Common Sense Propositions: A. C. Ewing

Philosophy 48 (186):363-379 (1973)
Abstract
Philosophers have not been sceptical only about metaphysics or religious beliefs. There are a great number of other beliefs generally held which they have had at least as much difficulty in justifying, and in the present article I ask questions as to the right philosophical attitude to these beliefs in cases where to our everyday thought they seem so obvious as to be a matter of the most ordinary common sense. A vast number of propositions go beyond what is merely empirical and cannot be seen to be logically necessary but are still believed by everybody in their daily life. Into this class fall propositions about physical things, other human minds and even propositions about one's own past experiences based on memory, for we are not now ‘observing’ our past. The phenomenalist does not escape the difficulty about physical things, for he reduces physical object propositions, in so far as true, not merely to propositions about his own actual experience but to propositions about the experiences of other human beings in general under certain conditions, and he cannot either observe or logically prove what the experiences of other people are or what even his own would be under conditions which have not yet been fulfilled. What is the philosopher to say about such propositions? Even Moore, who insisted so strongly that we knew them, admitted that we did not know how we knew them. The claim which a religious man makes to a justified belief that is neither a matter of purely empirical perception nor formally provable is indeed by no means peculiar to the religious. It is made de facto by everybody in his senses, whether or not he realizes that he is doing so. There is indeed a difference: while everyone believes in the existence of other human beings and in the possibility of making some probable predictions about the future from the past, not everybody holds religious beliefs, and although this does not necessarily invalidate the claim it obviously weakens it
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0031819100042303
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 32,688
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Moore's Arguments Against Epistemological Scepticism.Paul Salvatore Sita - 1982 - Dissertation, City University of New York
Faith, Probability and Infinite Passion.Robert C. Koons - 1993 - Faith and Philosophy 10 (2):145-160.
Recent Work on Propositions.Peter Hanks - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (3):469-486.
Wittgenstein on Nonsignificant Propositions.Puqun Li - 2001 - Dissertation, University of Ottawa (Canada)
On Cogito Propositions.William J. Rapaport - 1976 - Philosophical Studies 29 (1):63-68.
Meaning and Verifiability.W. H. F. Barnes - 1939 - Philosophy 14 (56):410 - 421.
On Fineness of Grain.Jeffrey C. King - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):763-781.
Scepticism, Common Sense and Practice.Min Huang - 2007 - Modern Philosophy 4:101-106.
Defending Common Sense: The Epistemology of G. E. Moore.Dianne Elise Romain - 1980 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
The Metalogic of Quantum Logic.Peter Mittelstaedt - 1978 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1978:249 - 256.
An Argument for Temporalism and Contingentism.Caleb Perl - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1387-1417.
Common Sense Propositions.A. C. Ewing - 1973 - Philosophy 48 (186):363 - 379.
Added to PP index
2015-02-04

Total downloads
10 ( #491,946 of 2,237,282 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #443,963 of 2,237,282 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature