Is there a world out there, independently of the way we experience it, think of it or talk about it? If so, can we know what it is like? These questions have been a central concern of philosophy throughout most of its history, and they continue to be the subject of an intense debate between realists and antirealists. In this clearly written and comprehensive book, Søren Harnow Klausen presents an argument for realism about the external world, but also attempts to take the antirealist challenge seriously: a sensible realist must acknowledge the force of the sceptical objections and avoid overstating her own case. The book covers a wide range of themes, from the historical origins of antirealism and the views of Berkeley, Kant, Husserl and the logical positivists to the most recent developments in epistemology and relevant empirical research in psychology, anthropology and linguistics.
“The author presents in an extremely competent way the whole panorama of the topic, from the ancient Greeks via British Empiricism and German Idealism, phenomenology and hermeneutics to the analytic discussions of the present … The clarity of the presentation and the author’s encyclopaedic knowledge cannot fail to impress. There is no comparable survey of the current situation in the realism debates”.
University of Saarbrücken
“An important, substantial and unique contribution to the debate about realism”.
University of Copenhagen
“The book is very well written, very easily comprehensible, without the technical over- This book is the fruit of truly excellent scholarship and an exemplary command of the literature. The author presents technical arguments in a way which is readily comprehensible even to the non-specialist reader. It is indispensable reading for anyone, philosopher or scientist, who is interested in the realism debate”.
University of Portsmouth