Idealistic Studies 17 (3):271-273 (1987)

In these elegant, accessible, and provocative lectures, Sir Peter Strawson considers the prospects for a unified approach to apparently diverse philosophical debates. In each debate one side is skeptical, in a broad sense of the term that includes denial as well as doubt, while the other holds a more liberal or commonsense position. The unified approach comes into play by asking, for each debate, whether we could actually occupy both sides. If one side promotes a position we could only feign to believe, because we are by nature incapable of really believing it, the position is to be rejected without refutation. If, on the other hand, we could maintain either side of the debate, they are both retained by means of a relativizing move which neutralizes their apparent incompatibility. Thus, the naturalistic approach Strawson here explores consists of endorsing exactly as much as we can really believe, ruling out what is beyond belief, however strong the arguments for it may appear, and ruling in both believable sides of a debate, though they may at first seem incompatible.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541
DOI idstudies198717344
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