Critiques of Axiological Realism and Surrealism

Acta Analytica 35 (1):61-74 (2020)
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Lyons’s (2003, 2018) axiological realism holds that science pursues true theories. I object that despite its name, it is a variant of scientific antirealism, and is susceptible to all the problems with scientific antirealism. Lyons (2003, 2018) also advances a variant of surrealism as an alternative to the realist explanation for success. I object that it does not give rise to understanding because it is an ad hoc explanans and because it gives a conditional explanation. Lyons might use axiological realism to account for the success of a theory. I object that some alternative axiological explanations are better than the axiological realist explanation, and that the axiological realist explanation is teleological. Finally, I argue that Putnam’s realist position is more elegant than Lyons’s.


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Seungbae Park
Ulsan National Institute Of Science And Technology