Duncan Pritchard

in Epistemological Disjunctivism

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199557912
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191743290 | DOI:

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This chapter presents a three-part response to radical scepticism, a response which mirrors in key respects the ‘commonsense’ proposal often ascribed to G. E. Moore (and which is regarded with almost wholesale derision). Here this chapter calls this anti-sceptical proposal, Mooreanism. The first part of this anti-sceptical response is to focus on an everyday proposition which we paradigmatically take ourselves to know, such as that one has two hands, and to insist that we do indeed know this proposition. The second part of the response is to note that since this everyday proposition is manifestly inconsistent with the target radical sceptical hypothesis, it follows that if one knows the everyday proposition, then one must know the denial of the radical sceptical hypothesis as well. Finally, the third part of the response is the extraction of the antisceptical conclusion that one knows the denial of the target radical sceptical hypothesis, in this case that one is not a brain-in-a-vat.

Keywords: radical scepticism; commonsense; G. E. Moore; anti-sceptical proposal; Mooreanism

Chapter.  1302 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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