Objectivity Disfigured: Mark Johnston’s Missing-Explanation Argument

Mark Johnston has recently attacked various versions of subjectivism and anti-realism, using what he calls the “missing-explanation argument”. In this paper I shall outline the MEA, and show how Johnston takes it to demolish some anti-realist views, both historical and contemporary. In particular, I shall outline how the argument would apply to the view about the origin of piety espoused by Euthyphro in Plato’s dialogue of that name, to the judgement-dependent conception of intentional states recently sketched by Crispin Wright, to the “internal realism” that has been espoused by Hilary Putnam, and to the perceptual model of value that has been advocated by John McDowell. I shall then attempt to deflect the MEA by raising a set of nested dilemmas for the argument. The conclusion I hope to establish is that Johnston is still some distance from establishing the falsity of the versions of anti-realism that he considers.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0031-8205  
DOI ppr199555480
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 45,434
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Pragmatism, Truth and Response-Dependence.Andrew Howat - 2005 - Facta Philosophica 7 (2):231-253.
Prior's Analytic Revised.B. H. Slater - 2001 - Analysis 61 (1):86-90.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Mark Johnston’s Substitution Principle: A New Counterexample?Duncan Mcfarland - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (3):683-689.
Mark Johnston’s Substitution Principle.Duncan Mcfarland - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (3):683-689.
Pragmatism, Truth and Response-Dependence.Andrew Howat - 2005 - Facta Philosophica 7 (2):231-253.
Objectivity Refigured: Pragmatism Without Verificationism.Mark Johnston - 1993 - In John Haldane & Crispin Wright (eds.), Reality, Representation, and Projection. Oxford University Press. pp. 85--130.
Objective Mind and the Objectivity of Our Minds.Mark Johnston - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):233-268.
The Objectivity of Values: Invariance Without Explanation.Aaron James - 2006 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (4):581-605.
Explanation and the Cosmological Argument.Bruce Reichenbach - 2004 - In Michael Peterson & Raymond vanArragon (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion. pp. 97-114.
Assessing Robinson’s “Revised Causal Argument” for Sense-Data.David Davies - 2011 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):209-224.
Pantheism and Saving God.Andrei A. Buckareff - 2016 - Sophia 55 (3):347-355.


Added to PP index

Total views
43 ( #204,059 of 2,280,340 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #239,973 of 2,280,340 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature