Abstract

Historically, the problem of realism has often been viewed as an extension of the problem of the external world. At the same time, the assumption has often been made that realism is appropriate to some domains, while antirealism is appropriate to others. I here sketch a neutral realism that rejects both of these assumptions and thereby allows us to treat the realism debate independently of the debate over naturalism. The starting point of neutral realism is indeed neutral with respect to any metaphysical commitment to the existence of some single totality of objects or facts, or to any unified all-encompassing domain that might be identified with nature. The resulting view is shown to open up new prospects for the treatment of the actuality of ethical or aesthetic values as well as for the question of the metaphysical relationship between concrete and abstract entities.

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