Chasing Reality: Strife over realism

BUNGE, Mario, Chasing Reality: Strife over Realism, Toronto, 2014 [2006]

BUNGE, Mario, Chasing Reality: Strife over Realism,
Toronto: Toronto University Press, 2014 [2006], pp. xiv + 384
(Toronto Studies of Philosophy).
ISBN 13: 978-14-4262-822-9 (paperback).

About the book (from the publisher)
Chasing Reality deals with the controversies over the reality of the external world. Distinguished philosopher Mario Bunge offers an extended defence of realism, a critique of various forms of contemporary anti-realism, and a sketch of his own version of realism, namely hylorealism. Bunge examines the main varieties of antirealism – Berkeley’s, Hume’s, and Kant’s; positivism, phenomenology, and constructivism– and argues that all of these in fact hinder scientific research.
Bunge’s realist contention is that genuine explanations in the sciences appeal to causal laws and mechanisms that are not directly observable, rather than simply to empirical generalisations. Genuine science, in his view, is objective even when it deals with subjective phenomena such as feelings of fear. This work defends a realist view of universals, kinds, possibilities, and dispositions, while rejecting contemporary accounts of these that are couched in terms of modal logic and ‘possible worlds’.

BUNGE, Mario, A la caza de la realidad. La controversia sobre el realismo,
Barcelona: Gedisa editorial, 2007, pp. 456.
ISBN 13: 978-84-9784-123-8 (rústica).

Full description

Emergence and Convergence. Qualitative Novelty and the Unity of Knowledge

BUNGE, Mario, Emergence and Convergence. Qualitative Novelty and the Unity of Knowledge, Toronto University Press, 2014

Qualitative Novelty and the Unity of Knowledge, Toronto: Toronto University Press, 2014 [2003], pp. xiv + 330 (Toronto Studies of Philosophy). ISBN 13: 978-14-4262-821-2 (paperback).



BUNGE, Mario, Emergencia y convergencia. Novedad cualitativa y unidad del conocimieneto, Barcelona: Gedisa editorial, 2004, pp. 400. ISBN 13: 978-84-9784-019-4 (tapa blanda).


About the book (from the publisher)

Two problems continually arise in the sciences and humanities, according to Mario Bunge: parts and wholes and the origin of novelty. In Emergence and Convergence, he addresses these problems, as well as that of systems and their emergent properties, as exemplified by the synthesis of molecules, the creation of ideas, and social inventions.

Along the way, Bunge examines other topical problems, such as the search for the mechanisms underlying observable facts, the limitations of both individualism and holism, the reach of reduction, the abuses of Darwinism, the rational choice-hermeneutics feud, the modularity of the brain vs. the unity of the mind, the cluster of concepts around ‘maybe,’ the uselessness of many-worlds metaphysics and semantics, the hazards posed by Bayesianism, the nature of partial truth, the obstacles to improving medical diagnosis, and the formal conditions for the emergence of a cross-discipline.

Bunge is not interested in idle fantasies, but about many of the problems that occur in any discipline that studies reality or ways to control it. His work is about the merger of initially independent lines of inquiry, such as developmental evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, and socio-economics. Bunge proposes a clear definition of the concept of emergence to replace that of supervenience and clarifies the notions of system, real possibility, inverse problem, interdiscipline, and partial truth that occur in all fields.

Full description

Between Two Worlds

BUNGE, Mario,  Between Two Worlds, Springer Editions, 2016

Memoirs of a Philosopher-Scientist

Springer Editions

To go through the pages of the Autobiography of Mario Bunge is to accompany him through dozens of countries and examine the intellectual, political, philosophical and scientific spheres of the last hundred years. It is an experience that oscillates between two different worlds: the different and the similar, the professional and the personal.

It is an established fact that one of his great loves was, and still is, science. He has always been dedicated to scientific work, teaching, research, and training men and women in multiple disciplines.  Life lessons fall like ripe fruit from this book, bringing us closer to a concept, a philosophical idea, a scientific digression, which had since been uncovered in numerous notes, articles or books.

Bunge writes about the life experiences in this book with passion, naturalness and with a colloquial frankness, whether they be persecutions, banishment, imprisonment, successes, would-be losses, emotions, relationships, debates, impressions or opinions about people or things.

In his pages we pass by the people with whom he shared a fruitful century of achievements and incredible depths of thought. Everything is remembered with sincerity and humor.

This autobiography is, in truth, Bunge on Bunge, sharing everything that passes through the sieve of his memory, as he would say.

Mario’s many grandchildren are a testament to his proud standing as a family man, and at the age of 96 he gives us a book for everyone: for those who value the memories that hold the trauma of his life as well as for those who share his passion for science and culture. Also, perhaps, for some with whom he has had disagreements or coonntroversy, for he still deserves recognition for being a staunch defender of his convictions.”

Book Review by Michael R. Mattews :

Research Network on an Aging Society

How will the technological changes in our society influence the capacity of the elderly to function in the workplace and in the community and at home?

Retirees often have no role or status in America today and the coming demographic changes will require significant modifications in many of our core societal institutions, including retirement, the workplace, political parties, religious organizations, educational institutions, and the family itself.

The projected changes in the ethnic and racial composition of society that will be concomitant with the aging of society will likely have many significant, and to a large extent, unpredictable social, cultural, and political effects.

The City of Lifelong Learning

“This is something where I think all sectors really need to come together and play a role in creating a healthy learning ecosystem.”

The project aims to serve all of the city’s residents, with a focus on ensuring relevant and accessible learning for the most economically disadvantaged. The system will be part digital, part physical and, according to the Drucker Institute, “will take what is currently a highly fragmented set of learning resources, identify those that have proven to be most effective, integrate them more efficiently and make them accessible and inviting for the entire South Bend community, regardless of someone’s age, educational level, income or job status.”

The system’s digital portal will help South Bend citizens understand what skills are in demand in the area based on employer input; see where those skills are being taught (at local institutions or through curricula available on the platform); keep a record of what has been learned (possibly with credentialing or badging recognized by local businesses); further develop career skills (possibly for continuing professional education credits); and find volunteer opportunities to teach others (possibly in exchange for points that can be used to take courses themselves).