The Idea of Incompleteness in the Internal Realism of Hilary Putnam

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The ambitious project of the second Systemics to define the structural dynamic of becoming reopens the great questions over the consistency of reality and the possibility of knowledge: if becoming is structural, what are the ontological borders beyond which the becoming would deny its own dynamic, and, ultimately the same idea of reality? Furthermore, from an epistemological point of view, how should we interpret the incompleteness of our models in order not to invalidate the possibility of knowledge itself? Among the recent proposals in the contemporary debate about realism, the “internal realism” of Hilary Putnam seems to offer an adequate theoretical model to provide a solution to the problems over the consistency of reality and the possibility of knowledge. In fact, Putnam’s internal realism affirms a plastic conception of reality by virtue of interdependency between the prospective of the observer and the prospective of the participant; it respects the freedom of becoming without degenerating into an ontological anarchy, and it allows for the possibility of knowledge without degenerating into a radical skepticism. This paper will delve into such matters by adopting Putnam’s semantic approach, which can be defined as “quasi-systemic” since not only it recognizes meaning as an emerging property and as irreducible to the natural and social “semantic indicators” that constitute it, but also because it does not forecast to determine a priori a hierarchy of the same. I shall argue that Putnam does not interpret such hierarchical incompleteness as indeterminacy of the reference, but as complementarity between the theory of meaning and the theory of understanding.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteSystemics of Incompleteness and Quasi-systems
Numero di pagine6
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019


  • Internal realism, Theory of meaning, Theory of understanding, semantic indicators, Translation


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