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IdealismNew Essays in Metaphysics$
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Tyron Goldschmidt and Kenneth L. Pearce

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746973

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198746973.001.0001

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A New Epistemic Argument for Idealism

A New Epistemic Argument for Idealism

(p.17) 2 A New Epistemic Argument for Idealism

Robert Smithson

Oxford University Press

Many idealists have challenged realism on epistemic grounds. The worry is that, if it is possible for truths about ordinary objects to outstrip our experiences in the ways that realists typically suppose, we could never be justified in our beliefs about objects. In response, philosophers have offered a variety of proposals to defend the epistemology of our object judgments under the assumption of realism. This chapter offers a new type of epistemic argument against realism to which these standard responses do not apply. In addition to raising a challenge for realism, the epistemology of object judgments has implications for how the idealist should develop her own positive metaphysical view. The second half of the chapter discusses how the idealist should understand the dependence between objects and our experiences if she is to secure epistemic advantages over the realist.

Keywords:   idealism, epistemology, skepticism, epistemic argument, ordinary objects

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