Scientific Challenges to Common Sense Philosophy  book cover
1st Edition

Scientific Challenges to Common Sense Philosophy

ISBN 9780367532673
Published August 1, 2022 by Routledge
238 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $48.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Common sense philosophy holds that widely and deeply held beliefs are justified in the absence of defeaters. While this tradition has always had its philosophical detractors who have defended various forms of skepticism or have sought to develop rival epistemological views, recent advances in several scientific disciplines claim to have debunked the reliability of the faculties that produce our common sense beliefs. At the same time, however, it seems reasonable that we cannot do without common sense beliefs entirely. Arguably, science and the scientific method are built on, and continue to depend on, common sense.

This collection of essays debates the tenability of common sense in the face of recent challenges from the empirical sciences. It explores to what extent scientific considerations—rather than philosophical considerations—put pressure on common sense philosophy. The book is structured in a way that promotes dialogue between philosophers and scientists. Noah Lemos, one of the most influential contemporary advocates of the common sense tradition, begins with an overview of the nature and scope of common sense beliefs, and examines philosophical objections to common sense and its relationship to scientific beliefs. Then, the volume features essays by scientists and philosophers of science who discuss various proposed conflicts between commonsensical and scientific beliefs: the reality of space and time, about the nature of human beings, about free will and identity, about rationality, about morality, and about religious belief. Notable philosophers who embrace the common sense tradition respond to these essays to explore the connection between common sense philosophy and contemporary debates in evolutionary biology, neuroscience, physics, and psychology.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Paradox of Science and Common Sense

Rik Peels, Jeroen de Ridder, and René van Woudenberg

2. Common Sense, Philosophy, and Science

Noah Lemos

3. How the Many Worlds Interpretation Brings Common Sense to Paradoxical Quantum Experiments

Kelvin J. McQueen and Lev Vaidman

4. Why the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics Needs More Than Hilbert Space Structure

Meir Hemmo and Orly Shenker

5. Common Sense and Relativistic Supercoincidence

Yuri Balashov

6. Coincidence Problems without Properties

Peter van Inwagen

7. Conceptual Revisions: Intentions and Free Will in the Light of Cognitive Neuroscience

Pim Haselager

8. The Emergence of Free, Intentional Control: Reply to Haselager

Tim O’Connor

9. Psychological Challenges to Common Sense Philosophy: Illusions of Introspection and Free Will

Brett W. Pelham, Michael Harding, and Curtis Hardin

10. Radically Self-Deceived? Not So Fast

Fleur Jongepier and Quassim Cassam

11. Common Sense Morality and Its Evolutionary Underpinnings

Michael Ruse

12. Evolution and Moral Common Sense: Why You Can’t Have It Both Ways; A Response to Ruse

Regina Rini

13. Dual-Inheritance, Common Sense, and the Justification of Religious Belief

Taylor Davis

14. Cultural Evolution and Debunking Arguments: A Response to Davis

Aku Visala

View More



Rik Peels is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is the author of Responsible Belief: A Theory in Ethics and Epistemology (2016), editor of Perspectives on Ignorance from Moral and Social Philosophy (Routledge, 2017), and co-editor of The Epistemic Dimensions of Ignorance (2016) and Scientism: Problems and Prospects (forthcoming).

Jeroen de Ridder is Associate Professor of Philosophy and NWO Vidi Research Fellow at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is co-editor of Scientism: Problems and Prospects (forthcoming) and The Future of Creation Order (forthcoming).

René van Woudenberg is Professor of Philosophy at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is the co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Reid (2005) and Scientism: Problems and Prospects (forthcoming).