David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Oxford Studies in Epistemology 1:311-331 (2005)
This paper is about three of the most prominent debates in modern epistemology. The conclusion is that three prima facie appealing positions in these debates cannot be held simultaneously. The first debate is scepticism vs anti-scepticism. My conclusions apply to most kinds of debates between sceptics and their opponents, but I will focus on the inductive sceptic, who claims we cannot come to know what will happen in the future by induction. This is a fairly weak kind of scepticism, and I suspect many philosophers who are generally anti-sceptical are attracted by this kind of scepticism. Still, even this kind of scepticism is quite unintuitive. I’m pretty sure I know (1) on the basis of induction. (1) It will snow in Ithaca next winter. Although I am taking a very strong version of anti-scepticism to be intuitively true here, the points I make will generalise to most other versions of scepticism. (Focussing on the inductive sceptic avoids some potential complications that I will note as they arise.) The second debate is a version of rationalism vs empiricism. The kind of rationalist I have in mind accepts that some deeply contingent propositions can be known a priori, and the empiricist I have in mind denies this. Kripke showed that there are contingent propositions that can be known a priori. One example is Water is the watery stuff of our acquaintance. (‘Watery’ is David Chalmers’s nice term for the properties of water by which folk identify it.) All the examples Kripke gave are of propositions that are, to use Gareth Evans’s term, deeply necessary (Evans, 1979). It is a matter of controversy presently just how to analyse Evans’s concepts of deep necessity and contingency, but most of the controversies are over details that are not important right here. I’ll simply adopt Stephen Yablo’s recent suggestion: a proposition is deeply contingent if it could have turned out to be true, and could have turned out to be false (Yablo, 2002)1. Kripke did not provide examples of any deeply contingent propositions knowable a priori, though nothing he showed rules out their existence..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Susanna Schellenberg (2014). The Epistemic Force of Perceptual Experience. Philosophical Studies 170 (1):87-100.
Juan Comesaña (2010). Evidentialist Reliabilism. Noûs 44 (4):571-600.
Brian Weatherson (2007). Humeans Aren't Out of Their Minds. Noûs 41 (3):529–535.
Similar books and articles
Anthony Rudd (2008). Natural Doubts. Metaphilosophy 39 (3):305–324.
Brian P. McLaughlin (2000). Self-Knowledge, Externalism, and Skepticism,I. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 74 (1):93–118.
Duncan Pritchard (2005). Scepticism, Epistemic Luck, and Epistemic Angst. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):185 – 205.
Sven Rosenkranz (2012). Radical Scepticism Without Epistemic Closure. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):692-718.
David Owens (2000). Self-Knowledge, Externalism and Scepticism, II. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 74 (1):119–142.
Brian P. McLaughlin (2000). Self-Knowledge, Externalism, and Skepticism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 74 (74):93-118.
Jeff Malpas (1994). Self-Knowledge and Scepticism. Erkenntnis 40 (2):165-184.
Added to index2010-04-30
Total downloads78 ( #18,619 of 1,099,918 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #67,010 of 1,099,918 )
How can I increase my downloads?