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Realism, Mind and Evolution

Realism, Mind and Evolution,” Philosophical Investigations, 35, 2013.

Perceptual experience is perspectival, and human minds occupy a variety of “viewpoints.” These considerations provide grounds for both realist and anti‐realist philosophies. Each is represented in adjacent areas of thought, and often connects with familiar debates between “conservatives” and “liberals,” which in turn are commonly related to disputes about religious and naturalistic accounts of the world and of the place of human beings within it. These have been joined from an orthogonal direction by Thomas Nagel in his recent book Mind and Cosmos. This is considered and contrasted with the ideas of Thomas Aquinas before returning to the possibility of reconciling perspectivalism with an account of what it could mean to speak of the world as it is in itself.

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