Commonsensism in Ethics and Epistemology

Noah Lemos

in Knowledge, Truth, and Duty

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780195128925
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833764 | DOI:
Commonsensism in Ethics and Epistemology

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Addresses the question of how we can derive criteria of knowledge and justification. Identifies a range of propositions – commonsense propositions – which include epistemic propositions such as “I know that I have hands”, and suggests that they are suitable starting points for deriving the criteria we seek. To the objection that we cannot rely on such propositions without first showing how we know them, replies that this objection rests on an unacceptable theory of justification. In addition, explains how a commonsense philosopher would proceed in ethics, and discusses important arguments by Brandt, Hare, and Alston. Towards the end of the paper, examines the circularity problem that arises when we attempt to argue for the reliability of our faculties.

Keywords: common sense; criteria; epistemology; ethics; knowledge; reliability

Chapter.  8255 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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