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Hacking and Rorty

Today's class inspired the following thoughts. First, I want to continue my analysis of Hacking's eight points by adding a preliminary analysis of point four, about reality. 

Hacking, like Rorty, is no realist. It is not that he is not a realist but that he just does not think that realism is important as an issue. Hacking mentions but does not detail what Austin says about the use of the word "real" and suggests that any sort of philosophical realism is "numbing."

Austin compares the word "real" with the word "cricket", and says that "words of this sort have been responsible for a great deal of perplexity". He then says,

Here is some of what Austin said about "real.":


"Consider the expressions 'cricket ball', 'cricket bat', 'cricket pavilion', 'cricket weather'. If someone did not know about cricket and were obsessed with the use of such 'normal' words as 'yellow', he might gaze at the ball, the bat, the building, the weather, trying to detect the 'common quality' which (he assumes) is attributed to these things by the prefix 'cricket'. But no such quality meets his eye; and so perhaps he concludes that 'cricket' must designate a non-natural quality, a quality not to be detected in any ordinary way but by intuition."


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