Having done engaging fake realists who muddle the waters with their incomprehensible formulations and dubious responses to the very simple question, but also having realized that it’s nothing new in philosophical discussions (take this example of the recent discussion of “explanatory gap” on PhilPapers), I have picked up, on the indirect advice (via reference) of Jon Cogburn, Lee Braver’s book A Thing of This World: A History of Continental Anti-Realism and the first thing I see is the most concise and sensible description of realism (from Hilary Putnam) that I’ve seen in months, a definition, in fact, that I have been pushing for without really knowing it (if only to disprove it) or having it formulated in this way:
The world consists of some fixed totality of mind-independent objects. There is exactly one true and complete description of “the way the world is.” Truth involves some sort of correspondence relation between words or thought-signs and external things and sets of things. I shall call this perspective the externalist perspective, because its favorite point of view is a God’s Eye point of view. (Reason, Truth and History, 49)
I have to confess an almost complete ignorance of Putnam, but I think I might find his direct no-nonsence style refreshing. I mean at least in the above citation’s case I can see the position of realism clearly and distinctly.