Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266):171-174 (2017)

Noell Birondo
University of Texas at El Paso
Simon Blackburn has not shied away from the use of vivid imagery in developing, over a long and prolific career, a large-scale philosophical vision. Here one might think, for instance, of ‘Practical Tortoise Raising’ or ‘Ramsey's Ladder’ or ‘Frege's Abyss’. Blackburn develops a ‘quasi-realist’ account of many of our philosophical and everyday commitments, both theoretical (e.g., modality and causation) and practical (e.g., moral judgement and normative reasons). Quasi-realism aims to provide a naturalistic treatment of its targeted phenomena while earning the right to deploy all of the ‘trappings’ of realism—i.e., while eschewing any idea that our normal thought and talk about such phenomena are pervasively in error. The quasi-realist project is that of explaining how (as Huw Price puts it here) ‘the folk come to “talk the realist talk” without committing ourselves—us theorists, as it were—to “walking the metaphysical walk”’ (p. 136). Quasi-realism, too, can speak of truth, facts, properties, belief, knowledge, and so on. The imagery in this collection also abounds, though, in capturing a different view of quasi-realism: No fewer than three of the contributors picture Blackburn as wanting to have his cake and eat it too (Louise Antony asking, in addition, ‘Who doesn't? It's cake’ [p. 19]).
Keywords Simon Blackburn  Jamie Dreier  T. M. Scanlon  Reasons Fundamentalism  Quasi-Realism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2017, 2018
DOI 10.1093/pq/pqw006
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Being Realistic About Reasons.T. M. Scanlon - 2014 - Oxford University Press.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Whose Metaethical Minimalism?Noell Birondo - 2018 - Southwest Philosophy Review 34 (2):37-43.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Essays in Quasi-Realism.Simon Blackburn - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Quasi-Realism, Sensibility Theory, and Ethical Relativism.Simon Kirchin - 2000 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 43 (4):413 – 427.
Quasi-Realism's Problem of Autonomous Effects.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (212):392–409.
Another World.James Dreier - 2015 - In Robert Johnson & Michael Smith (eds.), Passions and Projections Themes from the Philosophy of Simon Blackburn. Oxford University Press. pp. 155-171.
Quasi-Realism, Negation and the Frege-Geach Problem.Nicholas Unwin - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (196):337-352.
Quasi-Realism in Moral Philosophy - An Interview with Simon Blackburn.Darlei Dall´Agnol - 2002 - [email protected] - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 1 (2):101-114.
Morals and Modals.Simon Blackburn - 1986 - In Essays in Quasi-Realism. Oxford University Press.
Resolute Expressivism.Nicholas Smyth - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):1-12.
Simon Blackburn, "Essays in Quasi-Realism". [REVIEW]Alan Weir - 1994 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 2 (2):345.


Added to PP index

Total views
327 ( #31,318 of 2,499,038 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #80,224 of 2,499,038 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes