A Simpleminded Epistemological Disjunctivist Neo-Mooreanism

Duncan Pritchard

in Epistemological Disjunctivism

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199557912
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191743290 | DOI:
A Simpleminded Epistemological Disjunctivist Neo-Mooreanism

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This chapter presents the simpleminded form of epistemological disjunctivist neo-Mooreanism. In the good+ case our agent — this chapter calls him ‘John’ — perceptually knows the target empirical proposition which entails that he is not a brain-in-a-vat (BIV) (the chapter calls this proposition p), where sufficient epistemic support for this knowledge is provided by the relevant reflectively accessible factive reason (i.e., his seeing that p). Like Zula, John does not need to take a view on whether he is a BIV in order to know that p (nor does it matter that he is unable to perceptually discriminate between the objects at issue in the two scenarios — hands and ‘vat-hands’, say). If, however, he is confronted with this hypothesis, then he needs to take a view on it and so either have an adequate epistemic basis for believing that not-BIV, or else no longer believe (and hence know) that p (and much else besides). But on the simpleminded view such epistemic support for believing that not-BIV is easy to come by, since John has reflectively available to him rational support for his belief that p which (he is fully aware) entails p and hence which entails not-BIV as well. Hence, by undertaking the relevant competent deduction he can come to know on this reflective basis that he is not a BIV.

Keywords: epistemological disjunctivesm; neo-Mooreanism; agent; brain-in-a-vat; BIV

Chapter.  1241 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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