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Ernst Mach and Pragmatic Realism

Ernst Mach and Pragmatic Realism

Pietro Gori, “Ernst Mach and Pragmatic Realism,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 74, no. 1 (2018): 151–72, DOI 10.17990/RPF/2018_74_1_0151

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Ernst Mach and Pragmatic Realism

Type Journal Article
Author Pietro Gori
Rights © 2018 Aletheia - Associação Científica e Cultural | © 2018 Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
Volume 74
Issue 1
Pages 151-172
Publication Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
ISSN 0870-5283
Date 2018
DOI 10.17990/RPF/2018_74_1_0151
Language English
Abstract The paper addresses the issue of scientific realism in Mach, and his pragmatist approach to epistemology. Firstly, Eric Banks’s interpretation of Mach as a direct realist about particulars (elements) will be explored and discussed. Secondly, Sami Pihlström’s pragmatic realism will be considered, and it will be suggested that this view can be more viably attributed to Mach. Finally, in the light of Mach’s 1910 paper on Sensory Elements and Scientific Concepts, it will be argued that Mach’s agnosticism was probably stronger than any moderate form of realism he could have been committed to, and that he was a radical pragmatist in refusing to be concerned with any kind of metaphysical issue.
Date Added 26/04/2018, 14:53:48
Modified 26/04/2018, 15:48:56


  • epistemology,
  • Ernst Mach,
  • pragmatic realism,
  • scientific realism


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