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© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Realism in Philosophy: Selected full-text books and articles

Realism, Discourse, and Deconstruction
Jonathan Joseph; John Michael Roberts.
Routledge, 2004
Critical Scientific Realism
Ilkka Niiniluoto.
Oxford University Press, 2002
The Ideal Realism
Humphries, Ralph.
Philosophy Today, Vol. 45, No. 2, Summer 2001
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).
A Novel Defense of Scientific Realism
Jarrett Leplin.
Oxford University Press, 1997
Moral Realism: A Defence
Russ Shafer-Landau.
Clarendon Press, 2003
Praise and Blame: Moral Realism and Its Application
Daniel N. Robinson.
Princeton University Press, 2002
Philosophical Realism and Postmodern Antirealism
Ronen, Ruth.
Style, Vol. 29, No. 2, Summer 1995
New Realism and Old Reality: A Critical Introduction to the Philosophy of the Realists
D. Luther Evans.
Princeton University Press, 1928
Toward a Perspective Realism
Evander Bradley McGilvary; Albert G. Ramsperger.
Open Court Pub. Co., 1956
The Revival of Realism: Critical Studies in Contemporary Philosophy
James Feibleman.
University of North Carolina Press, 1946
Knowledge and Reality: Selected Essays
Colin McGinn.
Clarendon Press, 1999
Perception & Reality: A History from Descartes to Kant
John W. Yolton.
Cornell University Press, 1996
Aristotle and Moral Realism
Robert Heinaman.
Westview Press, 1995
A Sensible Metaphysical Realism
William P. Alston.
Marquette University Press, 2001
A History of Philosophy in America, 1720-2000
Bruce Kuklick.
Clarendon Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "Professional Realism, 1912-1956"
Present Philosophical Tendencies: A Critical Survey of Naturalism, Idealism, Pragmatism, and Realism, Together with a Synopsis of the Philosophy of William James
Ralph Barton Perry.
Greenwood Press, 1968
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