Contemporary Analytic and Linguistic Philosophies

By E. D. Klemke | Go to book overview

5. The Approach to Critical Realism

Durant Drake


I. The Justification of Realism

There are two familiar starting-points for knowledge, the objective and the subjective. The objectively-minded philosophers suppose that the data of perception are the very physical existents which we all practically believe to be surrounding and threatening our bodies. These physical objects themselves somehow get within experience, are directly apprehended; their surfaces constitute our visual and tactile data. The subjectively-minded philosophers suppose, on the contrary, that the data of perception are psychological existents, so many pulses or throbs of a stream of psychic life. At best they are merely copies or representatives of the outer objects. In so far, both approaches are realistic; but the subjectively minded realist is, in a sense, shut in, according to his theory, to "ideas," i.e. to mental substitutes for outer objects, whereas the objectively-minded, or naïve, realist (for this seems to be the view of the plain man) believes that his experience extends beyond his body, and includes, in some of their aspects, those outer subjects. Whatever arguments are then adduced for "realistic epistemological monism" and "realistic epistemological dualism" respectively do little to shake the faith thus based upon an initial definition. An impasse exists here, and will exist until it is seen that neither starting-point, objective nor subjective, correctly describes what we have to start with, what is "given" (= what appears, what is apprehended) in immediate experience. It is the object of this paper, then, to expose the error in each of these views, and to point out a third view—we call it Critical Realism—which combines the insights of both these historic positions while free from the objections which can properly be raised to each. 1

Before proceeding, however, to consider these two historic types of realism, it will be well to deal with the spectre of pure subjectivism, which is a likely, though not a logically necessary, deduction from the psychological starting-point. If we are shut in to our mental states, we can never know

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Contemporary Analytic and Linguistic Philosophies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Preface 9
  • Acknowledgments 11
  • Introduction - The Rise of Analytic Philosophy 15
  • Notes 20
  • The Pre-Analytic Tradition 21
  • Introduction 23
  • Idealism 31
  • Reality and Idealism 31
  • Selected Bibliography 53
  • Pragmatism 55
  • How to Make Our Ideas Clear 55
  • Notes 69
  • Pragmaticism 71
  • Selected Bibliography 78
  • American Realism 79
  • The Program and First Platform of Six Realists 79
  • Notes 86
  • The Approach to Critical Realism 87
  • Notes 104
  • Selected Bibligraphy 107
  • Analytic and Linguistic Philosophies 109
  • Introduction 111
  • Notes 119
  • Realism and Common Sense 121
  • The Refutation of Idealism 121
  • Note 137
  • The Subject-Matter of Ethics 138
  • Notes 162
  • A Defence of Common Sense 163
  • Proof of an External World 184
  • Note 201
  • Selected Bibliography 203
  • Logical Atomism 205
  • Facts and Propositions 205
  • Note 212
  • Particulars, Predicates, and Relations 213
  • Note 222
  • Excursus into Metaphysics What There Is 223
  • Note 232
  • Selected Bibliography 233
  • Logical Positivism 235
  • The Elimination of Metaphysics 235
  • Notes 246
  • The Futiction of Philosophy 247
  • Notes 252
  • The a Priori 253
  • Notes 264
  • Truth and Probability 265
  • Notes 270
  • Critique of Ethics and Theology 271
  • Notes 284
  • Selected Bibliography 286
  • Conceptual Analysis 287
  • Systematically Misleading Expressions 287
  • Wittgenstein's Lectures in 1930-33 307
  • Notes 319
  • Philosophical Perplexity 320
  • Notes 331
  • Philosophy, Anxiety, and Novelty 332
  • Notes 337
  • Gods 338
  • Notes 351
  • Descartes' Myth 353
  • Selected Bibliography 365
  • Logico-Metaphysical Analysis 367
  • Logical Positivism, Language, and the Reconstruction of Metaphysics 367
  • Note 377
  • On What There Is 378
  • Notes 390
  • Two Dogmas of Empiricism 391
  • Notes 409
  • Selected Bibliography 410
  • Linguistic Analysis 411
  • Performative-Constative 411
  • Notes 419
  • Intention and Convention in Speech Acts 421
  • Notes 436
  • What is a Speech Act? 437
  • Notes 451
  • Selected Bibliography 452
  • General Works on Analytic Philosophy 453
  • Sources of More Complete Bibliographies 454
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