Sankey, Howard (2010) Science, Common Sense and Reality. UNSPECIFIED.
Does science provide knowledge of reality? In this paper, I offer a positive response to this question. I reject the anti-realist claim that we are unable to acquire knowledge of reality in favour of the realist view that science yields knowledge of the external world. But what world is that? Some argue that science leads to the overthrow of our commonsense view of the world. Common sense is “stone-age metaphysics” to be rejected as the false theory of our primitive ancestors. Against such eliminativists about common sense, I argue that science both preserves and explains commonsense experience of the world. Though science may lead to the overthrow of deeply held beliefs, common sense reflects a more basic and durable level of experience. Commonsense beliefs are well-confirmed beliefs which are vindicated by their role in successful practical action each and every day. Common sense provides a firm basis on which to establish the realist approach to science.
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