Our Reliability is in Principle Explainable

Episteme 14 (2):197-211 (2017)
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Abstract

Non-skeptical robust realists about normativity, mathematics, or any other domain of non- causal truths are committed to a correlation between their beliefs and non- causal, mind-independent facts. Hartry Field and others have argued that if realists cannot explain this striking correlation, that is a strong reason to reject their theory. Some consider this argument, known as the Benacerraf–Field argument, as the strongest challenge to robust realism about mathematics, normativity, and even logic. In this article I offer two closely related accounts for the type of explanation needed in order to address Field's challenge. I then argue that both accounts imply that the striking correlation to which robust realists are committed is explainable, thereby discharging Field's challenge. Finally, I respond to some objections and end with a few unresolved worries.

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Dan Baras
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan

Citations of this work

Debunking arguments.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12):e12638.
Morality and Mathematics.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2020 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Calling for Explanation.Dan Baras - 2022 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Is there a reliability challenge for logic?Joshua Schechter - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):325-347.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Taking Morality Seriously: A Defense of Robust Realism.David Enoch - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Realism, Mathematics & Modality.Hartry H. Field - 1989 - New York, NY, USA: Blackwell.

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