[lit-ideas] Re: What Makes Realism Metaphysical

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2015 08:48:37 +0000 (UTC)

>And then I suppose he would also hold that there are other metaphysical  
-isms that CAN be falsified? (Metaphysical Idealism, say) -- or IS indeed  
falsified.
 
I would not think so, since that may lead to an inconsistency.
 
For we may be having Popper defending a preference for some metaphysical 
-ism, which, unlike metaphysical realism, IS 'falsifiable'?>
What is falsifiable by observation falls within science, so - using this 
criterion - metaphysical claims are never falsifiable by observation. However, 
P does canvas an argument that idealism is closer to being falsified than 
realism, and could be treated as falsified by certain facts of experience, but 
idealists can always explain such facts away as part of the idealist's dream - 
so rendering idealism unfalsified and unfalsifiable. It is, in part, this kind 
of evasive manoeuvre that makes idealism a weaker metaphysical framework than 
realism. 
The abiding sources of idealism are not pure metaphysical speculation but 
entrenched theories of knowledge. Berkeley may be taken to have shown how 
empiricism of Locke's sort leads to a form idealism, and Hume can be 
interpreted as showing something similar. This kind of empiricism P regards as 
a mistaken theory of knowledge and P is clear that on no merely subjective 
account of knowledge can an objective account be built, and that a merely 
subjective account [a la JTB-theory] is vulnerable to collapse into a form of 
idealism. 

Kant is perhaps a different case - here there is an issue that deserves deep 
consideration: to compare realism of P's sort against "transcendental idealism" 
of Kant's sort. For P's kind of realism accepts much of what leads Kant to his 
"transcendental idealism", and we can even view "transcendental idealism" as a 
form of realism akin to P's.

Elsewhere P writes (iirc): "From the non-demonstrability of [metaphysical] 
realism follows the irrefutability of [metaphysical] idealism; and vice versa. 
But there is an all-important difference between them: metaphysical idealism is 
false and metaphysical realism is true."


DnlLdn
 

     On Friday, 20 February 2015, 23:16, "dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" 
<dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
   

 In a message dated 2/20/2015 2:02:16 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  d
onalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes in 'Re: criteria': "A fortiori, assertions like 
 
"There exist natural laws" or even "There exists at least one natural law" -  
which are not even falsifiable - remain forever and entirely metaphysical. 
Yet  Popper asserts that "There exist natural laws" is true, and its truth can 
be  argued for. He defends this assertion as part of what he calls 
"metaphysical  realism". 
 
And then I suppose he would also hold that there are other metaphysical  
-isms that CAN be falsified? (Metaphysical Idealism, say) -- or IS indeed  
falsified.
 
I would not think so, since that may lead to an inconsistency.
 
For we may be having Popper defending a preference for some  metaphysical 
-ism, which, unlike metaphysical realism, IS 'falsifiable'?
 
Cheers,
 
Speranza
 
 
 
 
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