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Austere RealismContextual Semantics Meets Minimal Ontology$
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Terence E. Horgan and Matjaž Potrč

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262083768

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262083768.001.0001

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The Ascendance of the Austere: Further Arguments for Austere Realism

The Ascendance of the Austere: Further Arguments for Austere Realism

(p.91) 5 The Ascendance of the Austere: Further Arguments for Austere Realism
Austere Realism

Terry Horgan

Matjaž Potrč

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses and presents theoretical conditions that reinforce and further strengthen austere realism. A metaphysical-cum-semantic theory must meet certain desiderata before it can be considered plausible. It should also address internal tensions within naive philosophical thought. One desideratum is theoretical parsimony, which entails not multiplying posits beyond necessity. This is especially useful in the case of ontology, within which less is always better. Another desideratum is much more concerned with epistemology but is more general in scope. According to this desideratum, one's views on ontology and truth should not make it difficult to determine how human beings come to know the kinds of truth they take themselves to know. It is also argued here that the overall plausibility of arguments regarding truth and ontology is dependent on its comparative advantages over alternative arguments.

Keywords:   austere realism, metaphysical-cum-semantic theory, desiderata, naive philosophical thought, theoretical parsimony, ontology, epistemology, truth

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