Sample Philosophy Questions on Realism

(Q1) Realism is the view that the non-observable events or objects exists in reality while anti realism is the view that the truth of existence rests on the ability to demonstrate.  The former believes that the truth in statement is proven by its correlation to objective reality while the latter believes that the truth of statement lies in our ability to prove it. Realism philosophers such as Plato believed that the mental ideals that exist in our mind are a reality and connected to events that we have experienced or are yet to experience. Anti realism philosophers such as Dummett believe that argue envisioned in our mind are simply fiction and they don’t exist.  Both agree on the existence of the mind but anti realists believe that humans lack access to a mind independent truth. On the other hard realists believes that we control our mind’s independent truth. Realists such as Plato created their own ‘perfect’ fictional world in addressing issue while anti realist made connection to the real world that we live in.  Realism philosophers believe that one can make dependable claims concerning unobservable as observables while anti realism philosophers believe that claims about unobservable are derived from the observables.

(Q2) truth conditional theories of meaning argue that the meaning is connected to truth conditions, the understanding of the speaker determines whether the statement is true. Meaning is an object of knowledge; one can tell the meaning if they understand the language. The meaning of a sentence is derived from the meaning of parts of the sentence. A sentence can have the same words but when the parts are rearranged the meaning is distorted. If truth conditions in a statement are accurate then that is similar to giving the meaning of the statement. The theory also argues that theory of meaning can exist without meanings as long as the truth conditions are understood. On the other hand epistemic theory of meaning argues that meaning is determined by the process of verification of the truth, the notion of truth lies in our ability to determine if statements are true. Epistemic philosophers such as Dummet argue that past statements are made true by present facts not past facts. The truth talk lies on ability to express the truth not ability to explain the truth. Meaning cannot be derived only from the truth as words have different translations and meaning might change.

(Q3) Dummet’s manifestation argument is his argument against realism ideas. He argues that knowledge is a matter of the sense which has to be shown; knowledge without proper demonstration is senseless. The knowledge of the truth should be manifested in our use of the truth example the knowledge of a world should be manifested in our ability to use it in a statement. However he contradicts this by arguing that the knowledge of verification transcendent truth conditions cannot be manifested in use. If the presumed truth is real then two speakers should have the same opinion on the same subject.  He argues that if a skill is never exercised there can be no evidence if the skill exists. A skill has to be demonstrated for it to be really existent. For Dummet, to understand an expression is not simply knowing that it exist but to be able to apply it. It is impossible for one to know the use of an item by simply recognizing it; one cannot assume a stick they have never seen is straight. The knowledge of verification transcendent truth conditions cannot be manifested in use.