Davidson, skepticism and the pragmatics of justification
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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This paper is concerned with Davidson's argument that very general properties of the theory of interpretation make the skeptical claim that most of our beliefs could turn out to be false insupportable. Conceived as a 'straight' answer to the skeptic Davidson's argument is not especially convincing. In particular, Davidson's answer to the skeptic presupposes a framework that allows for a new and seemingly more radical skepticism according to which we might not even have beliefs at all. Nevertheless, there is a sense in which Davidson's account of content remaps the conceptual terrain in a fashion that absolves us of the need to rule out the scenarios the skeptic describes. The paper will both present the problems Davidson's position has as a 'straight' solution to skepticism, and discuss the way in which his externalism does weaken the strength of the skeptical challenge.
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