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REALISM AND INSTRUMENTALISM IN PHILOSOPHICAL EXPLANATION

From: 2019-03-26 To:2019-03-26

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  • Thematic Line


    Modern & Contemporary Philosophy
  • Research Group


    Mind, Language & Action
  • MLAG RESEARCH SEMINAR 2018-2019

    REALISM AND INSTRUMENTALISM IN PHILOSOPHICAL EXPLANATION

    Ori Simchen* (University of British Columbia)

     

    26 de março 2019 (terça-feira)

    15h30 | Sala de Reuniões 2

    Entrada livre

     

    Abstract: There is a salient contrast in how theoretical representations are regarded. Some are regarded as revealing the nature of what they represent, as in familiar cases of theoretical identification in physical chemistry where water is represented as hydrogen hydroxide and gold is represented as the element with atomic number 79. Other theoretical representations are regarded as serving other explanatory aims without being taken individually to reveal the nature of what they represent, as in the representation of gold as the skin of the god Ra in contemporary Egyptology or the representation of the meaning of an English sentence as a function from possible worlds to truth values in truth-conditional semantics. Call the first attitude towards a theoretical representation *realist* and the second attitude *instrumentalist*. Philosophical explanation purports to reveal the nature of whatever falls within its purview, so it would appear that a realist attitude towards its representations is a natural default. I offer reasons for skepticism about such default realism that emerge from attending to several case studies of philosophical explanation -- numbers, de re modality, cognitive attitudes -- and identifying a common etiological thread that runs through them.

     

    *Webpage: https://philosophy.ubc.ca/persons/ori-simchen/

     

    Imagem: Victor Pasmore, Square Motif, Blue and Gold: The Eclipse (1950)

     

    Programa MLAG Research Seminars: https://ifilosofia.up.pt/activities/mlag-research-seminar-2018-2019 

     

    Organização:
    Research Group Mind Language and Action Group (MLAG)
    MLAG Seminars 2018-2019 (Sofia Miguens, Diana Couto, José Pedro Correia, João Silva)

    Instituto de Filosofia da Universidade do Porto - FIL/00502
    Financiamento: FCT

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