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Publication Details

Objects, Causation, and Scientific Realism

(Original title: Predmety, kauzalita a vedecký realizmus)
Filozofia, 65 (2010), 7, 643-651.
Type of work: Papers
Publication language: Slovak

There is a growing pessimism about objects based on the view that objects are mysterious unobservables. According to this line of thought objects can disturb our senses or measuring devices only indirectly, via properties or relations – only properties or relations are observables, not the objects per se. As a result, inaccessible objects open a gap between science and reality and scientific realism is lost. Defenders of objects may respond that the scope of this reasoning is rather limited, because its truth is restricted to very specific views of objects and scientific realism. The paper is concerned with three forms of scientific realism confronting them with three basic ontologies of objects. It appears, then, that seen from the perspective of scientific realism the least problematic picture of objects is given by the Spinozian conception of objects and their modes. However, even this conception faces some difficulties and it seems that the traditional metaphysics is not able to provide a scientifically unproblematic notion of object.


Object, Scientific realism, Causation, The substratum theory, J. Heil

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