Reconsidering Closure, Underdetermination, and Infallibilism

Grazer Philosophische Studien 80 (1):221-234 (2010)
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Abstract

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 will argue that Brueckner’s claims are wrong: The closure and the underdetermination argument are not as closely related as he assumes and neither rests on infallibilism. Thus even a fallibilist should take these arguments to raise serious problems that must be dealt with somehow.

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Jochen Briesen
Universität Konstanz

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