University of Oulu

Rydenfelt, H. Realism without representationalism. Synthese 198, 2901–2918 (2021).

Realism without representationalism

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Author: Rydenfelt, Henrik1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2020-02-27


Scientific realism is a critical target of anti-representationalists such as Richard Rorty and Huw Price, who have questioned the very possibility of providing a satisfactory argument for realism or any other ontological position. I will argue that there is a viable form of realism which not only withstands this criticism but is vindicated on the antirepresentationalists’ own grounds. This realist position, largely drawn from the notion of the scientific method developed by the founder of philosophical pragmatism, Charles S. Peirce, will further be compared with the accounts of truth and objectivity proposed by the contemporary pragmatists, Rorty, Price, and Robert B. Brandom.

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Series: Synthese
ISSN: 0039-7857
ISSN-E: 1573-0964
ISSN-L: 0039-7857
Volume: 198
Pages: 2901 - 2918
DOI: 10.1007/s11229-019-02251-4
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 611 Philosophy
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.