Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):325-359 (2010)

Authors
Thomas Kelly
Princeton University
Sarah McGrath
Princeton University
Abstract
Suppose that one is at least a minimal realist about a given domain, in that one thinks that that domain contains truths that are not in any interesting sense of our own making. Given such an understanding, what can be said for and against the method of reflective equilibrium as a procedure for investigating the domain? One fact that lends this question some interest is that many philosophers do combine commitments to minimal realism and a reflective equilibrium methodology. Here, for example, is David Lewis on philosophy: Our “intuitions” are simply opinions: our philosophical theories are the same. Some are commonsensical, some are sophisticated; some are particular; some general; some are more firmly held, some less. But they are all opinions, and a reasonable goal for a philosopher is to bring them into equilibrium. Our common task it to find out what equilibria there are that can withstand examination, but it remains for each of us to come to rest at one or another of them… Once the menu of well-worked out theories is before us, philosophy is a matter of opinion. Is that to say that there is no truth to be had? Or that the truth is of our own making, and different ones of us can make it differently? Not at all! If you say flatly that there is no god, and I say that there are countless gods but none of them are our worldmates, then it may be that neither of us is making any mistake of method. We may each be bringing our opinions to equilibrium in the most careful possible way, taking account of all the arguments, distinctions, and counterexamples. But one of us, at least, is making a mistake of fact. Which one is wrong depends on what there is (1983: x-xi). In addition to philosophy in general, the method of reflective equilibrium has also been endorsed as the appropriate procedure for investigating various other subject..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1520-8583.2010.00195.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,688
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.

View all 76 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Cognitive Mobile Homes.Daniel Greco - 2017 - Mind 126 (501):93-121.
Reflective Equilibrium.Yuri Cath - 2016 - In H. Cappelen, T. Gendler & J. Hawthorne (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press. pp. 213-230.
Ethics and Epistemic Hopelessness.James Fritz - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

View all 26 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Grounding Rights and a Method of Reflective Equilibrium.Kai Nielsen - 1982 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 25 (3):277 – 306.
Ethics and Intuitions: A Reply to Singer.Joakim Sandberg & Niklas Juth - 2011 - The Journal of Ethics 15 (3):209-226.
Is Reflective Equilibrium a Coherentist Model?Roger P. Ebertz - 1993 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 23 (2):193 - 214.
Reflective Quilibrium.Massimo Pigliucci - 2012 - Philosophy Now 88 (Jan/Feb):27-27.
Reflective Equilibrium and Methodology of Science.Elvio Baccarini - 1992 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (3):175 – 180.
Rational Consensus and Coherence Methods in Ethics.Elvio Baccarini - 1991 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 40 (1):151-159.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-10-14

Total views
367 ( #19,110 of 2,349,559 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
12 ( #52,542 of 2,349,559 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes