Original Research

Realisme en representasie in wetenskap en literatuur

M. E. Botha
Literator | Vol 11, No 3 | a812 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v11i3.812 | © 1990 M. E. Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 1990 | Published: 06 May 1990

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M. E. Botha, Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir CHO, South Africa

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Although there are important areas of overlap, the problem of realism differs in the contexts of philosophy, science and literature. What is common to all three realms is the fact that the empiricist notion of objectivity is not tenable any more. The recognition of the theory ladenness of scientific observation and the commentary ladenness of interpretation in literature is in fundamental contrast with the older views of objectivity which have dominated the scene for such a long time. The notion of realism inherent in this older view of objectivity in which science, philosophy or literature somehow “mirrors” the world, has fundamentally been affected by the overthrow of the objectivist tradition through developments in philosophy of science and developments in metaphor theory in which the emphasis on “literal” descriptions of reality have made way for the recognition of the relative distinction between the literal and the metaphorical. Both science and literature have acknowledged the possibility of a potential plurality of possible interpretations of “reality”. This means that as many “realities” exist as interpretations of reality and of texts are possible. This has confronted both science and literature with the need for a fundamentally revised notion of “realism” and of truth and has posed the very real problem of the (im-)possibility of convergence toward truth, reality or the one and only “correct” interpretation.


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