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Philosophy after ObjectivityMaking Sense in Perspective$
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Paul K. Moser

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780195081091

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195081091.001.0001

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Ontology, Evidence, and Philosophical Questions

Ontology, Evidence, and Philosophical Questions

(p.19) 1 Ontology, Evidence, and Philosophical Questions
Philosophy after Objectivity

Paul K. Moser

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the philosophical significance of what is X? questions in the light of traditional philosophical essentialism. It examines two competing approaches to essences, realist, and conceptualist approaches, and an influential Aristotelian approach to the question: what is X? The chapter also argues in support of agnostics, with one proviso. It asks whether we have any non-question begging evidence for realism or for idealism, and it answers no. In contrast, the chapter raises doubts about any semantic shortcut to a rejection of realism. It finds no ground to conclude that realism or idealism is meaningless. When non-question begging evidence is at issue, agnosticism gives epistemically proper treatment to the evidence we have: evidence that decides in favor of neither realism nor idealism. This is the main lesson of this first chapter. The chapter recommends philosophy without presumed objectivity.

Keywords:   realism, conceptualism, conceptual taking, modes of existence, agnostic argument, agnosticism, aristotelian, intentional existents, cognitive processes

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