Synopses & Reviews
Book jacket/back: Realism is a myth. It is an unnecessary and untenable myth which has overshadowed our grasp of the concepts of objectivity and truth. This book seeks to show why it is an untenable myth and how we can live with the recognition that it is unnecessary.
So deeply entrenched is the myth of realism that, until recently, one was hard pressed to characterize the position in any but a metaphorical manner. One would say that realism is the view that the world we take as the object of our cognitive enquiries is an objective world whose existence and constitution is 'independent' of our knowledge of it. Often one hears the point put that it is a world 'out there'! Although the debate about realism has been, and is, a philosophical debate about what I take to be a philosophical myth, it is a debate which reaches beyond strictly philosophical issues, for this myth is infected, and is responsible for, debates in other disciplines concerning the possibility of construing their activities at objective cognitive enquiries. The social sciences are an obvious example, but the myth goes deeper, reaching into widespread nihilism prompted by what is seen as the thwarting of scientific objectivity by what Camus called the "unreasonable silence of the world" ('The Myth of Sisyphus'). If the arguments in this book are correct many of these broader problems can be resolved and we will find that, far from being confronted by an unreasonable silence, we are bombarded with an excess of noise when we come to see our concepts of objectivity and truth aright..."
Realism is a myth. It is an unnecessary and untenable myth which has overshadowed our grasp of the concepts of objectivity and truth. This book seeks to show why it is an untenable myth and how we can live with the recognition that it is unnecessary.