Deflationary Metaphysics

Sergio Sismondo
Department of Philosophy, Queen's University Kingston, Canada

Over the past few decades, philosophy of science has developed a family of scientific realisms based on a roughly deflationary picture of truth. These are global but weak versions of scientific realism, versions that recognize the place of conventions, goals, and contingencies in scientific representations, while maintaining that those representations are typically true in a clear and literal sense. In this paper, I argue that deflationary realisms are unstable. While their starting points are good ones, deflationary approaches should help us to understand the sciences in simultaneously realist, instrumentalist, and constructivist terms.