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The Model-Theoretic Argument against Realism

G. H. Merrill
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 47, No. 1 (Mar., 1980), pp. 69-81
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/187143
Page Count: 13
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The Model-Theoretic Argument against Realism
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Abstract

In "Realism and Reason" Hilary Putnam has offered an apparently strong argument that the position of metaphysical realism provides an incoherent model of the relation of a correct scientific theory to the world. However, although Putnam's attack upon the notion of the "intended" interpretation of a scientific theory is sound, it is shown here that realism may be formulated in such a way that the realist need make no appeal to any "intended" interpretation of such a theory. Consequently, it can be shown that realism is immune to Putnam's criticism and that attempts at reformulating this criticism are not likely to meet with success.

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