David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Acta Analytica 20 (2):26-37 (2005)
Contextualism is supposed to explain why the following argument for skepticism seems plausible: (1) I don’t know that I am not a bodiless brain-in-a-vat (BIV); (2) If I know I have hands, then I know I am not a bodiless BIV; (3) Therefore, I do not know I have hands. Keith DeRose claims that (1) and (2) are “initially plausible.” I claim that (1) is initially plausible only because of an implicit argument that stands behind it; it is not intuitively plausible. The argument DeRose offers is based on the requirement of sensitivity, that is, on the idea that if you know something then you would not believe it if it were false. I criticize the sensitivity requirement thereby undercutting its support for (1) and the skeptical data that contextualism is meant to explain. While skepticism is not a plausible ground for contextualism, I argue that certain pragmatic considerations are. It’s plausible to think that to know something more evidence is required when more is at stake. The best way to handle skepticism is to criticize the arguments for it. We should not adopt contextualism as a means of accommodating skepticism even if there are other pragmatic reasons for being a contextualist about knowledge.
|Keywords||contextualism intuitive DeRose pragmatic safety sensitivity skepticism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
Ron Wilburn (2010). Possible Worlds of Doubt. Acta Analytica 25 (2):259-277.
Similar books and articles
Sarah Wright (2010). Virtues, Social Roles, and Contextualism. Metaphilosophy 41 (1):95-114.
Bryan Frances (2008). Live Skeptical Hypotheses. In John Greco (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Skepticism. Oxford.
Troy Cross (2010). Skeptical Success. Oxford Studies in Epistemology 3:35-62.
John Greco (2007). External World Skepticism. Philosophy Compass 2 (4):625–649.
Jonathan L. Kvanvig (2007). Contextualism, Contrastivism, Relevant Alternatives, and Closure. Philosophical Studies 134 (2):131-140.
Adam Leite (2004). Skepticism, Sensitivity, and Closure, or Why the Closure Principle is Irrelevant to External World Skepticism. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12:335-350.
Adam Leite (2004). Skepticism, Sensitivity, and Closure. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 4 (3):335-350.
Mylan Engel (2004). What's Wrong with Contextualism, and a Noncontextualist Resolution of the Skeptical Paradox. Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):203-231.
Mylan Engel Jr (2004). What's Wrong with Contextualism, and a Noncontextualist Resolution of the Skeptical Paradox. Erkenntnis 61 (2/3):203 - 231.
Jay Newhard (2012). The Argument From Skepticism for Contextualism. Philosophia 40 (3):563-575.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads23 ( #70,554 of 1,096,272 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #130,630 of 1,096,272 )
How can I increase my downloads?