More Real World essay example

627 words
The "subdiscipline known as philosophy of science has a long and respected history; many of the most eminent and influential philosophers these days are philosophers of science" (Dennett 188). The early philosophers started as the early thinkers of their time, coming up with ideas regardless of any conflicts with traditions. What does science have to do with philosophy? It is because of science that the early thinkers began to philosophize, such as the reality of objects. What is real and what isn't? The following will discuss the pluralistic aspect of science.

Unlike monism and dualism, pluralism is "the view that reality is composed of many different kinds of real things" (Palmer 113). Greek philosopher Aristotle, an early pluralist, believed that reality is composed of individual "substances" that have essence (146). After World War II, the philosophies of that similar to Viennese philosopher Ludwig Wiggenstein and Cambridge philosopher G.E. Moore supported Aristotle's view. They argued that reality is as it appears to be, which is called naive realism. Science comes into play here because things that exist in reality could be analyzed in terms of chemistry and physics (148). Pluralists accepted this, including common language philosopher Gilbert Ryle, but also maintained that such deductions can't be explained by merely physics and chemistry (149).

Moreover, the "world of common sense is the world where objects persist. To this we can add that it is the world in which science progresses apparently to knowledge of deeper and deeper levels of these persistent objects" (Ruse 186-187). Thus, it simply comes down to common sense when analyzing objects and whether they exist or not in scientific terms. Pluralism suggests there is not just one reason (monism) or two reasons (dualism) that can explain the reality of something.

Therefore, there are several reasons that make up the essence of a real object. Perhaps the ordinary language philosophers are correct. It is by common sense that a person deduces a conclusion about an item's reality. Depending on the individual, the world is what it appears to be.

Some seek for other truths that might explain why the world is what it is. Still, the world is the world, just as reality is reality. What you see is what you get. We tend to believe that there is a real, objective world. Furthermore, this belief is something we impose upon experience, rather than draw from it (Ruse 185). More importantly, because we are led to believe in that real world, we believe in a fuller knowledge of which science is supposedly progressing.

In addition, the aim of science is based on a fiction of human psychology, rather than on the true nature of an objectively existing universe (185). In the end, "the so-called world of science is not a more real world than the world of tables and chairs, any more than 'the poultry world' (the name of a magazine for chicken farmers) is a more real world than the everyday world" (Palmer 149). Thus, science looks for a more acceptable truth about the world and its reality. It would just seem that it would be the pluralists who got it right because everything has many components, and it depends on an individual's opinion whether something is real or not, regardless of what science may say. Some are in more denial than others. The world of science inspires philosophizing, but doesn't have all the answers.

The person next door is just as real as the person on the other side of the earth. How real they are depends, scientifically speaking or not.


Dennett, Daniel C. Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.
Palmer, Donald. Does the Center Hold? An Introduction to Western Philosophy. 3d ed. Boston: McGraw, 2002.
Ruse, Michael. Taking Darwin Seriously. Amherst: Prometheus, 1998.