Realism in Philosophy

realism (in philosophy)

realism, in philosophy. 1 In medieval philosophy realism represented a position taken on the problem of universals. There were two schools of realism. Extreme realism, represented by William of Champeaux, held that universals exist independently of both the human mind and particular things—a theory closely associated with that of Plato. Some other philosophers rejected this view for what can be termed moderate realism, which held that universals exist only in the mind of God, as patterns by which he creates particular things. St. Thomas Aquinas and John of Salisbury were proponents of moderate realism. 2 In epistemology realism represents the theory that particular things exist independently of our perception. This position is in direct contrast to the theory of idealism, which holds that reality exists only in the mind. Most contemporary British and American philosophy tends toward realism. Prominent modern realists have included Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore, and C. D. Broad.

See J. D. Wild, Introduction to Realistic Philosophy (1948, repr. 1984); P. K. Feyerabend, Realism, Rationalism, and Scientific Method (Vol. 1, 1985); C. Wright, Realism, Meaning, and Truth (1987); R. L. Arrington, Rationalism, Realism, and Relativism (1989).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Realism in Philosophy: Selected full-text books and articles

Realism, Discourse, and Deconstruction By Jonathan Joseph; John Michael Roberts Routledge, 2004
Critical Scientific Realism By Ilkka Niiniluoto Oxford University Press, 2002
A Novel Defense of Scientific Realism By Jarrett Leplin Oxford University Press, 1997
The Ideal Realism By Humphries, Ralph Philosophy Today, Vol. 45, No. 2, Summer 2001
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Moral Realism: A Defence By Russ Shafer-Landau Clarendon Press, 2003
Praise and Blame: Moral Realism and Its Application By Daniel N. Robinson Princeton University Press, 2002
Philosophical Realism and Postmodern Antirealism By Ronen, Ruth Style, Vol. 29, No. 2, Summer 1995
Toward a Perspective Realism By Evander Bradley McGilvary; Albert G. Ramsperger Open Court Pub. Co., 1956
The Revival of Realism: Critical Studies in Contemporary Philosophy By James Feibleman University of North Carolina Press, 1946
Knowledge and Reality: Selected Essays By Colin McGinn Clarendon Press, 1999
Perception & Reality: A History from Descartes to Kant By John W. Yolton Cornell University Press, 1996
Aristotle and Moral Realism By Robert Heinaman Westview Press, 1995
A Sensible Metaphysical Realism By William P. Alston Marquette University Press, 2001
A History of Philosophy in America, 1720-2000 By Bruce Kuklick Clarendon Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "Professional Realism, 1912-1956"
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