Descriptive analysis and the sceptic

Inquiry 4 (1-4):228-269 (1961)
Abstract
Abstract On the basis of Professor Ayer's The Problem of Knowledge, Mr. Stigen criticizes Ayer for defending a position which the sceptic does not attack. Ayer's ?descriptive analysis?, which is his answer to the sceptic, consists in an analysis of statements about, e.g. material objects or other minds into verifiable propositions. In other words, Ayer points to the fact that our statements are shown to be true by verification. However, according to Stigen, this analysis does not remove the sceptic's doubts, for the sceptic does not doubt that our statements are true; his attack is directed against the validity of those of my present beliefs for which I claim knowledge?status. The sceptic asks me to justify my claim that the statement is not only true, but that I have also good grounds now for being sure of it, i.e. that my present belief amounts to knowledge in virtue of its credibility. On this point, according to Stigen, Ayer offers no satisfactory solution
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