Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 34, number 102, diciembre 2002
Reasoning about Non-Actual Possibilities. Problems with the Douven-Putnam Model-Theoretic Argument against Metaphysical Realism
[Razonar sobre posibilidades contrafácticas. Los problemas del argumento teórico-modelista de Douven-Putnam contra el realismo metafísico]
Manuel Pérez Otero
Departamento de Lógica, Historia y Filosofía de la Ciencia
Universidad de Barcelona

Abstract: Igor Douven has offered an original reconstruction and defence of Putnam's model-theoretic argument against metaphysical realism. Douven's construal has notable exegetical virtues, since it makes sense of some assumptions in Putnam's argument which his opponents have considered question-begging or puzzling. In this article I provide an indirect defence of metaphysical realism, by showing why this new version of the anti-realist argument should also be rejected. The main problems in the Douven-Putnam argument come from ascribing to the realist a distorted view of correspondence truth. The view entails that when no feature selects just one of all the possible interpretations of language (the relations of reference between the terms and the world) the existence of an interpretation suffices to make true a (consistent) theory. The sensible realist is not committed to this extreme conception of correspondence truth.
Keywords: truth, correspondence, semantic naturalism, reference

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