First off, I’m really enjoying this substack as it keeps me up to date with modern philosophy in a way I normally wouldn’t as I’m not longer a student (of an academic program) of philosophy

Second, I’m glad you evaluate Reid here and I think it’s important to take a pragmatic approach to philosophy for several reasons.

This isn’t to start there’s not a place for philosophy that isn’t pragmatic, there is.

I like pragmatic philosophy because I believe that the most important piece of philosophy is how to act in the world.

Does it really matter if the external world exists? It’s an interesting question, but regardless of the answer, I’m stuck here and I want to make the most of that time.

I also think pragmatic philosophy reaches a lot more people because it’s a lot easier to grasp. The average person might not care about Kant’s ideas on a priori knowledge, but they will care about pragmatic arguments.

Anyways, thanks again for sharing philosophy with the world

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Many thanks, Mike! Much appreciated!

I would add that we need both: pragmatic ideas and epistemic ideas (I think that the "average person" also has lots of philosophical questions on their mind even if the pragmatic ones might often be more pressing).

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Which skepticism is that? The inverted dogmatism or Pyrrhonistic skepticism? The later is possibly closer to Reid's position of "Sceptics can accept Reid’s anti-sceptical argument because they are epistemic sceptics while Reid’s argument is a pragmatic one." due to the way judgement can be suspended and forced-choices are dismissed, this is not always politically pragmatic in a theocratic regime however.

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thanks for this, Meika! I think both types of skepticism are concerned here. As long as they make a distinction between philosophical beliefs or attitudes and everyday attitudes (like David Hume) they can accept the pragmatic argument. Of course, what is or isn't politically pragmatic is a different topic!

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PS: Skeptics who restrict their skepticism to certain domains (knowledge about the external world, for instance) could also accept the pragmatic argument, taking it as a conceptual argument.

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