Tuesday, May 13, 2014

On “Realism”

That is to say:  Not directly concerning that deep philosophical subject (which lies, alas, beyond our reach), but dealing more with just the socionoëtic and lexicographic aspects of the thing.    Our principle essay-series on the matter  begins here:   Realism:  What;  and here:  The Realist Vernacular.   Here are the latest stray quotations  appended to that.

As a Platonist, he saw everything on earth as broken arcs, which merely suggested the perfect rounds above.
-- Louis Auchincloss, The Rector of Justin (1964), p. 92

Realists [with a capital R] are not the same thing as ‘realists’ in daily life, who are men who expect neither themselves nor others to be any better than they ought to be, and generally much worse.
-- Ernest Gellner, “The crisis in the humanities” (1964), collected in The Devil in Modern Philosophy (1974), p. 15

To mathematicians who study them, moduli schemes are just as real as the regular objects in the world.
-- David Mumford, Forward to Mircea Pitici, ed., The Best Writing on Mathematics 2012, p. xi

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