Realism And Anti-Realism

University of Glasgow

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Realism And Anti-Realism

  • Host University

    University of Glasgow

  • Location

    Glasgow, Scotland

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • SCQF Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course acquaints students with some major and widely influential developments in recent work in the theory of meaning relevant to the issue of realism and anti-realism.

    By the end of the course, students should be able to:
    1. Explain the opposition between realist and anti-realist approaches as developed in the work of Michael Dummett and others.
    2. Set forth and critically assess the principal arguments directed against a realist conception of evidence-transcendent truth, including, centrally, the acquisition and manifestation arguments.
    3. Evaluate a range of realist attempts to answer these arguments.
    4. Discuss the implications for the theory of meaning of supplanting truth, as its central notion, by some epistemically constrained notion such as warranted assertibility.
    5. Explain and assess the central ideas and arguments in Hilary Putnam's attack on metaphysical realism and his advocacy of internal realism.
    6. Critically assess, in particular, Putnam's model-theoretic arguments against metaphysical realism.
    7. Expound and explain the radical interpretations, advanced by Saul Kripke and Crispin Wright, of the significance of Wittgenstein's remarks on rule-following.
    8. Set forth and assess the argument Kripke derives from Wittgenstein's discussions for the 'Sceptical Conclusion' that there are no facts about meaning (semantic irrealism).
    9. Assess Kripke's 'Sceptical Solution'.
    10. Explain and evaluate the claim that semantic irrealism is unstable because it leads to the conclusion that there are no facts of any kind at all.
    11. Discuss the apparent implications of Wright's interpretation of the rule-following considerations for the objectivity of the notions of meaning and truth, and in particular, his ensuing rejection of the notion of investigation-independent fact.

    An essay of 1500 to 2000 words (30%) and a two-hour examination (70%).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.