These different facts may have different degrees of justification. At the very least, each of them is something which, for me, has some presumption in its favour. That is to say, it is more reasonable to think it is true than to think it is false. Most of them, moreover, are epistemically acceptable; it is not unreasonable for me to accept them. Some are beyond reasonable doubt; it is more reasonable to accept them than not to accept them. Some moreover are evident; they are the ones I should appeal to when I wish to decide whether certain other things are reasonable. And some of them are absolutely certain; not only are they evindent, but there is nothing that is more reasonable for us to believe than they are.

Such facts as these, then, are what we have a right to take as data in our philosophy. They are a part of our pre-analytic or pre-philosophic data. Any philosophical theory which is inconsistent with any of these data is prima facie suspect. The burden of proof will be upon the man who accepts any such theory and not upon you and me. To show that he is justified in accepting his theory he must show that it is based upon data which are at least as respectable epistemically as the list of things that I have set forth.

Person and Object: A Metaphysical Study
Roderick M. Chisholm

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