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The Journal of Philosophy

Volume 116, Issue 3, March 2019

Michael Ridge
Pages 149-173
DOI: 10.5840/jphil201911639

Relaxing Realism or Deferring Debate?

In this paper I argue that so-called “Relaxed Realism” of the sort defended by T. M. Scanlon fails on its own terms by failing to distinguish itself from its putative rivals—in particular, from Quasi-Realism. On a whole host of questions, Relaxed Realism and Quasi-Realism give exactly the same answers, and these answers make up much of the core of the view. Scanlon offers three possible points of contrast, each of which I argue is not fit for purpose. Along the way I argue that Quasi-Realists can provide a better account of practical rationality than Relaxed Realists can, so insofar as they are distinct Quasi-Realism is superior.