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Summary Dogmatist or Moorean responses to skepticism are most readily introduced in the context of the classic skeptical argument: (1) You don't know/have justification to believe that you are not massively deceived (2) If you don't know/have justification to believe that you are not massively deceived then you don't know/have justification to believe that you have hands--or anything else about the external world on the basis of your senses. (3) Therefore, you don't know/have justification to believe that you have hands--or anything else about the external world on the basis of your senses. Dogmatist or Moorean responses to this argument reject premise (1) in a distinctive way: you appeal to perceptual justification for, or knowledge of, some simple empirical premise, such as that you have hands, and claim to have justification to believe, or know, on that basis that you are not massively deceived.  (There are many subtleties and details, some of which depend on the sort of massive deception involved in the argument.) This response to skepticism depends on a view about the conditions under which one becomes justified, or gets knowledge, on the basis of sensory experience: when one has an experience whose content is p, one gets justification to believe p so long as one lacks any evidence that one is deceived and even if one lacks independent evidence that one is not deceived.
Key works This sort of response to skepticism is inspired by some remarks in Moore 1925. Much of the recent discussion on the topic is framed by the version of this response presented Pryor 2000.
Introductions Pryor 2000 Pryor 2004 Wright 2002 White 2006
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  1. William P. Alston (1986). Epistemic Circularity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (1):1-30.
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  2. Jonathan Barnes (1988). Scepticism and Relativity. Philosophical Studies 32:1-31.
  3. Peter Baumann (2009). Was Moore a Moorean? On Moore and Scepticism. European Journal of Philosophy 17 (2):181-200.
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  4. T. Black (2002). A Moorean Response to Brain-in-a-Vat Scepticism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (2):148 – 163.
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  5. Tim Black (2008). A Warranted-Assertability Defense of a Moorean Response to Skepticism. Acta Analytica 23 (3):187-205.
    According to a Moorean response to skepticism, the standards for knowledge are invariantly comparatively low, and we can know across contexts all that we ordinarily take ourselves to know. It is incumbent upon the Moorean to defend his position by explaining how, in contexts in which S seems to lack knowledge, S can nevertheless have knowledge. The explanation proposed here relies on a warranted-assertability maneuver: Because we are warranted in asserting that S doesn’t know that p, it can seem that (...)
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  6. Nick Bostrom, What We Should Say to the Skeptic.
    Since it is conceivable that the sun won't rise tomorrow although it has always done so in the past, we cannot hope for justification for the belief that it is strictly speaking absolutely certain that the sun will rise tomorrow. What we are looking for is an explanation of why it is reasonable even to believe with a high degree of confidence that the sun will rise.
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  7. Bryson Brown (2006). Skepticism About the Past and the Problem of the Criterion. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):291-306.
    An argument for skepticism about the past exploits a circularity in the arguments connecting present observations to claims about past events. Arguments supporting claims about the past depend on current observations together with processes linking current observations to those claims. But knowledge of processes requires knowledge of the past: Knowledge of the present alone cannot provide evidence for claims about the past. A practical, coherentist response to this challenge rejects the assumption that we come to the problem with no information (...)
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  8. Jessica Brown, Proof.
    Davies and Wright have recently diagnosed the felt inadequacy of Moore’s response to the sceptic in terms of a failure of transmission of warrant. They argue that warrant fails to transmit across the following key inference: I have hands, if I have hands then I am not a BIV, so I am not a BIV, on the grounds that this inference cannot be used to rationally overcome doubt about its conclusion, and cannot strengthen one’s epistemic position with respect to the (...)
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  9. Jessica Brown (2005). Doubt, Circularity and the Moorean Response to the Sceptic. Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):1–14.
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  10. Jessica Brown (2004). Wright on Transmission Failure. Analysis 64 (1):57–67.
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  11. Anthony Brueckner (2007). Hinge Propositions and Epistemic Justification. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (3):285–287.
    Michael Williams and Crispin Wright have claimed that we are epistemically justified in believing hinge propositions, such as there is an external world. In a recent paper Allan Hazlett puts forward an argument that purports to elucidate the source of such justification. This paper reconstructs Hazlett's argument and offers a criticism of it.
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  12. Toni Vogel Carey (2002). Taming the Skeptical Dragon. Philosophy Now 35:7-9.
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  13. L. S. Carrier (1987). Out-Gunning Skepticism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):655 - 657.
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  14. J. Adam Carter (2012). Recent Work on Moores Proof. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 2 (2):115-144.
    Recently, much work has been done on G.E. Moore's proof of an external world with the aim of diagnosing just where the Proof `goes wrong'. In the mainstream literature, the most widely discussed debate on this score stands between those who defend competing accounts of perceptual warrant known as dogmatism (i.e. Pryor and Davies) and conservativism (i.e. Wright). Each account implies a different verdict on Moore's Proof, though both share a commitment to supposing that an examination of premise-conclusion dependence relations (...)
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  15. J. Adam Carter (2011). Radical Skepticism, Closure, and Robust Knowledge. Journal of Philosophical Research 36:115-133.
    The Neo-Moorean response to the radical skeptical challenge boldly maintains that we can know we’re not the victims of radical skeptical hypotheses; accordingly, our everyday knowledge that would otherwise be threatened by our inability to rule out such hypotheses stands unthreatened. Given the leverage such an approach has against the skeptic from the very start, the Neo-Moorean line is an especially popular one; as we shall see, though, it faces several commonly overlooked problems. An initial problem is that this particular (...)
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  16. J. Adam Carter (2011). Radical Skepticism, Closure, and Robust Knowledge. Journal of Philosophical Research 36:115-133.
    The Neo-Moorean response to the radical skeptical challenge boldly maintains that we can know we’re not the victims of radical skeptical hypotheses; accordingly, our everyday knowledge that would otherwise be threatened by our inability to rule out such hypotheses stands unthreatened. Given the leverage such an approach has against the skeptic from the very start, the Neo-Moorean line is an especially popular one; as we shall see, though, it faces several commonly overlooked problems. An initial problem is that this particular (...)
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  17. Roderick M. Chisholm (1973). Empirical Knowledge; Readings From Contemporary Sources. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,Prentice-Hall.
    Nelson, L. The impossibility of the "Theory of knowledge."--Moore, G. E. Four forms of skepticism.--Lehrer, K. Skepticism & conceptual change.--Quine, W. V. Epistemology naturalized.--Rozeboom, W. W. Why I know so much more than you do.--Price, H. H. Belief and evidence.--Lewis, C. I. The bases of empirical knowledge.--Malcolm, N. The verification argument.--Firth, R. The anatomy of certainty.--Chisholm, R. M. On the nature of empirical evidence.--Meinong, A. Toward an epistemological assessment of memory.--Brandt, R. The epistemological status of memory beliefs.--Malcolm, N. A definition (...)
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  18. Noam Chomsky, Force and Opinion.
    We can trace such ideas to 17th century thinkers who reacted to the skeptical crisis of the times by recognizing that there are no absolutely certain grounds for knowledge, but that we do, nevertheless, have ways to gain a reliable understanding of the world and to improve that understanding and apply it -- essentially the standpoint of the working scientist today. Similarly, in normal life a reasonable person relies on the natural beliefs of common sense while recognizing that they may (...)
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  19. Thompson Clarke (1972). The Legacy of Skepticism. Journal of Philosophy 64 (20):754-769.
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  20. Annalisa Coliva, The Paradox of Moore's Proof Of.
    Moore’s proof of an external world is a piece of reasoning whose premises, in context, are true and warranted and whose conclusion is perfectly acceptable, and yet immediately seems flawed. I argue that neither Wright’s nor Pryor’s readings of the proof can explain this paradox. Rather, one must take the proof as responding to a sceptical challenge to our right to claim to have warrant for our ordinary empirical beliefs, either for any particular empirical belief we might have, or for (...)
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  21. Annalisa Coliva (2013). Hinges and Certainty. A Précis of Moore and Wittgenstein. Scepticism, Certainty and Common Sense. Philosophia 41 (1):1-12.
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  22. Annalisa Coliva (2012). Varieties of Failure (of Warrant Transmission: What Else?!). Synthese 189 (2):235-254.
    In the contemporary expanding literature on transmission failure and its connections with issues such as the Closure principle, the nature of perceptual warrant, Moore’s proof of an external world and the effectiveness of Humean scepticism, it has often been assumed that there is just one kind of it: the one made familiar by the writings of Crispin Wright and Martin Davies. Although it might be thought that one kind of failure is more than enough, Davies has recently challenged this view: (...)
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  23. Annalisa Coliva (2010). Moore and Wittgenstein: Scepticism, Certainty, and Common Sense. Palgrave Macmillan.
  24. Annalisa Coliva (2008). The Paradox of Moore's Proof of an External World. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231):234–243.
    Moore's proof of an external world is a piece of reasoning whose premises, in context, are true and warranted and whose conclusion is perfectly acceptable, and yet immediately seems flawed. I argue that neither Wright's nor Pryor's readings of the proof can explain this paradox. Rather, one must take the proof as responding to a sceptical challenge to our right to claim to have warrant for our ordinary empirical beliefs, either for any particular empirical belief we might have, or for (...)
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  25. Earl Conee (2001). Comments on Bill Lycan's Moore Against the New Skeptics. Philosophical Studies 103 (1):55 - 59.
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  26. Rebecca Copenhaver (2004). Thomas Reid and Scepticism: His Reliabilist Response. Philosophical Review 113 (4):574-577.
  27. Martin Davies (2009). Two Purposes of Arguing and Two Epistemic Projects. In Ian Ravenscroft (ed.), Minds, Ethics, and Conditionals: Themes From the Philosophy of Frank Jackson. Oup Oxford.
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  28. Philip de Bary (2002). Thomas Reid and Scepticism: His Reliabilist Response. Routledge.
    This book bears witness to the current reawakening of interest in Reid's philosophy. It first examines Reid's negative attack on the Way of Ideas, and finds him to be a devastating critic of his predecessors.
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  29. Katheryn Doran (1995). Moore's Paradox, Asserting and Skepticism. Southwest Philosophy Review 11 (1):41-48.
  30. Jørgen Døør (1973). Scepticism and Dogmatism. Inquiry 16 (1-4):214 – 220.
    In 'A Note on “Scepticism and Absurdity”; ' (Inquiry, Vol. 10 [1967], No. 3), Zinkernagel has restated his attack on scepticism, maintaining that his approach, where we need only refer to a simple and inspectable fact of language, offers a decisive argument against scepticism. It is suggested that Zinkernagel's optimism is unwarranted because on close inspection his general theory reveals some serious complexities, and it is shown that in his own terms Zinkernagel's second rule is not a condition for description.
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  31. Michael Fara, How Moore Beat the Skeptic.
    One afternoon in 1939, G. E. Moore held up his hands. He proceeded to make a certain gesture, first with his right hand and next with his left, while uttering the words, “Here is one hand and here is another.” Moore famously claimed to have thereby proved the existence of external things.
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  32. Paul Faulkner (2005). On Dreaming and Being Lied To. Episteme 2 (3):149-159.
    As sources of knowledge, perception and testimony are both vulnerable to sceptical arguments. To both arguments a Moorean response is possible: both can be refuted by reference to particular things known by perception and testimony. However, lies and dreams are different possibilities and they are different in a way that undercuts the plausibility of a Moorean response to a scepticism of testimony. The condition placed on testimonial knowledge cannot be trivially satisfi ed in the way the Moorean would suggest. This (...)
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  33. Gail Fine (2000). Skeptical Dogmata: Outlines of Pyrrhonism. Méthexis 13:81-105.
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  34. Robert J. Fogelin (2003). Walking the Tightrope of Reason: The Precarious Life of a Rational Animal. Oxford University Press.
    Human beings are both supremely rational and deeply superstitious, capable of believing just about anything and of questioning just about everything. Indeed, just as our reason demands that we know the truth, our skepticism leads to doubts we can ever really do so. In Walking the Tightrope of Reason, Robert J. Fogelin guides readers through a contradiction that lies at the very heart of philosophical inquiry. Fogelin argues that our rational faculties insist on a purely rational account of the universe, (...)
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  35. Matthew Frise (2011). Moore's Anti-Skeptical Arguments. In Michael Bruce & Steven Barbone (eds.), Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  36. L. E. Goodman (1983). Skepticism. Review of Metaphysics 36 (4):819 - 848.
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  37. Brian Grant (2001). The Virtues of Common Sense. Philosophy 76 (2):191-209.
    I defend, in this paper, a version of a philosophy of common sense. I have use of some things from Reid's account of these matters, others from Wittgenstein's. Scepticism looms large—as do the questions of arguments for and examples of common sense. At least two different notions of common sense emerge, one of which has often been overlooked by philosophers.
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  38. John Greco (2007). External World Skepticism. Philosophy Compass 2 (4):625–649.
    Recent literature in epistemology has focused on the following argument for skepticism (SA): I know that I have two hands only if I know that I am not a handless brain in a vat. But I don't know I am not a handless brain in a vat. Therefore, I don't know that I have two hands. Part I of this article reviews two responses to skepticism that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s: sensitivity theories and attributor contextualism. Part II considers (...)
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  39. John Greco (2005). Review of Noah Lemos, Common Sense: A Contemporary Defense. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (7).
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  40. John Greco (2004). Externalism and Skepticism. In Richard Schantz (ed.), The Externalist Challenge. De Gruyter. 53.
    Part 1 argues that, despite rhetorical appearances, McDowell accepts a standard version of epistemic externalism. Moreover, epistemic externalism plays an important role in McDowell’s response to skepticism. Part 2 argues that, contra McDowell, epistemic externalism is necessary for rejecting skepticism, and content externalism is not sufficient for rejecting skepticism.
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  41. John Greco (2003). Précis of Putting Skeptics in Their Place: The Nature of Skeptical Arguments and Their Role in Philosophical Inquiry. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):432–436.
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  42. John Greco (2000). Putting Skeptics in Their Place: The Nature of Skeptical Arguments and Their Role in Philosophical Inquiry. Cambridge University Press.
    This book is about the nature of skeptical arguments and their role in philosophical inquiry. John Greco delineates three main theses: that a number of historically prominent skeptical arguments make no obvious mistake, and therefore cannot be easily dismissed; that the analysis of skeptical arguments is philosophically useful and important, and should therefore have a central place in the methodology of philosophy; and that taking skeptical arguments seriously requires us to adopt an externalist, reliabilist epistemology. Greco argues that the importance (...)
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  43. Sterling Harwood (1989). Taking Scepticism Seriously—and in Context. Philosophical Investigations 12 (3):223-233.
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  44. Allan Hazlett (2006). How to Defeat Belief in the External World. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (2):198–212.
    I defend the view that there is a privileged class of propositions – that there is an external world, among other such 'hinge propositions'– that possess a special epistemic status: justified belief in these propositions is not defeated unless one has sufficient reason to believe their negation. Two arguments are given for this conclusion. Finally, three proposals are offered as morals of the preceding story: first, our justification for hinge propositions must be understood as defeatable, second, antiskeptics must explain our (...)
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  45. J. Heal (1986). STRAWSON, P. F. [1985]: Scepticism and Naturalism: Some Varieties. Methuen. X+98 Pp. 10.95. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (4):523-525.
  46. R. J. Henle (1987). The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism. By Barry Stroud. Modern Schoolman 64 (2):148-150.
  47. Risto Hilpinen (1983). Skepticism and Justification. Synthese 55 (2):165 - 173.
    This paper discusses the skeptical argument presented by Keith Lehrer in his paper Why Not Scepticism?. It is argued that Lehrer's argument depends on unacceptable premises, and therefore fails to establish the skeptical conclusion. On the other hand, it is also shown that even if the skeptic's opponent (called a dogmatist) knows something, he may be unable to prove this in a way which could convince the skeptic; hence the difficulty of refuting skepticism. The paper also criticises Dretske's attempt to (...)
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  48. Michael Huemer (2000). Direct Realism and the Brain-in-a-Vat Argument. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):397-413.
  49. Michael Hughes (2013). Problems for Contrastive Closure: Resolved and Regained. Philosophical Studies 163 (3):577-590.
    The standard contextualist solution to the skeptical paradox is intended to provide a way to retain epistemic closure while avoiding the excessive modesty of radical skepticism and the immodesty of Moorean dogmatism. However, contextualism’s opponents charge that its solution suffers from epistemic immodesty comparable to Moorean dogmatism. According to the standard contextualist solution, all contexts where an agent knows some ordinary proposition to be true are contexts where she also knows that the skeptical hypotheses are false. It has been hoped (...)
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  50. Brian Hutchinson (2001). G.E. Moore's Ethical Theory: Resistance and Reconciliation. Cambridge University Press.
    This is the first comprehensive study of the ethics of G. E. Moore, the most important English-speaking ethicist of the twentieth century. Moore's ethical project, set out in his seminal text Principia Ethica, is to preserve common moral insight from skepticism and, in effect, persuade his readers to accept the objective character of goodness. Brian Hutchinson explores Moore's arguments in detail and in the process relates the ethical thought to Moore's anti-skeptical epistemology. Moore was, without perhaps fully realizing it, skeptical (...)
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