Can the skepticism debate be resolved?

Synthese 168 (1):23 - 52 (2009)
External world skeptics are typically opposed to admitting as evidence anything that goes beyond the purely phenomenal, and equally typically, they disown the use of rules of inference that might enable one to move from premises about the phenomenal alone to a conclusion about the external world. This seems to bar any a posteriori resolution of the skepticism debate. This paper argues that the situation is not quite so hopeless, and that an a posteriori resolution of the debate becomes possible once it is recognized that the skeptic holds overly defensive and ill-motivated positions vis-à-vis both evidence and inference, and that more reasonable ones are available. In stating these more reasonable positions, as well as in showing how they make possible an a posteriori resolution of the skepticism debate, the paper draws on the machinery of Bayesian epistemology.
Keywords Skepticism  Bayesian epistemology  Evidence  Inference to the best explanation
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    References found in this work BETA
    Michael Bergmann (2004). Epistemic Circularity: Malignant and Benign. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (3):709–727.
    Stewart Cohen (2002). Basic Knowledge and the Problem of Easy Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (2):309-329.

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