Our reliability is in principle explainable

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15 Scopus citations


Non-skeptical robust realists about normativity, mathematics, or any other domain of non-causal truths are committed to a correlation between their beliefs and non-causal, mind-independent facts. Hartry Field and others have argued that if realists cannot explain this striking correlation, that is a strong reason to reject their theory. Some consider this argument, known as the Benacerraf-Field argument, as the strongest challenge to robust realism about mathematics (Field 1989, 2001), normativity (Enoch 2011), and even logic (Schechter 2010). In this article I offer two closely related accounts for the type of explanation needed in order to address Field's challenge. I then argue that both accounts imply that the striking correlation to which robust realists are committed is explainable, thereby discharging Field's challenge. Finally, I respond to some objections and end with a few unresolved worries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-211
Number of pages15
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2016 Cambridge University Press.


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