Anti-realism

In analytic philosophy, anti-realism is a position which encompasses many varieties such as metaphysical, mathematical, semantic, scientific, moral and epistemic. The term was first articulated by British philosopher Michael Dummett in an argument against a form of realism Dummett saw as 'colorless reductionism'.[1]

In anti-realism, the truth of a statement rests on its demonstrability through internal logic mechanisms, such as the context principle or intuitionistic logic, in direct opposition to the realist notion that the truth of a statement rests on its correspondence to an external, independent reality.[2] In anti-realism, this external reality is hypothetical and is not assumed.[3][4]

Anti-realism in its most general sense can be understood as being in contrast to a generic realism, which holds that distinctive objects of a subject-matter exist and have properties independent of one's beliefs and conceptual schemes.[5] The ways in which anti-realism rejects these type of claims can vary dramatically. Because this encompasses statements containing abstract ideal objects (i.e. mathematical objects), anti-realism may apply to a wide range of philosophical topics, from material objects to the theoretical entities of science, mathematical statement, mental states, events and processes, the past and the future.[6]


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