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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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Against Idealism

Against Idealism

(p.50) 4 Against Idealism

Graham Oppy

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that naturalism is more theoretically virtuous than idealism. It begins by explaining how the author understands naturalism and idealism. It then explains the method used for determining that one philosophical position is superior to a second. The method has three main steps: (1) articulation of the competing positions to the same sufficient level of precision; (2) internal review for the consistency and coherence of the competing positions; and then—supposing that both positions survive (2)—(3) comparative review. Finally, it applies the method to the contest between naturalism and idealism. It claims that, on comparative review, it is seen that naturalism trumps idealism: it scores better on the count of minimizing commitments, and no worse on the count of maximizing explanatory breadth and depth.

Keywords:   naturalism, idealism, theoretical commitment, theoretical virtue, explanatory virtue

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