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The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism

Oxford University Press (1984)

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  1. Taking Skepticism Seriously: How the Zhuang-Zi Can Inform Contemporary Epistemology.Chung Julianne - 2017 - Comparative Philosophy 8 (2):3-29.
    This paper explores a few of the ways that the Zhuang-Zi can inform contemporary analytic epistemology. I begin, in section 1, by briefly outlining and summarizing the case for my fictionalist interpretation of the text. In section 2, I discuss how the Zhuang-Zi can be brought into productive dialogue with the question of how we should respond to skeptical arguments. Specifically, I argue that the Zhuang-Zi can be reasonably interpreted as exemplifying an approach that is different from dominant contemporary responses (...)
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  • Radical Scepticism, How-Possible Questions and Modest Transcendental Arguments.Ju Wang - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (2):210-226.
    According to radical scepticism, knowledge of the external world is impossible. Transcendental arguments are supposed to be anti-sceptical, but can they provide a satisfying response to radical scepticism? Especially, when radical scepticism is cast as posing a how-possible question, there is a concern that transcendental arguments are neither sufficient nor necessary for answering such question. In light of this worry, I argue that we can take a modest transcendental argument as a stepping stone for a diagnostic anti-sceptical proposal, and I (...)
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  • Exile and Return: From Phenomenology to Naturalism.David R. Cerbone - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (3):365-380.
    Naturalism in twentieth century philosophy is founded on the rejection of ‘first philosophy’, as can be seen in Quine’s rejection of what he calls ‘cosmic exile’. Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology falls within the scope of what naturalism rejects, but I argue that the opposition between phenomenology and naturalism is less straightforward than it appears. This is so not because transcendental phenomenology does not involve a problematic form of exile, but because naturalism, in its recoil from transcendental philosophy, creates a new form (...)
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  • Merleau-Ponty’s Responses to Skepticism: A Critical Appraisal.Marcus Sacrini - 2013 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (5):1-22.
    In this article, I reconstruct and evaluate Merleau-Ponty’s main responses to philosophical skepticism in the relevant parts of his work. To begin with, I introduce the skeptical argument that Merleau-Ponty most often tried to refute, namely, the dream argument. Secondly, I show how Merleau-Ponty, in his initial works, excludes the skeptical problem by appealing to a general contact with the world guaranteed by perception. Finally, I analyze how in his last texts Merleau-Ponty considers at least some uses of the skeptical (...)
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  • Resurrecting the Moorean Response to the Sceptic.Duncan Pritchard - 2002 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 10 (3):283 – 307.
    G. E. Moore famously offered a strikingly straightforward response to the radical sceptic which simply consisted of the claim that one could know, on the basis of one's knowledge that one has hands, that there exists an external world. In general, the Moorean response to scepticism maintains that we can know the denials of sceptical hypotheses on the basis of our knowledge of everyday propositions. In the recent literature two proposals have been put forward to try to accommodate, to varying (...)
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  • What We All Know: Community in Moore's 'A Defence of Common Sense'.Wim Vanrie - forthcoming - Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    I defend an account of Moore’s conception of Common Sense – as it figures in 'A Defence of Common Sense' – according to which it is based in a vision of the community of human beings as bound and unified by a settled common understanding of the meaning of our words and statements. This, for Moore, is our inalienable starting point in philosophy. When Moore invokes Common Sense against idealist (and skeptical) philosophers, he is reminding them that they too are (...)
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  • Kant and Post-Tractarian Wittgenstein: Transcendentalism, Idealism, Illusion.Bernhard Ritter - 2020 - Cham (CH): Palgrave Macmillan.
    This book suggests that to know how Wittgenstein’s post-Tractarian philosophy could have developed from the work of Kant is to know how they relate to each other. The development from the latter to the former is invoked heuristically as a means of interpretation, rather than a historical process or direct influence of Kant on Wittgenstein. Ritter provides a detailed treatment of transcendentalism, idealism, and the concept of illusion in Kant’s and Wittgenstein’s criticism of metaphysics. Notably, it is through the conceptions (...)
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  • Wahrnehmung und Erkenntnis.Richard Schantz - 2015 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 18 (1):129-159.
    The article investigates and defends central elements of Quine’s naturalized epistemology. Davidson’s coherentist attacks on Quine’s empiricismare dismissed. The view is advocated that sensory experience plays an essential epistemic role, and that, therefore, the study of perception must be taken seriously in the theory of knowledge. The author rejects, however, Quine’s behavioristic conception of experience as stimulation of sensory receptors and instead argues for a richer conception, according to which an experience is a sensory state of things appearing in certain (...)
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  • Descartes’ General Epistemology: A Contemporary Assessment.Tom Vinci - 2020 - Philosophy Study 10 (7).
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  • Evidentialism and Skeptical Arguments.Dylan Dodd - 2012 - Synthese 189 (2):337-352.
    Cartesian skepticism about epistemic justification (‘skepticism’) is the view that many of our beliefs about the external world – e.g., my current belief that I have hands – aren’t justified. I examine the two most influential arguments for skepticism – the Closure Argument and the Underdetermination Argument – from an evidentialist perspective. For both arguments it is clear which premise the anti-skeptic must deny. The Closure Argument, I argue, is the better argument in that its key premise is weaker than (...)
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  • Duhem–Quine Virtue Epistemology.Abrol Fairweather - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):673-692.
    The Duhem-Quine Thesis is the claim that it is impossible to test a scientific hypothesis in isolation because any empirical test requires assuming the truth of one or more auxiliary hypotheses. This is taken by many philosophers, and is assumed here, to support the further thesis that theory choice is underdetermined by empirical evidence. This inquiry is focused strictly on the axiological commitments engendered in solutions to underdetermination, specifically those of Pierre Duhem and W. V. Quine. Duhem resolves underdetermination by (...)
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  • What Descartes' Demon Can Do and His Dream Cannot.Ruth Weintraub - 2006 - Theoria 72 (4):319-335.
    The reason Descartes cites for invoking the demon argument in addition to the dream argument is that the demon argument is intended to broaden the scope of Descartes’ scepticism, to subsume additional beliefs under it. I present an additional, unfamiliar reason. There is, I argue, an important difference between the two sceptical arguments. It pertains not to their scope, but to their “depth”, to the kind of scepticism they are capable of inducing.
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  • The Radicalism of Truth‐Insensitive Epistemology: Truth's Profound Effect on the Evaluation of Belief.John Turri - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):348-367.
    Many philosophers claim that interesting forms of epistemic evaluation are insensitive to truth in a very specific way. Suppose that two possible agents believe the same proposition based on the same evidence. Either both are justified or neither is; either both have good evidence for holding the belief or neither does. This does not change if, on this particular occasion, it turns out that only one of the two agents has a true belief. Epitomizing this line of thought are thought (...)
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  • Evidence of Factive Norms of Belief and Decision.John Turri - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):4009-4030.
    According to factive accounts of the norm of belief and decision-making, you should not believe or base decisions on a falsehood. Even when the evidence misleadingly suggests that a false proposition is true, you should not believe it or base decisions on it. Critics claim that factive accounts are counterintuitive and badly mischaracterize our ordinary practice of evaluating beliefs and decisions. This paper reports four experiments that rigorously test the critic’s accusations and the viability of factive accounts. The results undermine (...)
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  • Review of The Social Psychology of Morality. [REVIEW]Michael Klenk - 2016 - Metapsychology Online 20 (48):1-8.
    If you put chimpanzees from different communities together you can expect mayhem - they are not keen on treating each other nicely. There is closely related species of apes, however, whose members have countless encounters with unrelated specimen on a daily basis and yet almost all get through the day in one piece - that species is us, homo sapiens. But what makes us get along, most of the time? Morality as such is, perhaps surprisingly, not a mainstream research topic (...)
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  • Naturalising Austin.Renia Gasparatou - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (3):329-343.
    In this paper I will try to defend a quasi-naturalistic interpretation of J.L. Austin’s work. I will rely on P. Kitcher’s 1992 paper “The Naturalists Return” to compile four general criteria by which a philosopher can be called a naturalist. Then I will turn to Austin’s work and examine whether he meets these criteria. I will try to claim that versions of such naturalistic elements can be found in his work.
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  • From Virtue Epistemology to Abilism: Theoretical and Empirical Developments.John Turri - 2015 - In Christian B. Miller, Michael R. Furr, William Fleeson & Angela Knobel (eds.), Character: new directions from philosophy, psychology, and theology. Oxford: pp. 315-330.
    I review several theoretical and empirical developments relevant to assessing contemporary virtue epistemology’s theory of knowledge. What emerges is a leaner theory of knowledge that is more empirically adequate, better captures the ordinary conception of knowledge, and is ripe for cross-fertilization with cognitive science. I call this view abilism. Along the way I identify several topics for future research.
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  • 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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  • Descartes’s Schism, Locke’s Reunion: Completing the Pragmatic Turn in Epistemology.John Turri & Wesley Buckwalter - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (1):25-46.
    Centuries ago, Descartes and Locke initiated a foundational debate in epistemology over the relationship between knowledge, on the one hand, and practical factors, on the other. Descartes claimed that knowledge and practice are fundamentally separate. Locke claimed that knowledge and practice are fundamentally united. After a period of dormancy, their disagreement has reignited on the contemporary scene. Latter-day Lockeans claim that knowledge itself is essentially connected to, and perhaps even constituted by, practical factors such as how much is at stake, (...)
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  • Disjunctivism and the Urgency of Scepticism.Søren Overgaard - 2011 - Philosophical Explorations 14 (1):5-21.
    This paper argues that McDowell is right to claim that disjunctivism has anti-sceptical implications. While the disjunctive conception of experience leaves unaffected the Cartesian sceptical challenge, it undermines another type of sceptical challenge. Moreover, the sceptical challenge against which disjunctivism militates has some philosophical urgency in that it threatens the very notion that perceptual experience can acquaint us with the world around us.
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  • A Função das Dúvidas Céticas nas Meditações de Descartes.Flavio Williges - 2007 - Doispontos 4 (2).
    Normal 0 21 The main goal of this paper is to maintain that the skeptical hypotheses in the First Meditation, and especially the doubt about material things, should be interpreted as a kind of mental exercise whose purpose is both to weaken our confidence in the senses and to prepare the reader of the Meditation for the learning of the truths accessible through the light of reason. Thus, the paper purports to show that in the economy of the Meditations skeptical (...)
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  • Disentangling Cartesian Global Skepticism From Cartesian Problematic External-World Idealism in Kant’s Refutation.Roberto Horácio de Sá Pereira - 2020 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 102 (2):242-260.
    Kant’s Refutation targets what he calls the problematic idealist. This is understood by the mainstream of Kantian scholarship as the global skeptic that Descartes briefly adumbrated in his first Meditation. The widespread view in the literature is that the fate of the Refutation is tied to its success as an argument against this Cartesian global skepticism. This consensus is what I want to question in this paper. I argue that Kant’s opponent – the problematic idealist – is not the Cartesian (...)
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  • Cognitive Values, Theory Choice, and Pluralism: On the Grounds and Implications of Philosophical Diversity.Guy Stanwood Axtell - 1991 - Dissertation, University of Hawai'i
    This dissertation focuses on the development of a pragmatic account of normative discourse. The approach taken to the subject of study is metaphilosophical. Prevalent contemporary treatments of norm governance and cognitive evaluation, are examined in light of background metaphilosophical views adopted by such schools as logical empiricism, pragmatism, and schools associated with contemporary sociology of scientific knowledge. I examine metaphilosophical assumptions that pre-structure treatment of conceptual issues such as belief-modification, theory choice, and explanation, pursuing these issues across a wide range (...)
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  • Meaning and Aesthetic Judgment in Kant.Eli Friedlander - 2006 - Philosophical Topics 34 (1/2):21-34.
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  • From Skepticism to Paralysis: The Apraxia Argument in Cicero’s Academica.Suzanne Obdrzalek - 2012 - Ancient Philosophy 32 (2):369-392.
    This paper analyzes the apraxia argument in Cicero’s Academica. It proposes that the argument assumes two modes: the evidential mode maintains that skepticism is false, while the pragmatic claims that it is disadvantageous. The paper then develops a tension between the two modes, and concludes by exploring some differences between ancient and contemporary skepticism.
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  • What Pessimism Is.Paul Prescott - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Research 37:337-356.
    On the standard view, pessimism is a philosophically intractable topic. Against the standard view, I hold that pessimism is a stance, or compound of attitudes, commitments and intentions. This stance is marked by certain beliefs—first and foremost, that the bad prevails over the good—which are subject to an important qualifying condition: they are always about outcomes and states of affairs in which one is personally invested. This serves to distinguish pessimism from other views with which it is routinely conflated— including (...)
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  • Metaskepticism: Meditations in Ethnoepistemology.Shaun Nichols, Stephen Stich & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2003 - In S. Luper (ed.), The Skeptics. Ashgate. pp. 227--247.
    Throughout the 20th century, an enormous amount of intellectual fuel was spent debating the merits of a class of skeptical arguments which purport to show that knowledge of the external world is not possible. These arguments, whose origins can be traced back to Descartes, played an important role in the work of some of the leading philosophers of the 20th century, including Russell, Moore and Wittgenstein, and they continue to engage the interest of contemporary philosophers. (e.g., Cohen 1999, DeRose 1995, (...)
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  • Escepticismo y Desacuerdo.Rodrigo Laera - 2012 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 16 (1):81-97.
    Within the framework of the epistemological debate on disagreement, this paper aims to examine the sceptical thesis that holds that, if it is impossible to rationally choose among two excluding positions, the only sensible or rational thing to do is to suspend judgement. The idea that ordinary life does not constitute the source of scepticism is presented, which rules out real disagreement between epistemic pairs as its foundation. Sceptical scenes differ ontologically from everyday scenes, without such ontological difference entailing an (...)
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  • Varieties of Sense‐Making.A. W. Moore - 2013 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 37 (1):1-10.
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  • What Generates the Realism/Anti-Realism Dichotomy?Jesse M. Mulder - 2012 - Philosophica 84 (1):53-84.
    The most basic divide amongst analytic metaphysicians separates realists from anti-realists. By examining certain characteristic and problematic features of these two families of views, we uncover their underlying metametaphysicalorientations, which turn out to coincide. This shared philosophical picture that underlies both the realist and the anti-realist project we call the Modern Picture. It rests on a crucial distinction between reality as it is for us and reality as it is in itself. It is argued that this distinction indeed generates the (...)
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  • Why Wittgenstein Doesn’T Refute Skepticism.Raquel Albieri Krempel - 2019 - Discurso 49 (2).
    In On Certainty, Wittgenstein formulates several criticisms against skepticism about our knowledge of the external world. My goal is to show that Wittgenstein does not here offer a convincing answer to the skeptical problem. First, I will present a strong version of the problem, understanding it as a paradoxical argument. In the second part, I will introduce and raise problems for two pragmatic responses against skepticism that appear in On Certainty. Finally, I will present some of Wittgenstein’s logical criticisms against (...)
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  • Filosofisk vertigo.Richard Sørli - 2019 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 54 (4):203-219.
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  • A Dilemma for Skeptics.Stephen Maitzen - 2010 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):23-34.
    Some of the most enduring skeptical arguments invoke stories of deception -- the evil demon, convincing dreams, an envatted brain, the Matrix -- in order to show that we have no first-order knowledge of the external world. I confront such arguments with a dilemma: either (1) they establish no more than the logical possibility of error, in which case they fail to threaten fallible knowledge, the only kind of knowledge of the external world most of us think we have anyway; (...)
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  • Berkeley's Paradox: External World Skepticism and the Problem of Epistemic Justification.Marcelo de Araujo - 2014 - Dissertatio 39:103-119.
    Como posso estar certo de que existe qualquer coisa de externa aos meus próprios pensamentos? Muitos filósofos procuraram ou apresentar uma prova da existência do mundo externo, ou rejeitar a inteligibilidade da própria ideia de uma “prova” nesse contexto. O objetivo desse artigo é mostrar que o denominado “problema do mundo externo” decorre de uma má compreensão acerca do que seja justificativa epistêmica. Apresento o que denomino “paradoxo de Berkeley” de modo a mostrar que o uso ordinário da linguagem não (...)
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  • Quine's Argument From Despair.Sander Verhaegh - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (1):150-173.
    Quine's argument for a naturalized epistemology is routinely perceived as an argument from despair: traditional epistemology must be abandoned because all attempts to deduce our scientific theories from sense experience have failed. In this paper, I will show that this picture is historically inaccurate and that Quine's argument against first philosophy is considerably stronger and subtler than the standard conception suggests. For Quine, the first philosopher's quest for foundations is inherently incoherent; the very idea of a self-sufficient sense datum language (...)
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  • Meta-Epistemological Scepticism: Criticisms and a Defence.Chris Ranalli - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Edinburgh
    The epistemological problem of the external world asks: (1) “How is knowledge of the world possible given certain obstacles which make it look impossible?” This is a “how-possible?” question: it asks how something is possible given certain obstacles which make it look impossible (cf. Cassam 2007; Nozick 1981; Stroud 1984). Now consider the following question, which asks: (2) “How is a philosophically satisfying answer to (1) possible?” Scepticism is the thesis that knowledge of the world is impossible. It therefore represents (...)
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  • Fundamental Quantification and the Language of the Ontology Room.Daniel Z. Korman - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):298-321.
    Nihilism is the thesis that no composite objects exist. Some ontologists have advocated abandoning nihilism in favor of deep nihilism, the thesis that composites do not existO, where to existO is to be in the domain of the most fundamental quantifier. By shifting from an existential to an existentialO thesis, the deep nihilist seems to secure all the benefits of a composite-free ontology without running afoul of ordinary belief in the existence of composites. I argue that, while there are well-known (...)
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  • Archimedean Metanorms.J. Adam Carter - forthcoming - Topoi:1-11.
    One notable line of argument for epistemic relativism appeals to considerations to do with non-neutrality: in certain dialectical contexts—take for instance the famous dispute between Galileo and Cardinal Bellarmine concerning geocentrism—it seems as though a lack of suitably neutral epistemic standards that either side could appeal to in order to resolve their first-order dispute is itself—as Rorty influentially thought—evidence for epistemic relativism. In this essay, my aim is first to present a more charitable reformulation of this line of reasoning, one (...)
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  • The Skeptic's Dogmatism: A Constructive Response to the Skeptical Problem.Kaplan Levent Hasanoglu - 2011 - Dissertation,
    The problem of philosophical skepticism relates to the difficulty involved in underwriting the claim that we know anything of spatio-temporal reality. It is often claimed, in fact, that proper philosophical scrutiny reveals quite the opposite from what common sense suggests. Knowledge of external reality is thought to be even quite obviously denied to us as a result of the alleged fact that we all fail to know that certain skeptical scenarios do not obtain. A skeptical scenario is one in which (...)
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  • Internalism, Externalism, and Epistemic Source Circularity.Ian David MacMillan - unknown
    The dissertation examines the nature and epistemic implications of epistemic source circularity. An argument exhibits this type of circularity when at least one of the premises is produced by a belief source the conclusion says is legitimate, e.g. a track record argument for the legitimacy of sense perception that uses premises produced by sense perception. In chapter one I examine this and several other types of circularity, identifying relevant similarities and differences between them. In chapter two I discuss the differences (...)
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  • Doubt, Circularity and the Moorean Response to the Sceptic.Jessica Brown - 2005 - Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):1–14.
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  • Reconsidering Closure, Underdetermination, and Infallibilism.Jochen Briesen - 2010 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 80 (1):221-234.
    Anthony Brueckner argues for a strong connection between the closure and the underdetermination argument for scepticism. Moreover, he claims that both arguments rest on infallibilism: In order to motivate the premises of the arguments, the sceptic has to refer to an infallibility principle. If this were true, fallibilists would be right in not taking the problems posed by these sceptical arguments seriously. As many epistemologists are sympathetic to fallibilism, this would be a very interesting result. However, in this paper I (...)
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  • Constructed Worlds, Contested Truths.Maria Baghramian - 2011 - In Richard Schantz & Markus Seidel (eds.), The Problem of Relativism in the Sociology of (Scientific) Knowledge. Ontos. pp. 105-130.
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  • Naturalized Epistemology and Epistemic Evaluation.Christopher Hookway - 1994 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 37 (4):465 – 485.
    The paper explores Quine's ?naturalized epistemology?, investigating whether its adoption would prevent the description or vindication of normative standards standardly employed in regulating beliefs and inquiries. Quine's defence of naturalized epistemology rejects traditional epistemological questions rather than using psychology to answer them. Although one could persuade those sensitive to the force of traditional epistemological problems only by employing the kind of argument whose philosophical relevance Quine is committed to denying, Quine can support his view by showing how scientific inquiry need (...)
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  • Enough is Enough: Austin on Knowing.Guy Longworth - 2018 - In Savas L. Tsohatzidis (ed.), Interpreting J. L. Austin: Critical Essays. Oxford, UK: pp. 186–205.
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  • Experimental Evidence for the Existence of an External World.Eric Schwitzgebel & Alan T. Moore - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (3):564--582.
    In the first experiment, I exhibit unreliable judgment about the primeness or divisibility of four-digit numbers, in contrast to a seeming Excel program. In the second experiment, I exhibit an imperfect memory for arbitrary-seeming three-digit number and letter combinations, in contrast to my seeming collaborator with seemingly hidden notes. In the third experiment, I seem to suffer repeated defeats at chess. In all three experiments, the most straightforward interpretation of the experiential evidence is that something exists in the universe that (...)
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  • Knowledge as a Social Kind.Leandro De Brasi - 2017 - Filosofia Unisinos 18 (3):130-139.
    This paper motivates an account of knowledge as a social kind, following a cue by Edward Craig, which captures two major insights behind social and feminist epistemologies, in particular our epistemic interdependence concerning knowledge and the role of social regulative practices in understanding knowledge.
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  • Epistemic Closure and Epistemic Logic I: Relevant Alternatives and Subjunctivism.Wesley H. Holliday - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (1):1-62.
    Epistemic closure has been a central issue in epistemology over the last forty years. According to versions of the relevant alternatives and subjunctivist theories of knowledge, epistemic closure can fail: an agent who knows some propositions can fail to know a logical consequence of those propositions, even if the agent explicitly believes the consequence (having “competently deduced” it from the known propositions). In this sense, the claim that epistemic closure can fail must be distinguished from the fact that agents do (...)
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  • Scepticism, Externalism and Predictive Dimension of Knowledge Claims.Živan Lazović - 2011 - Prolegomena 10 (2):215-237.
    Ordinary knowledge claims are challenged by philosophical scepticism which holds that we are unable to exclude the possibilities of error involved in well-known sceptical alternatives . In order to explain how we can resist this challenge, first I compare philosophical and ordinary doubt. I point out that they do not differ in terms of the way they aim to undermine knowledge claims, but rather in the character of the alternatives to which they appeal. Thus, in ordinary contexts, philosophical sceptical alternatives (...)
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  • Epistemic Disjunctivism and the Evidential Problem.José Zalabardo - 2015 - Analysis 75 (4):615-627.
    I argue that Epistemic Disjunctivism doesn’t sustain a successful anti-sceptical strategy. I contend, in particular, that the treatment of scepticism that Duncan Pritchard puts forward on behalf of Epistemic Disjunctivism is unsatisfactory.
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