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Interest as a Starting Place for Philosophy

30 January 2012


This paper discusses a puzzle about philosophical beliefs. Core philosophical beliefs that are widely shared among philosophers, such as the belief that skepticism is false, are often held with extreme confidence. However, this confidence is not justified if these beliefs are based on what are traditionally seen as the sources of philosophical evidence, such as intuitions or observation (or reasoning on these bases). Charity requires that we should look for some other basis for these beliefs. I argue that these beliefs are based on our knowledge of what we find interesting. Further, I argue that this is a good basis for belief. Knowing what we find interesting allows us to tune our inquiry in ways we could not otherwise.


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