Duncan Pritchard

in Epistemic Luck

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199280384
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602290 | DOI:

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I contend that in so far as the contemporary debate about scepticism has formulated the sceptical problem correctly, and in so far as one is entitled to adopt epistemological externalism as part of one’s anti-sceptical strategy, one should reject both the arguments for non-closure and for attributer contextualism, and advance, instead, a version of neo-Mooreanism that turns on the so-called ‘safety’ condition on knowledge. I explore the implications of this approach for the sceptical problem, including the manner in which it needs to be distinguished from the type of response to scepticism that is associated with G. E. Moore’s famous proof of an external world. A key component of this argument in this respect is an account of the conversational rules that govern our ascriptions of knowledge that can do justice to the intuitions that motivate attributer contextualism, while also explaining why the kind of anti-sceptical assertions made by Moore are so problematic. As regards the latter, I enlist elements of Wittgenstein’s critique of Moore’s response to the sceptic from On Certainty. I conclude that what these considerations highlight is a deep and important (and also surprising) truth about the structure of reasons.

Keywords: assertion; closure; principle of; contextualism; epistemic externalism/internalism; epistemology; Moore, G. E; Mooreanism; neo-Mooreanism; relevant alternatives; safety; principle of; scepticism; Wittgenstein, Ludwig

Chapter.  16007 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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