The Skeptical Paradox and the Generality of Closure (and other principles)

In Duncan Pritchard & Matthew Jope (ed.), New Perspectives on Epistemic Closure. Routledge (2022)
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In this essay I defend a solution to a skeptical paradox. The paradox I focus on concerns epistemic justification (rather than knowledge), and skeptical scenarios that entail that most of our ordinary beliefs about the external world are false. This familiar skeptical paradox hinges on a “closure” principle. The solution is to restrict closure, despite its first appearing as a fully general principle, so that it can no longer give rise to the paradox. This has some extra advantages. First, it suggests a general strategy that provides solutions to other versions of the paradox, not just those that depend on closure. Second, it clarifies the relation between the paradox and other kinds of skeptical problem.

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Yuval Avnur
Claremont College


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