About this topic
Summary Dogmatist or Moorean responses to skepticism are most readily introduced in the context of the classic skeptical argument: (1) You don't know/have justification to believe that you are not massively deceived (2) If you don't know/have justification to believe that you are not massively deceived then you don't know/have justification to believe that you have hands--or anything else about the external world on the basis of your senses. (3) Therefore, you don't know/have justification to believe that you have hands--or anything else about the external world on the basis of your senses. Dogmatist or Moorean responses to this argument reject premise (1) in a distinctive way: you appeal to perceptual justification for, or knowledge of, some simple empirical premise, such as that you have hands, and claim to have justification to believe, or know, on that basis that you are not massively deceived.  (There are many subtleties and details, some of which depend on the sort of massive deception involved in the argument.) This response to skepticism depends on a view about the conditions under which one becomes justified, or gets knowledge, on the basis of sensory experience: when one has an experience whose content is p, one gets justification to believe p so long as one lacks any evidence that one is deceived and even if one lacks independent evidence that one is not deceived.
Key works This sort of response to skepticism is inspired by some remarks in Moore 1925. Much of the recent discussion on the topic is framed by the version of this response presented Pryor 2000.
Introductions Pryor 2000 Pryor 2004 Wright 2002 White 2006
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188 found
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  1. Epistemic Circularity.William P. Alston - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (1):1-30.
  2. Scepticism and Relativity.Jonathan Barnes - 1988 - Philosophical Studies 32:1-31.
  3. What's the Matter with Epistemic Circularity?David James Barnett - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):177-205.
    If the reliability of a source of testimony is open to question, it seems epistemically illegitimate to verify the source’s reliability by appealing to that source’s own testimony. Is this because it is illegitimate to trust a questionable source’s testimony on any matter whatsoever? Or is there a distinctive problem with appealing to the source’s testimony on the matter of that source’s own reliability? After distinguishing between two kinds of epistemically illegitimate circularity—bootstrapping and self-verification—I argue for a qualified version of (...)
  4. Was Moore a Moorean? On Moore and Scepticism.Peter Baumann - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (2):181-200.
    One of the most important views in the recent discussion of epistemological scepticism is Neo-Mooreanism. It turns a well-known kind of sceptical argument (the dreaming argument and its different versions) on its head by starting with ordinary knowledge claims and concluding that we know that we are not in a sceptical scenario. This paper argues that George Edward Moore was not a Moorean in this sense. Moore replied to other forms of scepticism than those mostly discussed nowadays. His own anti-sceptical (...)
  5. A Moorean Response to Brain-in-a-Vat Scepticism.T. Black - 2002 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (2):148 – 163.
  6. A Warranted-Assertability Defense of a Moorean Response to Skepticism.Tim Black - 2008 - Acta Analytica 23 (3):187-205.
    According to a Moorean response to skepticism, the standards for knowledge are invariantly comparatively low, and we can know across contexts all that we ordinarily take ourselves to know. It is incumbent upon the Moorean to defend his position by explaining how, in contexts in which S seems to lack knowledge, S can nevertheless have knowledge. The explanation proposed here relies on a warranted-assertability maneuver: Because we are warranted in asserting that S doesn’t know that p, it can seem that (...)
  7. Solving the Moorean Puzzle.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):493-514.
    This article addresses and resolves an epistemological puzzle that has attracted much attention in the recent literature—namely, the puzzle arising from Moorean anti-sceptical reasoning and the phenomenon of transmission failure. The paper argues that an appealing account of Moorean reasoning can be given by distinguishing carefully between two subtly different ways of thinking about justification and evidence. Once the respective distinctions are in place we have a simple and straightforward way to model both the Wrightean position of transmission failure and (...)
  8. What We Should Say to the Skeptic.Nick Bostrom - manuscript
    Since it is conceivable that the sun won't rise tomorrow although it has always done so in the past, we cannot hope for justification for the belief that it is strictly speaking absolutely certain that the sun will rise tomorrow. What we are looking for is an explanation of why it is reasonable even to believe with a high degree of confidence that the sun will rise.
  9. Skepticism About the Past and the Problem of the Criterion.Bryson Brown - 2006 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):291-306.
    An argument for skepticism about the past exploits a circularity in the arguments connecting present observations to claims about past events. Arguments supporting claims about the past depend on current observations together with processes linking current observations to those claims. But knowledge of processes requires knowledge of the past: Knowledge of the present alone cannot provide evidence for claims about the past. A practical, coherentist response to this challenge rejects the assumption that we come to the problem with no information (...)
  10. Wright on Transmission Failure.J. Brown - 2004 - Analysis 64 (1):57-67.
  11. Proof.Jessica Brown - unknown
    Davies and Wright have recently diagnosed the felt inadequacy of Moore’s response to the sceptic in terms of a failure of transmission of warrant. They argue that warrant fails to transmit across the following key inference: I have hands, if I have hands then I am not a BIV, so I am not a BIV, on the grounds that this inference cannot be used to rationally overcome doubt about its conclusion, and cannot strengthen one’s epistemic position with respect to the (...)
  12. Doubt, Circularity and the Moorean Response to the Sceptic.Jessica Brown - 2005 - Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):1–14.
  13. Hinge Propositions and Epistemic Justification.Anthony Brueckner - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (3):285–287.
    Michael Williams and Crispin Wright have claimed that we are epistemically justified in believing hinge propositions, such as there is an external world. In a recent paper Allan Hazlett puts forward an argument that purports to elucidate the source of such justification. This paper reconstructs Hazlett's argument and offers a criticism of it.
  14. Taming the Skeptical Dragon.Toni Vogel Carey - 2002 - Philosophy Now 35:7-9.
  15. Malcolm and Moore's Rebuttals.James D. Carney - 1962 - Mind 71 (283):353-363.
  16. Out-Gunning Skepticism.L. S. Carrier - 1987 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):655 - 657.
  17. Recent Work on Moores Proof.J. Adam Carter - 2012 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 2 (2):115-144.
    Recently, much work has been done on G.E. Moore's proof of an external world with the aim of diagnosing just where the Proof `goes wrong'. In the mainstream literature, the most widely discussed debate on this score stands between those who defend competing accounts of perceptual warrant known as dogmatism (i.e. Pryor and Davies) and conservativism (i.e. Wright). Each account implies a different verdict on Moore's Proof, though both share a commitment to supposing that an examination of premise-conclusion dependence relations (...)
  18. Radical Skepticism, Closure, and Robust Knowledge.J. Adam Carter - 2011 - Journal of Philosophical Research 36:115-133.
    The Neo-Moorean response to the radical skeptical challenge boldly maintains that we can know we’re not the victims of radical skeptical hypotheses; accordingly, our everyday knowledge that would otherwise be threatened by our inability to rule out such hypotheses stands unthreatened. Given the leverage such an approach has against the skeptic from the very start, the Neo-Moorean line is an especially popular one; as we shall see, though, it faces several commonly overlooked problems. An initial problem is that this particular (...)
  19. Empirical Knowledge; Readings From Contemporary Sources.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1973 - Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall.
    Nelson, L. The impossibility of the "Theory of knowledge."--Moore, G. E. Four forms of skepticism.--Lehrer, K. Skepticism & conceptual change.--Quine, W. V. Epistemology naturalized.--Rozeboom, W. W. Why I know so much more than you do.--Price, H. H. Belief and evidence.--Lewis, C. I. The bases of empirical knowledge.--Malcolm, N. The verification argument.--Firth, R. The anatomy of certainty.--Chisholm, R. M. On the nature of empirical evidence.--Meinong, A. Toward an epistemological assessment of memory.--Brandt, R. The epistemological status of memory beliefs.--Malcolm, N. A definition (...)
  20. Force and Opinion.Noam Chomsky - unknown
    We can trace such ideas to 17th century thinkers who reacted to the skeptical crisis of the times by recognizing that there are no absolutely certain grounds for knowledge, but that we do, nevertheless, have ways to gain a reliable understanding of the world and to improve that understanding and apply it -- essentially the standpoint of the working scientist today. Similarly, in normal life a reasonable person relies on the natural beliefs of common sense while recognizing that they may (...)
  21. The Legacy of Skepticism.Thompson Clarke - 1972 - Journal of Philosophy 69 (20):754.
  22. The Paradox of Moore's Proof Of.Annalisa Coliva - unknown
    Moore’s proof of an external world is a piece of reasoning whose premises, in context, are true and warranted and whose conclusion is perfectly acceptable, and yet immediately seems flawed. I argue that neither Wright’s nor Pryor’s readings of the proof can explain this paradox. Rather, one must take the proof as responding to a sceptical challenge to our right to claim to have warrant for our ordinary empirical beliefs, either for any particular empirical belief we might have, or for (...)
  23. Hinges and Certainty. A Précis of Moore and Wittgenstein. Scepticism, Certainty and Common Sense.Annalisa Coliva - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (1):1-12.
  24. Varieties of Failure (of Warrant Transmission: What Else?!).Annalisa Coliva - 2012 - Synthese 189 (2):235-254.
    In the contemporary expanding literature on transmission failure and its connections with issues such as the Closure principle, the nature of perceptual warrant, Moore’s proof of an external world and the effectiveness of Humean scepticism, it has often been assumed that there is just one kind of it: the one made familiar by the writings of Crispin Wright and Martin Davies. Although it might be thought that one kind of failure is more than enough, Davies has recently challenged this view: (...)
  25. Moore and Wittgenstein: Scepticism, Certainty, and Common Sense.Annalisa Coliva - 2010 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
  26. Moore's Proof And Martin Davies's Epistemic Projects.Annalisa Coliva - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):101-116.
    In the recent literature on Moore's Proof of an external world, it has emerged that different diagnoses of the argument's failure are prima facie defensible. As a result, there is a sense that the appropriateness of the different verdicts on it may depend on variation in the kinds of context in which the argument is taken to be a move, with different characteristic aims. In this spirit, Martin Davies has recently explored the use of the argument within two different epistemic (...)
  27. The Paradox of Moore's Proof of an External World.Annalisa Coliva - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231):234–243.
    Moore's proof of an external world is a piece of reasoning whose premises, in context, are true and warranted and whose conclusion is perfectly acceptable, and yet immediately seems flawed. I argue that neither Wright's nor Pryor's readings of the proof can explain this paradox. Rather, one must take the proof as responding to a sceptical challenge to our right to claim to have warrant for our ordinary empirical beliefs, either for any particular empirical belief we might have, or for (...)
  28. Proof of an External World: Transmission Failure, Begging the Question or Dialectical Ineffectiveness? Moore, Wright and Pryor.Annalisa Coliva - 2004 - In Annalisa Coliva & Eva Picardi (eds.), Wittgenstein Today. Il Poligrafo. pp. 411--29.
  29. Comments on Bill Lycan's Moore Against the New Skeptics.Earl Conee - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 103 (1):55 - 59.
  30. Thomas Reid and Scepticism: His Reliabilist Response.Rebecca Copenhaver - 2004 - Philosophical Review 113 (4):574-577.
  31. A Moorean Argument for the Full Moral Status of Those with Profound Intellectual Disability.Benjamin L. Curtis & Simo Vehmas - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (1):41-45.
    This paper is about the moral status of those human beings with profound intellectual disabilities (PIDs). We hold the common sense view that they have equal status to ‘normal’ human beings, and a higher status than any non-human animal. We start with an admission, however: we don’t know how to give a fully satisfying theoretical account of the grounds of moral status that explains this view. And in fact, not only do we not know how to give such an account, (...)
  32. Two Purposes of Arguing and Two Epistemic Projects.Martin Davies - 2009 - In Ian Ravenscroft (ed.), Minds, Ethics, and Conditionals: Themes From the Philosophy of Frank Jackson. Oxford University Press. pp. 337.
  33. Thomas Reid and Scepticism: His Reliabilist Response.Philip de Bary - 2002 - Routledge.
    This book bears witness to the current reawakening of interest in Reid's philosophy. It first examines Reid's negative attack on the Way of Ideas, and finds him to be a devastating critic of his predecessors.
  34. Skepticism, Truth, and Nonsense.Victor J. Di Fate - unknown
    Wittgenstein's On Certainty is a collection of notes whose general focus is on epistemological issues found in two papers by his friend and Cambridge colleague, G.E. Moore. Though the original catalyst for his reflections is the work of Moore, Wittgenstein's thoughts become strikingly broad and sweep across most major issues in epistemology. However, the remarks constituting On Certainty are discursive, enigmatic and often inconsistent, leaving a great burden on Wittgenstein scholarship to try to piece together coherent arguments he may be (...)
  35. Edwin M. Borchard, John Bassett Moore, and Opposition to American Intervention in World War II.Justus Doenecke - 1982 - Journal of Libertarian Studies 6 (1):1-34.
  36. A Problem for Rationalist Responses to Skepticism.Sinan Dogramaci - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):355-369.
    Rationalism, my target, says that in order to have perceptual knowledge, such as that your hand is making a fist, you must “antecedently” (or “independently”) know that skeptical scenarios don’t obtain, such as the skeptical scenario that you are in the Matrix. I motivate the specific form of Rationalism shared by, among others, White (Philos Stud 131:525–557, 2006) and Wright (Proc Aristot Soc Suppl Vol 78:167–212, 2004), which credits us with warrant to believe (or “accept”, in Wright’s terms) that our (...)
  37. Moore's Paradox, Asserting and Skepticism.Katheryn Doran - 1995 - Southwest Philosophy Review 11 (1):41-48.
  38. G. E. Moore and the Problem of Skepticism.Katheryn Hill Doran - 1984 - Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    The chief task of this dissertation is to show that G. E. Moore's work on skepticism, circa 1903-1942, has been undervalued. A careful examination of his arguments and strategies shows that they are more powerful, collectively, than is usually thought. I undertake such an examination in this dissertation. I argue that Moore made a considerable advance in our understanding or the problem of skepticism, and of how to solve it. ;I take Moore's arguments to divide into four interrelated categories. First, (...)
  39. Scepticism and Dogmatism.Jørgen Døør - 1973 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 16 (1-4):214 – 220.
    In 'A Note on “Scepticism and Absurdity”; ' (Inquiry, Vol. 10 [1967], No. 3), Zinkernagel has restated his attack on scepticism, maintaining that his approach, where we need only refer to a simple and inspectable fact of language, offers a decisive argument against scepticism. It is suggested that Zinkernagel's optimism is unwarranted because on close inspection his general theory reveals some serious complexities, and it is shown that in his own terms Zinkernagel's second rule is not a condition for description.
  40. Philosophical Scepticism and Ordinary Beliefs.Gloria H. Eres - 1984 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
    In ordinary life we think that we know many things about the world. I know that I am sitting here. I know that it is not raining. I know that Reagan is President--and many more interesting things. We also think that we know things of a more general sort, e.g., that there are tables, chairs, physical objects, other people. Most of the time, we believe that we have good reasons for our beliefs. Descartes, Hume and Russell, however, as a result (...)
  41. Epistemology.Sosa Ernest - 2017 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  42. How Moore Beat the Skeptic.Michael Fara - manuscript
    One afternoon in 1939, G. E. Moore held up his hands. He proceeded to make a certain gesture, first with his right hand and next with his left, while uttering the words, “Here is one hand and here is another.” Moore famously claimed to have thereby proved the existence of external things.
  43. On Dreaming and Being Lied To.Paul Faulkner - 2005 - Episteme 2 (3):149-159.
    As sources of knowledge, perception and testimony are both vulnerable to sceptical arguments. To both arguments a Moorean response is possible: both can be refuted by reference to particular things known by perception and testimony. However, lies and dreams are different possibilities and they are different in a way that undercuts the plausibility of a Moorean response to a scepticism of testimony. The condition placed on testimonial knowledge cannot be trivially satisfi ed in the way the Moorean would suggest. This (...)
  44. Philosophical Scepticism.Kenneth Stanley Ferguson - 1980 - Dissertation, Cornell University
    This treatment of scepticism is then shown to have important consequences for a wide range of issues in epistemology. Some of these are the following: that transcendental arguments are unsound because they presuppose a mistaken account of the sense in which we know what we take ourselves to know; that the technical notion of a criterion Wittgenstein employs in the Investigations involves a confusion which results from a failure to appreciate the role of background presuppositions in our epistemic discourse in (...)
  45. On the Reliability of Experience and the Norm of Revision.Jose Martinez Fernandez - 2009 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (2):315-321.
  46. Skeptical Dogmata: Outlines of Pyrrhonism.Gail Fine - 2000 - Méthexis 13:81-105.
  47. Walking the Tightrope of Reason: The Precarious Life of a Rational Animal.Robert J. Fogelin - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    Human beings are both supremely rational and deeply superstitious, capable of believing just about anything and of questioning just about everything. Indeed, just as our reason demands that we know the truth, our skepticism leads to doubts we can ever really do so. In Walking the Tightrope of Reason, Robert J. Fogelin guides readers through a contradiction that lies at the very heart of philosophical inquiry. Fogelin argues that our rational faculties insist on a purely rational account of the universe, (...)
  48. Neither Dogma nor Common Sense: Moore's Confidence in His 'Proof of an External World'.Paul Forster - 2008 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (1):163 – 195.
    (2008). Neither Dogma nor Common sense: Moore's confidence in his ‘proof of an external world’1. British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 163-195.
  49. Moore's Anti-Skeptical Arguments.Matthew Frise - 2011 - In Michael Bruce & Steven Barbone (eds.), Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell.
  50. Dogmatism Without Mooreanism.Jonathan Fuqua - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2):195-211.
    One common way of attacking dogmatism is to attack its alleged Mooreanism. The thought is that dogmatism includes (or perhaps entails) Mooreanism, but that Mooreanism is false and thus so is dogmatism. One way of responding to this charge is to defend Mooreanism. Another strategy is to articulate a version of dogmatism without Mooreanism. This paper is an attempt to articulate the latter view.
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