A Return to Common Sense: Restorationism and Common Sense Epistemology

In J. Caleb Clanton (ed.), Restoration & Philosophy. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press. pp. 35-78 (2019)

Blake McAllister
Hillsdale College
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.
Keywords Skepticism  Common sense response to skepticism  Thomas Reid  Alexander Campbell  Restorationism  Phenomenal Conservatism  Seemings  Moorean response to skepticism  Dogmatism  Common sense
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