Richard Marshall talks to Kit Fine. This seemed to me the most striking bit:
KF: I’m firmly of the opinion that real progress in philosophy can only come from taking common sense seriously. A departure from common sense is usually an indication that a mistake has been made. If you like, common sense is the data of philosophy and a philosopher should no more ignore common sense than a scientist should ignore the results of observation. A good example concerns ontology. Many philosophers have wanted to deny that there are chairs or numbers of the like. This strikes me as crazy and is an indication that they have not had a proper understanding of what is at issue. By recognizing that these things are crazy we can then come to a better understanding of what is at issue and of how the questions of ontology are to be resolved.
3:AM Experimental philosophy asks that philosophers leave their armchairs. So they would ask perhaps whether maths really is a priori, say, or whether principles of abstraction do work like Frege said they did, and then they’d experiment on the folk to find out. So what is your view about the role of non-a priori approaches to metaphysics?
KF: I am not especially enamored of my armchair and would be happy to leave it if I thought that it would be of help in answering the questions of interest to me. But I fail to see how it could be. Consider the question of whether mathematics is a priori or whether principles of abstraction of the sort proposed by Frege might provide a foundation for a significant part of mathematics. How could asking the folk possibly be of any help in answering these questions? Physicists don’t ask the folk to look down telescopes and mathematicians don’t ask folk to assess the plausibility of their axiom. And so why should it be any different for philosophy? Or, take another analogy. We don’t ask the folk to read X-rays since it takes skill and training to know what to make of them - to understand whether a particular blotch, for example, has any real significance. It is no different, it seems to me, in regard to the intuitions of philosophers. One needs skill and training to know what to make of them and it would be a terrible retrograde step to rely instead on the untutored judgments of ordinary folk.