Austere Realism: Contextual Semantics Meets Minimal Ontology

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MIT Press, 2008 - Philosophy - 219 pages
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The authors of Austere Realism describe and defend a provocative ontological-cum-semantic position, asserting that the right ontology is minimal or austere, in that it excludes numerous common-sense posits, and that statements employing such posits are nonetheless true, when truth is understood to be semantic correctness under contextually operative semantic standards. Terence Horgan and Matjaz [hacek over z] Potrc [hacek over c] argue that austere realism emerges naturally from consideration of the deep problems within the naive common-sense approach to truth and ontology. They offer an account of truth that confronts these deep internal problems and is independently plausible: contextual semantics, which asserts that truth is semantically correct affirmability. Under contextual semantics, much ordinary and scientific thought and discourse is true because its truth is indirect correspondence to the world. After offering further arguments for austere realism and addressing objections to it, Horgan and Potrc [hacek over c] consider various alternative austere ontologies. They advance a specific version they call "blobjectivism"--the view that the right ontology includes only one concrete particular, the entire cosmos ("the blobject"), which, although it has enormous local spatiotemporal variability, does not have any proper parts. The arguments in Austere Realism are powerfully made and concisely and lucidly set out. The authors' contentions and their methodological approach--products of a decade-long collaboration--will generate lively debate among scholars in metaphysics, ontology, and philosophy. Terence E. Horgan is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona. Matjaz [hacek over z] Potrc [hacek over c] is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana.

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Contents

The Naive Approach to Truth and Ontology
7
Problems for Simple Realism
15
Truth as Indirect Correspondence
33
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Lisa Norton received the MFA degree from CranbrookAcademy of Art. Currently she is associate professor, departmentof sculpture at The School of the Art Instituteof Chicago. She studies the interdisciplinary overlaps betweenpublic design as well as craft and production systems.Her interest in objects as extensions of culture hasrecently focused on the public art industry in China.During 2002--03 she will be in residence at the FujianArts and Crafts School in Xiamen, People's Republic ofChina.

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