Against idealism

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIdealism
Subtitle of host publicationNew Essays in Metaphysics
EditorsTyron Goldschmidt, Kenneth L. Pearce
Place of PublicationOxford UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780198746973
ISBN (Print)9780198746973
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Explanatory virtue
  • Idealism
  • Naturalism
  • Theoretical commitment
  • Theoretical virtue

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