The relationship of science to reality is something that philosophers of science have argued about for centuries, and there's certainly no consensus that science is investigating "reality". In practise it is largely irrelevant, since what scientists actually do is stuff like making measurements and building computer models. Just observing and analysing phenomena. Of course it's an interesting question, and I'm co-supervising (with a philosopher) a student working on some aspects of this question, but it's rather peripheral to how science actually works.retrofuturist wrote: I think you are slowly coming to understand the position that I have been putting forward in the recent week (especially in light of the turtle comment and the acknowledge of science as realist)... what you are yet to see is why I consider it to be an important distinction.
Similarly, as you know, I don't find the labelling of particular Buddhist commentators as "realist" or "ontological" as having any particular relevance to practise. Perhaps someone will be able to provide and example sometime, but after many long threads I've yet to see any explanation of what difference it would make to, for example, the practice instructions of modern meditation teachers.
As with science, I think that it is a totally open question whether the Abhidhamma, etc have to be interpreted in a realistic way. To me it's just a description of phenomena. Of course, it's an interesting scholastic question, so there's no reason not to think about and discuss it, but I certainly don't take the word of any particular scholar as definitive. Some argue one way, some another. Some members are fond of bringing up quotes arguing that the Abhidhamma and Commentaries are necessarily realistic.
Tilt's collection of quotes here: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 99#p111695" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; provide examples of schoars arguing against a realistic interpretation. As is usual in such scholarly discourse, agreement is unlikely.
So, go ahead and label if you think its' useful to you. But don't expect others to necessarily to take those labels seriously as a way of dismissing the usefulness of the instructions or writings of any particular teacher or scholar.