Realism and nominalism are NOT two approaches to reality, but RATHER two aspects of conceptualization (as I tried to explain in my last post). Our problem to understand this fact is due to: first that we search for a single truth, and secondly that realism ends in paradoxical contradiction (ie, Russell’s paradox) whereas nominalism is consistently ambiguous in relation to the conceptualized (ie, reality), because this search blinds us from reaching the understanding that the ambiguity of nominalism actually is the same “thing” as the paradoxical contradiction of realism, that is, Russell’s paradox, only looked upon in its two orthogonal aspects. Russell’s paradox is actually an interface, that is, in practice a void, between a single truth of realism and a single truth of nominalism. The idea of a single truth simply lands in one of these two aspects of Russell’s paradox via logical reasoning, which of them depending on whether we start by assuming that concepts or single objects “are real”, ie, by deciding whether we view concepts or the single things they denominate as fundamental to the other.
It means that the closest we can come to consistent explanations of reality is by using the aspect of conceptualization we call “nominalism”, ie, assuming that the single objects “are real”, or rather deciding that the single objects are fundamental to the concepts that denominate them, because it is at least consistent. The aspect “realism” can only arrive to different paradoxical contradictions, like cladistics’ “tree of life” and particle physics’ “Higgs particle”. But, it also means that there are also always at least two different consistent explanations of one and the same reality, ie, no “single truth”, which today also has been formulated as “the axiom of choice“.
Although this relation between realism and nominalism hasn’t been revealed before I did it on this blog (to my knowledge), it is still surprising that particle physics could be awarded the Nobel Prize for an empirical verification of a paradox (ie, an impossibility), like “Higgs particle”. One does not have to understand this relation between realism and nominalism to be able to understand that the so-called “Higgs particle” is a paradox. This award can only be understood in the context of a battle between realism and nominalism, wherein realists try to escape realism’s ultimate rejection by asserting that its unavoidable end in paradoxical contradiction indeed is an empirical reality. However, if this indeed would be the case, then “particles” themselves would not be empirical realities, and realists would thus pull away the rug from under their own feet, that is, raze their own building.
In the long run, we (scientists) have to reject realism as an approach, because as such it is a dead end. Instead, we (scientists) have to reach understanding of the relation between realism and nominalism in order to use conceptualization consistently to understand reality scientifically. Scientific understanding of reality is not a battle between different faiths, but a consistent joint effort between people that acknowledges empirical facts. In this effort, we (scientists) have to acknowledge the axiom of choice (and higher mathematics) in order to keep science alive. If we do not, then science will disappear between all possible different faiths (like cladistics’ faith in “a single tree of life” and particle physics’ faith in “Higgs particle”). Science is an objective window in a world of faiths, thus always running the risk of being closed by faith.