Event Title

Antirealism: A History

Presenter Information

Ben Diener, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 121

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-27-2019 5:00 PM

End Date

4-27-2019 6:20 PM

Abstract

Despite the apparent historical divide, in 20th-century philosophy, between primarily-Anglophone Analytic philosophy and Franco-German Continental philosophy, there are a number of striking affinities between the positions of the American Pragmatist tradition and many of the veins of European thought that tend to be grouped together as “postmodern” or “poststructuralist.” Indeed, it’s possible to construct out of those affinities a shared metaphilosophical framework which I here tentatively call “Antirealism.” If this possibility could be established as more than purely coincidental, it would speak to the mutual intelligibility and reciprocal relevance of those two disparate traditions. In my work, I try to show that Antirealism, as an orientation, can be subdivided into three related points, which respectively express the broad Epistemological, Metaphysical, and Ethical perspective of the Antirealist framework. These points, in turn, can themselves be found in the work of a series of (mostly 19th-century) philosophers who, taken together, constitute a shared genealogy for both modern Antirealist traditions. Through readings of Kant, Hegel, Emerson and Nietzsche (so paired because of the importance to my account of the oft-overlooked influence of the former on the latter), and Wittgenstein, I try to trace this genealogy.

Keywords:

Philosophy, History

Notes

Session VII, Panel 21 - Philosophical | Justice
Moderator: Todd Ganson, Professor of Philosophy

Major

Philosophy; English

Advisor(s)

Martin Thomson-Jones, Philosophy
DeSales Harrison, English

Project Mentor(s)

Todd Ganson, Philosophy

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Apr 27th, 5:00 PM Apr 27th, 6:20 PM

Antirealism: A History

King Building 121

Despite the apparent historical divide, in 20th-century philosophy, between primarily-Anglophone Analytic philosophy and Franco-German Continental philosophy, there are a number of striking affinities between the positions of the American Pragmatist tradition and many of the veins of European thought that tend to be grouped together as “postmodern” or “poststructuralist.” Indeed, it’s possible to construct out of those affinities a shared metaphilosophical framework which I here tentatively call “Antirealism.” If this possibility could be established as more than purely coincidental, it would speak to the mutual intelligibility and reciprocal relevance of those two disparate traditions. In my work, I try to show that Antirealism, as an orientation, can be subdivided into three related points, which respectively express the broad Epistemological, Metaphysical, and Ethical perspective of the Antirealist framework. These points, in turn, can themselves be found in the work of a series of (mostly 19th-century) philosophers who, taken together, constitute a shared genealogy for both modern Antirealist traditions. Through readings of Kant, Hegel, Emerson and Nietzsche (so paired because of the importance to my account of the oft-overlooked influence of the former on the latter), and Wittgenstein, I try to trace this genealogy.