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Realism for Realistic People
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  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: October 2022
  • Print publication year: 2022
  • Online ISBN: 9781108635738
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Book description

In this innovative book, Hasok Chang constructs a philosophy of science for 'realistic people' interested in understanding and promoting the actual practices of inquiry in science and other knowledge-focused areas of life. Inspired by pragmatist philosophy, he reconceives the very notions of reality and truth on the basis of his concept of the 'operational coherence' of epistemic activities, and offers new pragmatist conceptions of truth and reality as operational ideals achievable in actual scientific practice. Rejecting the version of scientific realism that is concerned with claiming that our theories correspond to an ultimate reality, he proposes instead an 'activist realism': a commitment to do all that we can actually do to improve our knowledge of realities. His book will appeal to scholars and students in philosophy, science and the history of science, and all who are concerned about the place of science and empirical truth in society.


‘In this bold and wide-ranging new book, Hasok Chang provides a cornucopia of new ideas that challenge deeply-entrenched ways of thinking about scientific practice. He shows how insights of views that are often taken to be at odds with one another can be fruitfully combined in his own distinctive version of pragmatism. A tour de force.'

Philip Kitcher - Emeritus, Columbia University

‘It is a challenging task for philosophy of science to understand science in its subtlety and complexity. In this book, Hasok Chang achieves even more than that. His endeavour to make knowledge active is an inspiring contribution to reworking and improving the epistemic framework of science.'

Martin Carrier - Bielefield University


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