Wright Against the Sceptics

Michael Williams

in Mind, Meaning, and Knowledge

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199278053
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745386 | DOI:
Wright Against the Sceptics

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Wright defines a cornerstone as a deep presupposition of the justificatory procedures appropriate to some vital area of discourse. According to Wright, one of the most powerful sceptical strategies is to argue that no cornerstone commitment can be justified in a non-question-begging way, with the result that beliefs in the area of discourse for which it is a cornerstone also lack warrant. Taking his cue from Wittgenstein, Wright replies that this argumentative strategy involves a lacuna. Cornerstones are rationally warranted, by virtue of being rational but unearned entitlements. Though sympathetic to many things that Wright has to say, the chapter argues that his response to the sceptic is far more concessive that it should be. The chapter concludes by suggesting how a much less concessive response may be attempted.

Keywords: cognitive locality; cornerstone strategy; default and challenge; entitlement; externalism; foundationalism; justification; scepticism; warrant; Wittgenstein

Chapter.  12352 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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