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Title: Realism and anti-realism
Author: Pearson, Philip
ISNI:       0000 0001 3481 756X
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 1986
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Michael Dummett has proposed a means of characterising a range of traditional philosophical disputes. This method is intended to highlight the similarities which exist between these disputes and by this means to facilitate their solution. Within the characterisation each dispute is regarded as a conflict between proponents of different theories of meaning. This proposed characterisation, its validity and usefulness, form the main topic of consideration within this thesis. An exposition of the realist/anti-realist characterisation is presented which attempts to summarise the important features of Dummett's writings on this' topic. Subsequently attention is given over to a critical appraisal of this approach. The appraisal falls into two phases. The first of these is parochial in the sense that the topics discussed are internal to the framework of the characterisation. In the second phase the characterisation is viewed from further back and the relationship between it and its Wittgensteinian origins are examined. The first phase of the appraisal initially centres around issues which have arisen within the literature. One feature which emerges at this stage is that certain concepts which are central to the characterisation are in need of more precise specification. Further concerns regarding the specification are uncovered as the assessment extends beyond the published literature. In the second phase Wittgenstein's work on privacy is reviewed in some detail. It is concluded from this phase that some of the main disputes intended to be covered by the characterisation are in fact forestalled by Wittgenstein's work. Also it is suggested that the intended adoption of Wittgenstein's approach to meaning, within the characterisation, runs counter to Wittgenstein's intent. Overall it is concluded that the proposed characterisation is in need of better specification but that even if this is achieved, the approach to meaning which is being advocated is one which may not be sustainable.
Supervisor: Measor, N. D. N. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy ; Philosphy