Common Sense: A Contemporary Defense by Noah Lemos

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By Noah Lemos

During this publication, Noah Lemos offers a powerful protection of the commonsense culture, the view that we could take as information for philosophical inquiry a number of the issues we normally imagine we all know. He discusses the most positive factors of that culture as expounded by means of Thomas Reid, G.E. Moore and Roderick Chisholm. for a very long time logic philosophers were topic to 2 major objections: that they fail to offer any non-circular argument for the reliability of reminiscence and belief; and they opt for situations of information with out realizing a criterion for wisdom. Lemos defends the entice what we ordiniarily imagine we all know in either epistemology and ethics and hence rejects the cost that good judgment is dogmatic, unphilosophical or question-begging. Written in a transparent and fascinating type, this booklet will attract scholars and philosophers in epistemology an ethics.

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Hume tells us “that we assent to our faculties, and employ our reason only because we 12 Thomas Reid, Inquiry and Essays, p. 4. , p. 85. xml CY402/Lemos 0521837847 May 4, 2004 1:10 cannot help it. ”15 Strawson agrees with Hume in this assessment of our basic “framework” beliefs – for example, beliefs in the existence of bodies, other people, and a determinate past. Such framework beliefs are “unavoidable natural convictions, commitments or prejudices, . . ”16 From the claim that these framework beliefs are ineradicable, Strawson draws the following moral for dealing with skeptical arguments, one he finds already in Hume: According to Hume the naturalist, skeptical arguments are not to be met with argument.

Suppose such reflection supports the view that reliable faculties are necessary for knowledge. But now consider the position of one who accepts (1) I know that I have perceptual knowledge, (2) I know that I have perceptual knowledge only if perception is reliable, and (3) I do not know whether perception is reliable. The common sense philosopher and most of those not skeptical about perception will accept (1). Philosophical reflection on the nature of knowledge might convince us that (2) is true.

Even if we do not take our philosophical views as more likely to be true, or see our common sense beliefs as ineradicable prejudice, could we not simply recognize the inconsistency, continue to hold our philosophical views, and hope that further reflection will remove the impasse? “But,” one might object, “even if we cannot give up various common sense beliefs, could we not accept certain philosophical views because accepting them brings us greater overall coherence? Even if some set of irresistible beliefs form a consistent set of beliefs, we might adopt a philosophical theory T because of the greater coherence it brings to our views.

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