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Thread: Realism: Basic, Objectivism, and Experimentalism

  1. #1 Realism: Basic, Objectivism, and Experimentalism 
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    Feb 2007
    Realism: Basic, Objectivism, and Experimentalism

    Basic realism entails at least the following characteristics:
    • A commitment to the existence of a real world external to human existence
    • A link of some kind between human conceptual systems and aspects of reality
    • A conception of truth that has some grounding in external reality
    • The possibility of stable knowledge of the external world
    • The rejection of the idea that any conceptual system is as good as any other

    Objectivism and experimentalism are two different versions of basic realism.

    The objectivist paradigm features metaphysics and epistemology that is independent of human cognition, language, and knowledge. Objectivism holds that reality can be modeled as entities, their properties, and interrelationships. Page 159 women fire Lakoff

    Basic realism only assumes that there is a mind independent reality out there somewhere. The reality that Kant calls the ‘thing-in-itself’ is assumed to exist. This is a fundamental axiom of basic realism philosophy.

    “Objectivist metaphysics is much more specific. It additionally assumes that reality is correctly and completely structured in a way that can be modeled…in terms of entities, properties, and relations…this structure exists, independent of any human understanding.”

    Objectivists further assume that thought is merely the manipulation of abstract symbols. The assumption is that the brain functions much like the computer. The computer manipulates symbols in a specific manner and the meaning of the symbols is determined by the user.

    Objectivists assume that words and mental representations, i.e. symbols, obtain their meaning from a correspondence with entities and categories in the world.

    Objectivism holds the view that there are entities in the world that naturally fall into categories. It is also held that there exist logical relationships between categories that are purely objective, i.e. that have no subjective component, i.e. that are completely independent of any minds, human or otherwise (with the exception of God of course).

    Experimentalism is a name given by Lakoff and Johnson to SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science) in their book “Philosophy in the Flesh”. Contrary to objectivist view that the body has nothing important to do with human thought or categorization SGCS characterizes meaning in terms of embodiment.

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