Skepticism, Misc

Edited by Everett Fulmer (Loyola University, New Orleans)
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  1. God and Reality.Arman Hovhannisyan - manuscript
    Metaphysics has done everything to involve God in the world of being. However, in case of considering Reality as being and nothingness, naturally, the metaphysical approach toward the idea of God is losing its grounds. If Reality is being and nothingness, so the idea of God, too, should concern nothingness as well as being.
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  2. Non-Being and Nothingness.Arman Hovhannisyan - manuscript
    There is a common belief that non-being and nothingness are identical, a widespread, even general delusion the wrongness of which I will try to demonstrate in this work. And which I consider even more important, that is to define nothingness for further determination of “its” place and role in the reality and especially in human life.
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  3. Types of Boltzmann Brains.Alexey Turchin & Roman Yampolskiy - manuscript
    Abstract. Boltzmann brains (BBs) are minds which randomly appear as a result of thermodynamic or quantum fluctuations. In this article, the question of if we are BBs, and the observational consequences if so, is explored. To address this problem, a typology of BBs is created, and the evidence is compared with the Simulation Argument. Based on this comparison, we conclude that while the existence of a “normal” BB is either unlikely or irrelevant, BBs with some ordering may have observable consequences. (...)
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  4. The Basing Relation and the Impossibility of the Debasing Demon.Patrick Bondy & J. Adam Carter - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (3):203-216.
    Descartes' demon is a deceiver: the demon makes things appear to you other than as they really are. However, as Descartes famously pointed out in the Second Meditation, not all knowledge is imperiled by this kind of deception. You still know you are a thinking thing. Perhaps, though, there is a more virulent demon in epistemic hell, one from which none of our knowledge is safe. Jonathan Schaffer thinks so. The "debasing demon" he imagines threatens knowledge not via the truth (...)
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  5. Review of Peter Baumann, Epistemic Contextualism. [REVIEW]Roger Clarke - forthcoming - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism.
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  6. Skepticism, Fallibilism, and Rational Evaluation.Michael Hannon - forthcoming - In Christos Kyriacou & Kevin Wallbridge (eds.), Skeptical Invariantism Reconsidered.
    This paper outlines a new type of skepticism that is both compatible with fallibilism and supported by work in psychology. In particular, I will argue that we often cannot properly trust our ability to rationally evaluate reasons, arguments, and evidence (a fundamental knowledge-seeking faculty). We humans are just too cognitively impaired to achieve even fallible knowledge, at least for many beliefs.
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  7. Reasoning One's Way Out of Skepticism.Susanna Rinard - forthcoming - In Brill Studies in Skepticism.
    Many have thought that it is impossible to rationally persuade an external world skeptic that we have knowledge of the external world. This paper aims to show how this could be done. I argue, while appealing only to premises that a skeptic could accept, that it is not rational to believe external world skepticism, because doing so commits one to more extreme forms of skepticism in a way that is self-undermining. In particular, the external world skeptic is ultimately committed to (...)
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  8. The Disappearance of Ignorance.Robin McKenna - 2020 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10 (1):4-20.
    Keith DeRose’s new book The Appearance of Ignorance is a welcome companion volume to his 2009 book The Case for Contextualism. Where latter focused on contextualism as a view in the philosophy of language, the former focuses on how contextualism contributes to our understanding of some perennial epistemological problems, with the skeptical problem being the main focus of six of the seven chapters. DeRose’s view is that a solution to the skeptical problem must do two things. First, it must explain (...)
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  9. "Introduction" - Ch 1 of Seemings and Epistemic Justification.Luca Moretti - 2020 - In Seemings and Epistemic Justification.
    In this introduction I present the topic of the investigation carried out in this book and the central theses defended in it. I also clarify some assumption of my research, specify the intended audience of this book and summarize its structure.
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  10. Ainda é preciso ser neopirrônico [It is still necessary to be neo-Pyrrhonian].Waldomiro J. Silva Filho - 2020 - Discurso 50 (2):78-96.
    This article deals with two questions: why would the way in which the neopyrronicle conducts his philosophical activity be more virtuous than his dogmatic, non-pyrrhic colleague does? And why would the result he achieves be more valuable? That said, my answer to the first question is that the way the neo-Pyrrhonian investigates is more virtuous because it seeks to deliberately avoid the vices of precipitation, arrogance and mental closure. Regarding the second question, I suggest that the outcome of the neopyronic (...)
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  11. Brains in Vats? Don't Bother!Peter Baumann - 2019 - Episteme 16 (2):186-199.
    Contemporary discussions of epistemological skepticism - the view that we do not and cannot know anything about the world around us - focus very much on a certain kind of skeptical argument involving a skeptical scenario (a situation familiar from Descartes’ First Meditation). According to the argument, knowing some ordinary proposition about the world (one we usually take ourselves to know) requires knowing we are not in some such skeptical scenario SK; however, since we cannot know that we are not (...)
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  12. Descartes Foundationalism: An Answer to the Skeptics’ or A Way Out?Ncha Gabriel Bubu - 2019 - Social Sciences Studies Journal 5 (44):5232-5237.
    The phenomenon of knowledge is a fundamental issue in epistemology as a main branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge related problems. Over time, epistemologists attempted to give us or provide clues as to what reality actually is, that is the question of the certainty of knowledge has always been topical in any epistemic enterprise. The search for knowledge becomes more cumbersome when one considers the challenge of the skeptics and sophists about the ability of man knowing anything for certain. To (...)
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  13. Radical Scepticism and the Epistemology of Confusion.J. Adam Carter - 2019 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism (3):1-15.
    The lack of knowledge—as Timothy Williamson (2000) famously maintains—is ignorance. Radical sceptical arguments, at least in the tradition of Descartes, threaten universal ignorance. They do so by attempting to establish that we lack any knowledge, even if we can retain other kinds of epistemic standings, like epistemically justified belief. If understanding is a species of knowledge, then radical sceptical arguments threaten to rob us categorically of knowledge and understanding in one fell swoop by implying universal ignorance. If, however, understanding is (...)
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  14. On the Nature of Hinge Commitments.Eros Carvalho - 2019 - Sképsis 10 (19):55-66.
    This is a critical commentary on Pritchard's book Epistemic Angst. In Section 2, I present the closure-based radical skeptical paradox. Then in Section 3, I sketch Pritchard’s undercutting response to this paradox. Finally, in Section 4, I put forward two concerns about Pritchard’s response and I also propose a reading of hinge commitments, the ability reading, that might put some pressure on Pritchard’s own reading of these commitments.
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  15. On The Hypothetical Given.Adam Marushak - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    My aim in this paper is to assess the viability of a perceptual epistemology based on what Anil Gupta calls the “hypothetical given”. On this account, experience alone yields no unconditional entitlement to perceptual beliefs. Experience functions instead to establish relations of rational support between what Gupta calls “views” and perceptual beliefs. I argue that the hypothetical given is a genuine alternative to the prevailing theories of perceptual justification but that the account faces a dilemma: on a natural assumption about (...)
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  16. Disagreement Skepticism and the Rationality of Religious Belief.Jonathan Matheson - 2019 - In Kevin McCain & Ted Poston (eds.), The Mystery of Skepticism: New Explorations. Brill. pp. 83-104.
    The Equal Weight View is a view about the epistemic significance of disagreement that is thought to have significant skeptical consequences. In this paper I do two things: (i) apply the Equal Weight View to cases of religious disagreement, and (ii) evaluate some consequences of that application for the rationality of religious beliefs. With regard to (i), I argue that the Equal Weight View implies that awareness of the current state of disagreement over religious propositions, such as God exists or (...)
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  17. How to Solve the Puzzle of Peer Disagreement.Michele Palmira - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (1):83-96.
    While it seems hard to deny the epistemic significance of a disagreement with our acknowledged epistemic peers, there are certain disagreements, such as philosophical disagreements, which appear to be permissibly sustainable. These two claims, each independently plausible, are jointly puzzling. This paper argues for a solution to this puzzle. The main tenets of the solution are two. First, the peers ought to engage in a deliberative activity of discovering more about their epistemic position vis-à-vis the issue at stake. Secondly, the (...)
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  18. Skepticism and Evolution.N. Ángel Pinillos - 2019 - In Brian Kim & Matthew McGrath (eds.), Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology. Routledge.
    I develop a cognitive account of how humans make skeptical judgments (of the form “X does not know p”). In my view, these judgments are produced by a special purpose metacognitive "skeptical" mechanism which monitors our reasoning for hasty or overly risky assumptions. I argue that this mechanism is modular and shaped by natural selection. The explanation for why the mechanism is adaptive essentially relies on an internalized principle connecting knowledge and action, a principle central to pragmatic encroachment theories. I (...)
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  19. Epistemologia Analítica, Vol .1: debates contemporâneos.Tiegue Vieira Rodrigues (ed.) - 2019 - Editora Fi.
    O presente volume se trata de uma coletânea de artigos que reúne alguns dos trabalhos propostos para o evento “III International Colloquium of Analytic Epistemology and VII Conference of Social Epistemology”, realizado entre os dias 27 e 30 de Novembro de 2018, na Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. O “III International Colloquium of Analytic Epistemology and VII Conference of Social Epistemology” é um dos principais eventos de Epistemologia analítica da América Latina e reúne especialistas do Brasil e do exterior para (...)
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  20. Between Forteana and Skepticism. [REVIEW]M. R. X. Dentith - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (11):48-52.
    A review of Bernard Will's "Believing Weird Things".
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  21. In Defense of the Epistemic Imperative.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (4):435-446.
    Sample (2015) argues that scientists ought not to believe that their theories are true because they cannot fulfill the epistemic obligation to take the diachronic perspective on their theories. I reply that Sample’s argument imposes an inordinately heavy epistemic obligation on scientists, and that it spells doom not only for scientific theories but also for observational beliefs and philosophical ideas that Samples endorses. I also delineate what I take to be a reasonable epistemic obligation for scientists. In sum, philosophers ought (...)
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  22. Las respuestas académicas a la objeción de apraxia.Christian F. Pineda-Pérez - 2018 - Praxis Filosófica 46:221-42.
    En este artículo reconstruyo y analizo las respuestas de los escépticos académicos a la objeción de apraxia. Esta objeción afirma que el escepticismo es una doctrina imposible de practicar puesto que sus tesis conducen a la apraxia, esta es, un estado de privación o imposibilidad de acción. Las respuestas a la objeción se dividen en dos clases. La primera prueba que el asentimiento no es una condición necesaria para realizar acciones, por lo que la recomendación escéptica de suspender global y (...)
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  23. Three Arguments for Humility.David Yates - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):461-481.
    Ramseyan humility is the thesis that we cannot know which properties realize the roles specified by the laws of completed physics. Lewis seems to offer a sceptical argument for this conclusion. Humean fundamental properties can be permuted as to their causal roles and distribution throughout spacetime, yielding alternative possible worlds with the same fundamental structure as actuality, but at which the totality of available evidence is the same. On the assumption that empirical knowledge requires evidence, we cannot know which of (...)
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  24. Scepticism.Billy Dunaway & John Hawthorne - 2017 - In William J. Abraham Frederick D. Aquino (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the Epistemology of Theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 290-308.
    To what extent are the answers to theological questions knowable? And if the relevant answers are knowable, which sorts of inquirers are in a position to know them? In this chapter we shall not answer these questions directly but instead supply a range of tools that may help us make progress here. The tools consist of plausible structural constraints on knowledge. After articulating them, we shall go on to indicate some ways in which they interact with theological scepticism. In some (...)
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  25. Wittgenstein on knowledge, certainty and "hinge propositions".Pris Francois-Igor - 2017 - Germany: Lap Lambert.
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  26. Skepticism and Contextualism.Michael Hannon - 2017 - In Jonathan Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism. Routledge. pp. 131--144.
    According to some powerful skeptical arguments, we know almost nothing. Contextualist theories of knowledge ascriptions have been developed with an eye toward resisting skepticism. Have the contextualists succeeded? After briefly outlining their view, I will consider whether contextualism about knowledge ascriptions provides a satisfactory response to one of the most popular and influential forms of skepticism. I conclude with some questions for the contextualist. As we’ll see, the effectiveness of the contextualist solution to skepticism is far from settled.
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  27. Unger's Argument From Absolute Terms.Gregory Stoutenburg - 2017 - Philosophical Papers 46 (3):443-461.
    In this paper, I explain the curious role played by the Argument from Absolute Terms in Peter Unger's book Ignorance, I provide a critical presentation of the argument, and I consider some outstanding issues and the argument’s contemporary significance.
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  28. Stroud, Austin, and Radical Skepticism.Eros Moreira de Carvalho & Flavio Williges - 2016 - Sképsis 14:57-75.
    Is ruling out the possibility that one is dreaming a requirement for a knowledge claim? In “Philosophical Scepticism and Everyday Life” (1984), Barry Stroud defends that it is. In “Others Minds” (1970), John Austin says it is not. In his defense, Stroud appeals to a conception of objectivity deeply rooted in us and with which our concept of knowledge is intertwined. Austin appeals to a detailed account of our scientific and everyday practices of knowledge attribution. Stroud responds that what Austin (...)
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  29. Cartesian Humility and Pyrrhonian Passivity: The Ethical Significance of Epistemic Agency.Modesto Gómez-Alonso - 2016 - Logos and Episteme 7 (4):461-487.
    While the Academic sceptics followed the plausible as a criterion of truth and guided their practice by a doxastic norm, so thinking that agential performances are actions for which the agent assumes responsibility, the Pyrrhonists did not accept rational belief-management, dispensing with judgment in empirical matters. In this sense, the Pyrrhonian Sceptic described himself as not acting in any robust sense of the notion, or as ‘acting’ out of sub-personal and social mechanisms. The important point is that the Pyrrhonian advocacy (...)
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  30. New Lessons From Old Demons: The Case For Reliabilism.Thomas Grundmann - 2016 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Brain in a Vat. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 90-110.
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  31. A Critical Survey of Some Recent Philosophical Research in China.Xingming Hu - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):971-998.
    In this paper, I survey some recent literature produced by the established Chinese philosophers who regularly publish in Chinese philosophy journals and work in Mainland China. Specifically, I review the recent research of these philosophers in two areas: Chinese Philosophy and epistemology. In each area, I focus on two topics that have caught the attention of a lot of Chinese philosophers. I argue that the Chinese philosophers’ research on these topics has two prevalent problems: (i) a lot of arguments they (...)
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  32. A Sceptical Look at “A Skeptical Look at Karl Popper”.J. C. Lester - 2016 - In Arguments for Liberty: A Libertarian Miscellany. Buckingham, England: the University of Buckingham Press. pp. 102-107.
    It is an irony to attack a more sceptical epistemology than one's own in the name of scepticism and defend, instead, an epistemology that is positively illogical. And yet that is what Martin Gardner has done in his “A Skeptical Look at Karl Popper.”.
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  33. The Model-Theoretic Argument: From Skepticism to a New Understanding.Gila Sher - 2016 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Brain in a Vat. Cambridge, Britain: Cambridge University Press. pp. 208-225.
    In this paper I investigate Putnam’s model-theoretic argument from a transcendent standpoint, in spite of Putnam’s well-known objections to such a standpoint. This transcendence, however, requires ascent to something more like a Tarskian meta-level than what Putnam regards as a “God’s eye view”. Still, it is methodologically quite powerful, leading to a significant increase in our investigative tools. The result is a shift from Putnam’s skeptical conclusion to a new understanding of realism, truth, correspondence, knowledge, and theories, or certain aspects (...)
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  34. Principles of Interpretive Charity and the Semantics of Knowledge Attributions.Gregory Stoutenburg - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (2):153-168.
    Positions in the debate about the correct semantics of “S knows that p” are sometimes motivated in part by an appeal to interpretive charity. In particular, non-skeptical views hold that many utterances of the sentence “S knows that p” are true and some of them think the fact that their views are able to respect this is a reason why their views are more charitable than skeptical invariantism. However, little attention has been paid to why charity should be understood in (...)
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  35. Reasons to Care About Reasons for Action: A Response to Paul S. Davies.G. M. Trujillo - 2016 - Southwest Philosophy Review 32 (2):43-48.
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  36. Religious Belief is Not Natural. Why Cognitive Science of Religion Does Not Show That Religious Belief is Rational.Hans Van Eyghen - 2016 - Studia Humana 5 (4):34-44.
    It is widely acknowledged that the new emerging discipline cognitive science of religion has a bearing on how to think about the epistemic status of religious beliefs. Both defenders and opponents of the rationality of religious belief have used cognitive theories of religion to argue for their point. This paper will look at the defender-side of the debate. I will discuss an often used argument in favor of the trustworthiness of religious beliefs, stating that cognitive science of religion shows that (...)
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  37. Citizen Skeptic: Cicero’s Academic Republicanism.Scott Aikin - 2015 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 2 (3):275–285.
    The skeptical challenge to politics is that if knowledge is in short supply and it is a condition for the proper use of political power, then there is very little just politics. Cicero’s Republicanism is posed as a program for political legitimacy wherein both citizens and their states are far from ideal. The result is a form of what is termed negative conservatism, which shows political gridlock in a more positive light.
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  38. O argumento da ilusão/alucinação e o disjuntivismo: Ayer versus Austin.Eros Moreira de Carvalho - 2015 - Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research 12:85-106.
    The argument from illusion/hallucination have been proposed many times as supporting the strong conclusion that we are always perceiving directly sense-data. In Sense & Sensibilia, Austin argues that this argument is based on a “mass of seductive (mainly verbal) fallacies”. In this paper, I argue that Austin's argumentative moves to deconstruct the argument from illusion is better understood if they are seen as due to his implicit commitment to some disjunctivist conception of perception. His considerations should be taken as a (...)
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  39. The New and Old Ignorance Puzzles: How Badly Do We Need Closure?Brent G. Kyle - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1495-1525.
    Skeptical puzzles and arguments often employ knowledge-closure principles . Epistemologists widely believe that an adequate reply to the skeptic should explain why her reasoning is appealing albeit misleading; but it’s unclear what would explain the appeal of the skeptic’s closure principle, if not for its truth. In this paper, I aim to challenge the widespread commitment to knowledge-closure. But I proceed by first examining a new puzzle about failing to know—what I call the New Ignorance Puzzle . This puzzle resembles (...)
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  40. Conciliationism and the Menace of Scepticism.Diego E. Machuca - 2015 - Dialogue 54 (3):469–488.
    It is sometimes claimed that conciliatory views on disagreement ultimately lead to either global or widespread scepticism. This is deemed to be a serious problem for conciliationism either because scepticism of either kind is a patently untenable stance or because it poses a serious threat to our intellectual and social lives. In this paper, I first argue that the alleged untenability of both types of scepticism is far from being obvious and should therefore be established rather than taken for granted, (...)
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  41. Wittgensteinian Epistemology and Cartesian Skepticism.Nicola Claudio Salvatore - 2015 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 29 (2):53-80.
    In this paper, I present and criticize a number of influential anti-skeptical strategies inspired by Wittgenstein’s remarks on ‘hinges’. Furthermore, I argue that, following Wittgen- stein’s analogy between ‘hinges’ and ‘rules of grammar’, we should be able to get rid of Cartesian skeptical scenarios as nonsensical, even if apparently intelligible, combinations of signs.
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  42. Cartesianism, Neo-Reidianism, and the A Priori: Reply to Pust.Gregory Stoutenburg - 2015 - Logos and Episteme 6 (2):231–235.
    Joel Pust has recently challenged the Thomas Reid-inspired argument against the reliability of the a priori defended by Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, William Alston, and Michael Bergmann. The Reidian argument alleges that the Cartesian insistence on the primacy of a priori rationality and subjective sensory experience as the foundations of epistemic justification is unwarranted because the same kind of global skeptical scenario that Cartesians recognize as challenging the legitimacy of perceptual beliefs about the external world also undermine the reliability of (...)
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  43. Giving Your Knowledge Half a Chance.Andrew Bacon - 2014 - Philosophical Studies (2):1-25.
    One thousand fair causally isolated coins will be independently flipped tomorrow morning and you know this fact. I argue that the probability, conditional on your knowledge, that any coin will land tails is almost 1 if that coin in fact lands tails, and almost 0 if it in fact lands heads. I also show that the coin flips are not probabilistically independent given your knowledge. These results are uncomfortable for those, like Timothy Williamson, who take these probabilities to play a (...)
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  44. A Problem for Rationalist Responses to Skepticism.Sinan Dogramaci - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):355-369.
    Rationalism, my target, says that in order to have perceptual knowledge, such as that your hand is making a fist, you must “antecedently” (or “independently”) know that skeptical scenarios don’t obtain, such as the skeptical scenario that you are in the Matrix. I motivate the specific form of Rationalism shared by, among others, White (Philos Stud 131:525–557, 2006) and Wright (Proc Aristot Soc Suppl Vol 78:167–212, 2004), which credits us with warrant to believe (or “accept”, in Wright’s terms) that our (...)
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  45. Truth and Freedom: Rorty and the Problem of Priority.Michael P. Lynch - 2014 - The European Legacy 19 (2):163-173.
    What does truth have to do with freedom? That is, what is the relationship between our political and epistemic principles? In this paper, I grapple and reject Rorty's reasons for thinking that the former can't be based on the latter, but offer an alternative argument that supports his over-all conclusion that our epistemic and political values are ultimately intertwined.
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  46. How Not to Argue From Science to Skepticism.Stephen Maitzen - 2014 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 4 (1):21-35.
    For at least several decades, and arguably since the time of Descartes, it has been fashionable to offer scientific or quasi-scientific arguments for skepticism about human knowledge. I critique five attempts to argue for skeptical conclusions from the findings of science and scientifically informed common sense.
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  47. The Arbitrariness of Belief.Martin Smith - 2014 - In Dylan Dodd & Elia Zardini (eds.), Scepticism and Perceptual Justification. Oxford University Press.
    In Knowledge and Lotteries, John Hawthorne offers a diagnosis of our unwillingness to believe, of a given lottery ticket, that it will lose a fair lottery – no matter how many tickets are involved. According to Hawthorne, it is natural to employ parity reasoning when thinking about lottery outcomes: Put roughly, to believe that a given ticket will lose, no matter how likely that is, is to make an arbitrary choice between alternatives that are perfectly balanced given one’s evidence. It’s (...)
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  48. Skeptical Appeal: The Source‐Content Bias.John Turri - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (5):307-324.
    Radical skepticism is the view that we know nothing or at least next to nothing. Nearly no one actually believes that skepticism is true. Yet it has remained a serious topic of discussion for millennia and it looms large in popular culture. What explains its persistent and widespread appeal? How does the skeptic get us to doubt what we ordinarily take ourselves to know? I present evidence from two experiments that classic skeptical arguments gain potency from an interaction between two (...)
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  49. Reading 'On Certainty' Through the Lens of Cavell: Scepticism, Dogmatism and the 'Groundlessness of Our Believing'.Chantal Bax - 2013 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (4):515 - 533.
    While Cavell is well known for his reinterpretation of the later Wittgenstein, he has never really engaged himself with post-Investigations writings like On Certainty. This collection may, however, seem to undermine the profoundly anti-dogmatic reading of Wittgenstein that Cavell has developed. In addition to apparently arguing against what Cavell calls ‘the truth of skepticism’ – a phrase contested by other Wittgensteinians – On Certainty may seem to justify the rejection of whoever dares to question one’s basic presuppositions. According to On (...)
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  50. Casey Perin’s The Demands of Reason.Tad Brennan - 2013 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3 (4):283-293.
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