Univ.-Ass. Federica MALFATTI, PhD cand.

Department of Christian Philosophy
Karl-Rahner-Platz 1 (room 150)
A-6020 Innsbruck

Tel.: +43 512 507-8529
Fax: +43 512 507-2736
E-mail: federica.malfatti@uibk.ac.at

Areas of specialization

General Epistemology, Social Epistemology, General Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Religion.

Neues Buch: Willard Van Orman Quine e l’incertezza ontologica (Mimesis/Amazon)

C’è una tensione all’interno del sistema di Quine: il suo realismo ci porta a credere che la realtà debba essere così come le nostre migliori teorie dicono che sia, ma i suoi assunti semantici – cioè la sua maniera di concepire le dinamiche del significare e del riferirsi ad oggetti – ci gettano in uno stato di incertezza radicale attorno a ciò che vale come oggetto delle nostre teorie. Questo libro si propone di allentare tale tensione, scandagliando il dominio di questa incertezza e mettendone in luce i confini, con il fine di mostrare come la forma di realismo più consona a Quine sia un realismo che guardi non ad oggetti singolarmente denotati da termini, ma alla maniera in cui gli oggetti sono interrelati, alle strutture che in sistemi di oggetti sono realizzate. 

There is a tension in Quine’s system. On the one hand, he claims to be a scientific realist, i.e. to believe that our best scientific theories provide us with (approximately) accurate, or true descriptions of an independent reality. On the other hand, he claims that the reference of our terms is “inscrutable”, i.e. that no empirical evidence will ever be enough in order to univocally determine what our terms refer to. The conjunction of these two claims generates a problem: take T to be the best scientific theory we have. Suppose we have very good reasons to hold T to be (at least approximately) true – maybe in light of its stunning empirical success. If the “inscrutability thesis” is correct, or along the right lines, we won’t ever be able to tell (i) what T’s terms refer to, (ii) how the world, according to T, looks like, and (iii) what T is supposed to be true about. The aim of this book is to suggest a tentative solution to this problem, by showing that the best way to understand Quine’s realism is as a view committing ourselves to the existence of structures, and not to the existence of objects as real counterparts of (theoretical) terms.

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