chapter  5
20 Pages

Retrospect and Prospects

ByAndrew Joseph Cortens

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts covered in the preceding chapters of this book. The book presents a way of understanding the realist/anti-realist contrast at the local level. It explores the philosophical terrain in search of positions that are naturally classified as forms of global object anti-realism, at least when viewed from certain external points of view. The book examines Quine's twin doctrines of the Indeterminacy of Reference and Ontological Relativity. It looks at some Davidsonian variations on Quine's thesis that reference is indeterminate. The book provides several arguments which purport to show that such positions are somehow self-defeating. Contemporary philosophers show signs of becoming weary of disputes over realism and anti-realism. Pluralism might seem like a fairly harmless expression of the truism that different languages can be used to describe the same world.