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Realism and Truth

Michael Devitt (Princeton University Press: December 1996), 340 pages.

In this provocative and wide-ranging book, Michael Devitt argues for a thoroughgoing realism about the common-sense and scientific physical world, and for a correspondence notion of truth. Furthermore, he argues that, contrary to received opinion, the metaphysical question of realism is distinct from, and prior to, any semantic question about truth. The book makes incisive responses to Putnam, Dummett, van Fraassen, and other major anti-realists. The new afterword includes an extensive discussion of the metaphysics of nonfactualism, and new thoughts on the need for truth and on the determination of reference. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • Preface to the Second Edition
    • Preface to the First Edition
  • Part I Introduction
    • 1 Introduction
  • Part II Proposals
    • 2 What is Realism?
    • 3 What is Truth?
    • 4 What has Truth to do with Realism?
    • 5 Why be a Common-Sense Realist?
    • 6 Why do we Need Truth?
    • 7 Why be a Scientific Realist?
  • Part III Polemics
    • 8 Van Fraassen against Scientific Realism
    • 9 Kuhn, Feyerabend, and the Radical Philosophers of Science
    • 10 Davidsonians against Reference
    • 11 Rorty’s Mirrorless World
    • 12 The Renegade Putnam
    • 13 Worldmaking
    • 14 Dummett’s Anti-Realism Part IV Conclusions
    • 15 Conclusions
    • Afterword
    • List of Major Named Maxims and Doctrines
    • Bibliography
    • Index