From the Editorial Introduction: This first issue of Reality—The Philosophy of Realism—like most publications and especially those of a collaborative effort, signifies innumerable hours of effort. The goal of our journal is simple: to reinvigorate an intelligent discussion about realism as a philosophical approach. By a realist approach, we mean not simply as pertains to… Read More [Issue] The Philosophy of Realism
ABSTRACT: The world today has a “meaning” problem. That is: while the attainment of “meaning” poses a perennial difficulty common to every human life in every human age, our lives in this age have a problem with attaining meaning—indeed, a twofold problem. First, the problem being that we do not know, precisely, to what the term “meaning” refers; and second, the problem being that even if we recognize one aspect or more of the term’s referent, we do not understand how it can be resolved into a coherent whole, for we lack the requisite principles. Among the obstacles preventing both the attainment of the meaning of “meaning” and its coherent resolution are myriad misunderstandings of what it means to say that we “know reality”; misunderstandings which not only fall short but miss the mark entirely. More must be done in order to explain both how realism is possible and just what falls into the reality which realism is said to make known. At the heart of the struggle for realism is the question of to what extent and in what regard the cognitive means of knowing are the same as the object known. This question is especially central to the Thomistic tradition, for Thomas often refers to the species intelligibilis as a similitudo of the object known. Various misinterpretations and muddy explanations of this reference have hindered an understanding of how the human intellect knows its object. To resolve this Thomistic problem and the problems of meaning, we propose a semiotic realism, a realism that structures its doctrines in accord with the nature of signs and that accordingly understands the species intelligibilis as fragmentary, incomplete, and in need of continual deliberate interpretational refinement in order that we attain a better grasp on the truth of the real.… Read More [article] Signs and Reality
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