<philosophical terminology> belief that material objects exist independently of our perception of them. (Thus, opposed to idealism.) Realistic theories of perception include both representationalism, in which awareness of objects is mediated by our ideas of them, and direct realism, which presumes an immediate relation between observer and observed. Recommended Reading: Critical Realism: Essential Readings, ed. by Margaret Archer, Roy Bhaskar, Andrew Collier, and Tony Lawson (Routledge, 1999); David Kelley, The Evidence of the Senses: A Realist Theory of Perception (Louisiana State, 1988); Hilary Putnam, Realism With a Human Face (Harvard, 1992); Gustav Bergmann, Realism: A Critique of Brentano & Meinong (Wisconsin, 1967); and Simon Blackburn, Essays in Quasi-Realism (Oxford, 1995).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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