Restoring Common Sense: Restorationism and Common Sense Epistemology

In J. Caleb Clanton (ed.), Restoration & Philosophy. University of Tennessee Press. pp. 35-78 (2019)
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Alexander Campbell once declared “a solemn league and covenant” between philosophy and common sense. Campbell’s pronouncement is representative of a broader trend in the Restorationist movement to look favorably on the common sense response to skepticism—a response originating in the work of Scottish philosopher and former minister Thomas Reid. I recount the tumultuous history between philosophy and common sense followed by the efforts of Campbell and Reid to reunite them. Turning to the present, I argue that an epistemic principle known as phenomenal conservatism best embodies the core insights contained within Reid and Campbell's common sense response to skepticism. I finish by arguing for phenomenal conservatism.



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Blake McAllister
Hillsdale College

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Compassionate phenomenal conservatism.Michael Huemer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30–55.
Justification and truth.Stewart Cohen - 1984 - Philosophical Studies 46 (3):279--95.
Peer Disagreement and Higher Order Evidence.Thomas Kelly - 2010 - In Richard Feldman & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Disagreement. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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