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The Limits of Realism

Tim Button


This book explores the relationship between words and world; between semantics and scepticism. A certain kind of philosopher—the external realist—worries that appearances might be radically deceptive; we might all, for example, be brains in vats, stimulated by an infernal machine. But anyone who entertains the possibility of radical deception must also entertain a further worry: that all of our thoughts are totally contentless. That worry is just incoherent. We cannot, then, be external realists, who worry about the possibility of radical deception. Equally, though, we cannot be internal reali ... More

Keywords: Hilary Putman, internal realism, external realism, Cartesian scepticism, Kantian scepticism, semantics, ealism deabate, brain-in-vat argument, model-theoretic arguments, conceptual relativity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199672172
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672172.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Tim Button, author
St John's College, Cambridge