Peter Klein

in The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195130058
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833481 | DOI:

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In ”Skepticism,” Peter Klein distinguishes between the “Academic Skeptic” who proposes that we cannot have knowledge of a certain set of propositions and the “Pyrrhonian Skeptic” who refrains from opining about whether we can have knowledge. Klein argues that Academic Skepticism is plausibly supported by a “Closure Principle‐style” argument based on the claim that if x entails y and S has justification for x, then S has justification for y. He turns to contextualism to see if it can contribute to the discussion between one who claims that we can have knowledge about some epistemically interesting class of propositions and the Academic Skeptic. He outlines the background of Pyrrhonian Skepticism, pointing out that the Pyrrhonist withholds assent concerning our knowledge‐bearing status because reason cannot provide an adequate basis for assent. He assesses three possible patterns of reasoning (foundationalism, coherentism, and infinitism), and concludes that the Pyrrhonist view, that reason cannot resolve matters concerning the nonevident, is vindicated.

Keywords: academic skepticism; assent; closure principle; coherentism; contextualism; foundationalism; infinitism; Peter Klein; Pyrrhonian skepticism; skepticism

Chapter.  11862 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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