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17 Pages

Quasi-realism

ByTerence Cuneo

Over forty years ago, Simon Blackburn introduced the philosophical world to a figure he called the “quasi-realist.” According to Blackburn, the quasi-realist is someone who “starting from an antirealist position finds himself progressively able to mimic the thoughts and practices supposedly definitive of realism” (Blackburn 1993: 4; see Blackburn 1994, 1998). In the intervening years, other philosophers – most notably, Allan Gibbard – have joined Blackburn in developing the quasi-realist research program in metaethics, defending it from objections and arguing that it exhibits considerable promise (Gibbard 2003, 2012). These efforts at developing and defending quasi-realism have garnered considerable attention from sympathizers and critics alike. Still, the view has remained elusive: it proves extraordinarily difficult to formulate an accurate and informative statement of what quasi-realism is.