Contextualism and global doubts about the world

Synthese 129 (3):381 - 404 (2001)
Several recent contextualist theorists (e.g. David Lewis, Michael Williams, andKeith DeRose) have proposed contextualizing the skeptic. Their claim is that oneshould view satisfactory answers to global doubts regarding such subjects as theexternal world, other minds, and induction as requirements for justification incertain philosophical contexts, but not in everyday and scientific contexts. Incontrast, the skeptic claims that a satisfactory answer to a global doubt in eachof these areas is a context-invariant requirement for justified belief. In this paper,I consider and reject the arguments Michael Williams develops in his bookUnnatural Doubts that are intended to show that the skeptic's interpretationof the significance of global doubts is mistaken. In addition, I argue that Williams'general strategy in opposing the skeptic is extremely interesting and worth furtherinvestigation, even if his particular execution of it is unsuccessful. To this end, Iclarify the general strategy, distinguish it from a variety of others, and discuss itsprospects as an answer to the skeptic.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/20117189
 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: 15,974
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Robert J. Fogelin (1999). The Sceptic's Burden. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 7 (2):159 – 172.
Ram Neta (2003). Contextualism and the Problem of the External World. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):1–31.
Kathrin Koslicki (2005). On the Substantive Nature of Disagreements in Ontology. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):85–151.
Anthony Rudd (2008). Natural Doubts. Metaphilosophy 39 (3):305–324.
Ron Wilburn (2010). Possible Worlds of Doubt. Acta Analytica 25 (2):259-277.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

21 ( #135,245 of 1,725,806 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #268,283 of 1,725,806 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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