Philosophy Word of the Day — Critical Realism

“Critical realism affirms that objects exist independently of our thoughts about them (realism) and asserts that human knowledge of reality is a progressive dialogue between knower and known (critical).  Critical realists argue that in human perception some qualities or properties accurately represent external objects while some sensory data do not accurately represent reality.  Thus critical realists locate their position between direct realism, which takes the immediate objects of perception to be external objects, and antirealism, which denies that the human mind can know anything external to itself.

In philosophy of science, critical realism upholds the real existence of the entities and processes that are investigated and endorses scientific method as a form of rationality that is appropriate for confirming theories (and thus generating knowledge) about a real world that exists independently of the human mind.” [. . . ]

— Michael L. Peterson in A Science and Religion Primer, 73.



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