Evidentialism and skeptical arguments

Synthese 189 (2):337-352 (2012)
Abstract
Cartesian skepticism about epistemic justification (‘skepticism’) is the view that many of our beliefs about the external world – e.g., my current belief that I have hands – aren’t justified. I examine the two most influential arguments for skepticism – the Closure Argument and the Underdetermination Argument – from an evidentialist perspective. For both arguments it is clear which premise the anti-skeptic must deny. The Closure Argument, I argue, is the better argument in that its key premise is weaker than the Underdetermination Argument’s key premise. However, it’s also likely that the motivation for accepting both key premises is exactly the same. So there may be a sense in which both arguments provide exactly the same motivation for skepticism. Then I argue that if I I’m right about what the motivation for accepting the arguments’ key premises is, then neither argument succeeds in providing a good reason to accept skepticism. I conclude by explaining why I think epistemologists are right to expend a lot of time and effort on refuting these arguments, even if neither argument provides any motivation for skepticism.
Keywords skepticism  evidentialism  epistemic closure  skeptical arguments  closure argument  underdetermination argument  epistemic justification  fallibilism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-012-0067-1
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 19,680
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-06-22

Total downloads

92 ( #42,116 of 1,789,999 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

10 ( #83,046 of 1,789,999 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.