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Robert Smithson
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
  1.  97
    Metaphysical and Conceptual Grounding.Robert Smithson - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-25.
    Recently, many philosophers have claimed that the world has an ordered, hierarchical structure, where entities at lower ontological levels are said to metaphysically ground entities at higher ontological levels. Other philosophers have recently claimed that our language has an ordered, hierarchical structure. Semantically primitive sentences are said to conceptually ground less primitive sentences. It’s often emphasized that metaphysical grounding is a relation between things out in the world, not a relation between our sentences. But conflating these relations is easy to (...)
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  2. Newman’s Objection and the No Miracles Argument.Robert Smithson - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (5):993-1014.
    Structural realists claim that we should endorse only what our scientific theories say about the structure of the unobservable world. But according to Newman’s Objection, the structural realist’s claims about unobservables are trivially true. In recent years, several theorists have offered responses to Newman’s Objection. But a common complaint is that these responses “give up the spirit” of the structural realist position. In this paper, I will argue that the simplest way to respond to Newman’s Objection is to return to (...)
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  3. A New Epistemic Argument for Idealism.Robert Smithson - 2018 - In Tyron Goldschmidt & Kenneth Pearce (eds.), Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 17-33.
    Many idealists have thought that realism raises epistemological problems. 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. Few contemporary theorists find this argument convincing; philosophers have offered a variety of responses to defend the epistemology of our object judgments under the assumption of realism. But in this paper, I offer a new type of epistemic (...)
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  4. The Principle of Indifference and Inductive Scepticism.Robert Smithson - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1):253-272.
    Many theorists have proposed that we can use the principle of indifference to defeat the inductive sceptic. But any such theorist must confront the objection that different ways of applying the principle of indifference lead to incompatible probability assignments. Huemer offers the explanatory priority proviso as a strategy for overcoming this objection. With this proposal, Huemer claims that we can defend induction in a way that is not question-begging against the sceptic. But in this article, I argue that the opposite (...)
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  5.  70
    An Idealist Critique of Naturalism.Robert Smithson - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1 (Online):1-23.
    According to many naturalists, our ordinary conception of the world is in tension with the scientific image: the conception of the world provided by the natural sciences. But in this paper, I present a critique of naturalism with precedents in the Kantian idealist tradition. I argue that, when we consider our actual linguistic behavior, there is no evidence that the truth of our ordinary judgments hinges on what the scientific image turns out to be like. I then argue that the (...)
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