‘Bold, forward thinking, and illuminating.’ Sheldon Richmond, Philosophy of the Social Sciences
‘Chasing Reality is clearly written and well-organized. It is broad in its sweep and deals with some of the most fundamental issues in metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of science. Bunge is remarkably well informed about a wide range of scientific theories and puts that knowledge to good use in his choice and presentation of examples. Altogether, this book constitutes an original, eloquent, forthright, and remarkably wide-ranging defense of realism against its many and various antirealist opponents.’ E.J. Lowe, Department of Philosophy, University of Durham