Realism, Common Sense, and Science

Abstract: After a long period of unpopularity, philosophical realism is enjoying a revival. According to some of its contemporary versions, the world consists in just what the ordinary view of the world assumes, while the unobservable entities postulated by scientific theories are nothing more than fictions. Some other versions, in contrast, accept only the ontology of the best scientific theories and assume a reductionist or eliminationist stance towards the entities postulated by common sense. In this article it is argued that, because of their respective unilateralism, both these versions of realism are unsatisfying and that an acceptable new realism should adopt, in a liberal naturalist spirit, a realist attitude regarding both the common sense and the scientific views of the world.

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De Caro, M. (2015). Realism, common sense, and science. The Monist98(2), 197-214.