How Live Hypotheses Sabotage Knowledge

Bryan Frances

in Scepticism Comes Alive

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780199282135
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602917 | DOI:
How Live Hypotheses Sabotage Knowledge

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The argument template used to generate the new sceptical arguments is presented. In doing so, what it means for a hypothesis to be “live”, what it means for someone to be a “mere mortal” with regard to a live hypothesis, what it means to be able to “rule out” a hypothesis are explained. The key premises of the argument: the Modesty Principle, the Live Hypothesis Principle, and the Mere Mortal Premiss are formulated. Roughly put, if one is a mere mortal with regard to a live hypothesis H, then in order for one to know something P obviously inconsistent with H, one needs to be able to rule out or neutralize H. But since one is a mere mortal, one can’t neutralize H; so one does not know P.

Keywords: scepticism; rule out; experts; error; relevant alternatives; hypothesis; knowledge; defeaters

Chapter.  5027 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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