Chapter

Epistemic Threats, Context, and our Anti‐Sceptical Strategies

Bryan Frances

in Scepticism Comes Alive

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780199282135
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602917 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199282137.003.0009
Epistemic Threats, Context, and our Anti‐Sceptical Strategies

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The notion of the epistemic threat to a belief that P posed by contrary hypotheses, hypotheses entailing not-P is examined. In doing so, it is shown how contextual factors affect the live sceptic’s argument. The three strategies available for constructing anti-sceptical responses to the live scepti’s argument are described. The goal here is twofold: provide a way of classifying possible anti-sceptical solutions, and more hopefully, supply materials useful for constructing an adequate anti-sceptical solution to live scepticism. Finally, the power of the live and classic hypothesis-based sceptical arguments are compared, arguing that the live ones are significantly stronger.

Keywords: scepticism; epistemic threat; defeater; context; knowledge attribution; contextualism; relevant alternatives; anti-sceptical strategies

Chapter.  6045 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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