The unexpected realist

In Brian L. Keeley (ed.), Paul Churchland. Cambridge University Press (2006)
  Copy   BIBTEX


There are two ways to do the unexpected. The banal way—let's call it the expectedly unexpected—is simply to chart the waters of what is and is not done, and then set out to do something different. For a philosopher, this can be done by embracing a method of non sequitor or by perhaps inverting some strongly held assumption of the field. The more interesting way— the unexpectedly unexpected—is to transform the expectations themselves; to do something new and contextualize it in such a way that it not only makes perfect sense, but has the audience scratching their heads and saying, “Of course!” To do the unexpectedly unexpected on a regular basis is the true mark of genius. It recalls Kant's characterization of the genius as the one who not merely follows or breaks the rules of art but that, “Genius is the natural endowment that gives the rule to art.” We would not like to make the bold claim that Paul M. Churchland (PMC) is a philosophical genius of Kantian standards, but he sometimes achieves the unexpectedly unexpected and his position on the issue of scientific realism is a fine example of this. Given other views he holds and the philosophical forebears he holds dear, one might expect him to embrace an antirealism with respect to the posits of scientific theories. But, quite to the contrary, Churchland is one of the strongest contemporary philosophical voices on behalf of scientific realism. And, as we will discuss in this chapter, a closer look at this reasoning reveals that his realism is not perverse, it is exactly the sort of position he should be expected to hold, if only we understand the philosophical issues correctly.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,323

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Paul Churchland.Brian L. Keeley (ed.) - 2005 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Reference, Success and Entity Realism.Howard Sankey - 2012 - Kairos. Revista de Filosofia and Ciência 5:31-42.
The Conditions of Moral Realism.Christian Miller - 2009 - Journal of Philosophical Research 34:123-155.
Theory, realism and common sense: A reply to Paul Churchland.John Haldane - 1993 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 93:321-327.
Three Paradigms of Scientific Realism: A Truthmaking Account.Jamin Asay - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):1-21.
Critical scientific realism.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 1999 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The end of plasticity.Herman Philipse - 1997 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):291-306.
On inconsistent entities. A reply to Colyvan.Tommaso Piazza & Francesco Piazza - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (2):301 - 311.
Kant's empirical realism.Paul Abela - 2002 - New York: Oxford University Press.


Added to PP

1 (#1,905,242)

6 months
1 (#1,478,551)

Historical graph of downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Brian L. Keeley
Pitzer College
William H. Krieger
University of Rhode Island

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references