TPS Meeting – September 27, 2011

This week’s paper details…

Who: Chris Bobier

What: A Virtuous Defense of the Epistemic Status of our Belief in Modest Realism

When: From noon to 1pm

Where: Phil House

Why: Because TPS is awesome…

Abstract: What reasons do we have for believing there is a mind-independent reality? “Skeptics” argue that we have no non-question begging reasons for this belief. From this, some infer that our belief in a mind-independent reality is unjustified or unreasonable. In this essay, I present the most plausible version of this skepticism I can. I then reject it provided the resources of virtue epistemology. I argue the skeptical argument assumes an internalist view of justification and virtue epistemology rejects that. After addressing two objections, I go on to argue that virtue epistemology can provide non-question begging reasons for the reliability of the virtues. Thus, virtue epistemology severely blunts the force of this version of skepticism. I conclude by addressing remaining concerns regarding our inability to provide non-question begging reasons for our belief in modest realism.

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