The Revival of Realism: Critical Studies in Contemporary Philosophy

The Revival of Realism: Critical Studies in Contemporary Philosophy

The Revival of Realism: Critical Studies in Contemporary Philosophy

The Revival of Realism: Critical Studies in Contemporary Philosophy

Excerpt

The recurrence of realism in the modern world is a philosophical event of sufficient importance to call for some explanation. The struggle between realism--the doctrine that universals, which have their being independently both of concrete and actual things and of thoughts, are as real as concrete things, and nominalism--the opposing doctrine that actual physical particulars (i.e., concrete things) or thoughts are alone real, has furnished the occasion for much misunderstanding. Now one tradition has seemed to triumph, now another. In the ancient Greek world, philosophy was led by realism. Since the Middle Ages in Europe philosophy has been predominantly nominalistic. But, on the other hand, realism has never completely died out, having survived its leanest years by cropping up from time to time in the illogical insights of theoretical nominalists. There has always been a certain amount of realism, too, making itself felt in the implicit presuppositions behind activities.

Some years ago anyone who discovered realism for himself, the hard way, would have thought that he was a pioneer; and he would have been shocked and delighted to discover that many others had from time to time held this world-view with him, beginning with the very greatest figures, those of Plato and Socrates. He would have understood from a study of the Dialogues that he had not, after all, discovered an entirely new position, but he might still have thought that almost alone he had revived it.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.