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Summary Is it possible to have philosophical knowledge, or justified beliefs about philosophy? Are there reasons to be skeptical about philosophy itself? There are two key kinds of questions here: first, is there something about the study of philosophy that makes it especially difficult to attain philosophical knowledge? (Maybe reliance on intuition is problematic.) Second, are general skeptical strategies applicable to philosophy? (Could there be an 'evil demon' scenario for our philosophical beliefs, the way there could about our perceptual ones?)
Key works Many experimental philosophers have challenged our access to philosophical truths; see for example Weinberg et al 2001 and Weinberg 2007. Harman 1977 gives a general form of critique to intuition-based philosophical inquiry, especially in ethics; see Pust 2001 for an overview and response. Beebe 2011 considers whether one can develop skeptical scenarios for a priori realms, the way one can for perceptual ones.
Introductions Pust 2012 lays out many of the central issues about whether philosophers should trust intuitions.
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161 found
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  1. Philosophy From a Skeptical Perspective.Joseph Agassi & Abraham Meidan - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
    One of the questions that philosophers discuss is: How can we avoid, or at least reduce, errors when explaining the world? The skeptical answer to this question is: We cannot avoid errors since no statement is certain or even definitely plausible, but we can eliminate some past errors. This book advocates the skeptical position and discusses its practical applications in science, ethics, aesthetics, and politics. It brings philosophy down to earth and comprises an outline of a skeptical guide to the (...)
  2. The Problem of Respecting Higher-Order Doubt.David J. Alexander - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
    This paper argues that higher-order doubt generates an epistemic dilemma. One has a higher-order doubt with regards to P insofar as one justifiably withholds belief as to what attitude towards P is justified. That is, one justifiably withholds belief as to whether one is justified in believing, disbelieving, or withholding belief in P. Using the resources provided by Richard Feldman’s recent discussion of how to respect one’s evidence, I argue that if one has a higher-order doubt with regards to P, (...)
  3. The Problem of the Criterion.Robert Amico - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (1):226-229.
    This book offers the first historical treatment and analytic analysis of the problem of the criterion. It provides analyses of the ancient and modern characterizations of the problem and a resolution of each. My purpose is to show that there are at least two versions of the problem, one posed by a Pyrrhonian sceptic and one by a dogmatic sceptic. I show that both versions have a dissolution. Then, by examining the presuppositions of the dogmatic sceptic, I demonstrate that the (...)
  4. Scepticism and the Foundation of Epistemology.Robert P. Amico - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (3):711-714.
  5. Reflections on Metaphilosophy and the Underlying Causes of Methodological Transformations in Modern Comparative Philosophy.Antanas Andrijauskas - 2009 - In M. T. Stepani͡ant͡s (ed.), Knowledge and Belief in the Dialogue of Cultures. Council for Research in Values and Philosophy.
  6. Skepticism About A Priori Justification: Self-Evidence, Defeasibility, and Cogito Propositions.Robert Audi - 2008 - In John Greco (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism. Oxford University Press.
  7. Verbal Disagreements and Philosophical Scepticism.Nathan Ballantyne - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):752-765.
    ABSTRACTMany philosophers have suggested that disagreement is good grounds for scepticism. One response says that disagreement-motivated scepticism can be mitigated to some extent by the thesis that philosophical disputes are often verbal, not genuine. I consider the implications of this anti-sceptical strategy, arguing that it trades one kind of scepticism for others. I conclude with suggestions for further investigation of the epistemic significance of the nature of philosophical disagreement.
  8. Debunking Biased Thinkers.Nathan Ballantyne - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (1):141--162.
    ABSTRACT ABSTRACT: Most of what we believe comes to us from the word of others, but we do not always believe what we are told. We often reject thinkers’ reports by attributing biases to them. We may call this debunking. In this essay, I consider how debunking might work and then examine whether, and how often, it can help to preserve rational belief in the face of disagreement.
  9. Symposium: Unanswerable Questions.Renford Bambrough & Rush Rhees - 1966 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 40:151 - 186.
  10. Bonjour's Arguments Against Skepticism About the A Priori.James Beebe - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (2):243 - 267.
    I reconstruct and critique two arguments Laurence BonJour has recently offered against skepticism about the a priori. While the arguments may provide anti-skeptical, internalist foundationalists with reason to accept the a priori, I show that neither argument provides sufficient reason for believing the more general conclusion that there is no rational alternative to accepting the a priori.
  11. A Priori Skepticism.James R. Beebe - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3):583-602.
    In this article I investigate a neglected form of radical skepticism that questions whether any of our logical, mathematical and other seemingly self-evident beliefs count as knowledge. ‘A priori skepticism,’ as I will call it, challenges our ability to know any of the following sorts of propositions: (1.1) The sum of two and three is five. (1.2) Whatever is square is rectangular. (1.3) Whatever is red is colored. (1.4) No surface can be uniformly red and uniformly blue at the same (...)
  12. Skeptical Theism and the Problem of Evil.Michael Bergmann - 2008 - In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press. pp. 374--99.
    The most interesting thing about sceptical theism is its sceptical component. When sceptical theists use that component in responding to arguments from evil, they think it is reasonable for their non-theistic interlocutors to accept it, even if they don't expect them to accept their theism. This article focuses on that sceptical component. The first section explains more precisely what the sceptical theist's scepticism amounts to and how it is used in response to various sorts of arguments from evil. The next (...)
  13. Skeptical Theism and Rowe's New Evidential Argument From Evil.Michael Bergmann - 2001 - Noûs 35 (2):278–296.
    Skeptical theists endorse the skeptical thesis (which is consistent with the rejection of theism) that we have no good reason for thinking the possible goods we know of are representative of the possible goods there are. In his newest formulation of the evidential arguments from evil, William Rowe tries to avoid assuming the falsity of this skeptical thesis, presumably because it seems so plausible. I argue that his new argument fails to avoid doing this. Then I defend that skeptical thesis (...)
  14. In Defence of Sceptical Theism: A Reply to Almeida and Oppy.Michael Bergmann & Michael C. Rea - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):241 – 251.
    Some evidential arguments from evil rely on an inference of the following sort: 'If, after thinking hard, we can't think of any God-justifying reason for permitting some horrific evil then it is likely that there is no such reason'. Sceptical theists, us included, say that this inference is not a good one and that evidential arguments from evil that depend on it are, as a result, unsound. Michael Almeida and Graham Oppy have argued (in a previous issue of this journal) (...)
  15. Die Welt Als Grund: Wittgenstein, Gadamer Und James.Núria Sara Miras Boronat - 2011 - Akten des XXII. Deutscher Kongress für Philosophie.
  16. Scepticism About Philosophy.Jason Brennan - 2010 - Ratio 23 (1):1-16.
    Suppose a person who is agnostic about most philosophical issues wishes to have true philosophical beliefs but equally wishes to avoid false philosophical beliefs. I argue that this truth-seeking, error-avoiding agnostic would not have good grounds for pursuing philosophy. Widespread disagreement shows that pursuing philosophy is not a reliable method of discovering true answers to philosophical questions. More likely than not, pursuing philosophy leads to false belief. Many attempts to rebut this sceptical argument fail.
  17. Postmodernism and Politics: Skepticism or Pragmatism?Michael Briand - 1995 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 9 (2):111 - 124.
    We can identify two broad categories of post-modernist political views: a "weak" view and a "strong" view. The latter cannot support a practice of democratic politics. In contrast, the "weak" view is compatible with a conception of democratic politics that is pluralistic, liberal, and pragmatic. The central issue over which the two views part ways is whether human beings have enough in common to permit mutual comprehension. The strong view implies that they do not, and for this reason must be (...)
  18. The Possibility of Philosophical Understanding: Essays for Barry Stroud.J. Bridges, N. Kolodny & W. Wong (eds.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
  19. Scepticism About Self-Knowledge Redux.Anthony Brueckner - 2007 - Analysis 67 (4):311–315.
  20. Scepticism About Knowledge of Content.Anthony L. Brueckner - 1990 - Mind 99 (395):447-51.
    Focuses on the arguments that show the externalism of mental content. Discussion on the principle of knowledge identification; Account of basic self-knowledge; Interpretations of sentence content; Skepticism of knowledge content.
  21. The Surprise Twist in Hume's Treatise.Stephen M. Campbell - 2009 - Hume Studies 35 (1-2):103-34.
    A Treatise of Human Nature opens with ambitious hopes for the science of man, but Hume eventually launches into a series of skeptical arguments that culminates in a report of radical skeptical despair. This essay is a preliminary exploration of how to interpret this surprising development. I first distinguish two kinds of surprise twist: those that are incompatible with some preceding portion of the work, and those that are not. This suggests two corresponding pictures of Hume. On one picture, he (...)
  22. In Reply to a Defense of Skepticism.James Cargile - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (2):229-236.
  23. Metaphilosophy.Yuri Cath - 2011 - Oxford Bibliographies Online.
    Often philosophers have reason to ask fundamental questions about the aims, methods, nature, or value of their own discipline. When philosophers systematically examine such questions, the resulting work is sometimes referred to as “metaphilosophy.” Metaphilosophy, it should be said, is not a well-established, or clearly demarcated, field of philosophical inquiry like epistemology or the philosophy of art. However, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries there has been a great deal of metaphilosophical work on issues concerning the methodology of (...)
  24. Scepticism About Scepticism.Christopher Cherry & Guy Robinson - 1977 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 51 (1):221 - 253.
  25. Freedom and Thought: Stoicism, Skepticism, and Unhappy Consciousness.Franco Chiereghin - 2009 - In Kenneth R. Westphal (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.
  26. Review: Fumerton on Metaepistemology and Skepticism. [REVIEW]Stewart Cohen - 1998 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (4):913 - 918.
  27. Introduction.Annalisa Coliva, Sebastiano Moruzzi & Giorgio Volpe - 2012 - Synthese 189 (2):221-234.
    This Introduction to the special issue on “Skepticism and Justification” provides a background to the nine articles collected here and a detailed summary of each, which highlights their interconnections and relevance to the debate at the heart of the issue.
  28. Rethinking Disagreement: Philosophical Incommensurability and Meta-Philosophy.Richard J. Colledge - 2014 - Symposium 18 (2):33-53.
    Set in the context of the current interest among Analytic philosophers in the “epistemology of disagreement,” this paper explores the meta-philosophical problem of philosophical incommensurability. Motivated by Nietzsche’s provocative remark about philosophy as prejudices and desires of the heart “sifted and made abstract,” the paper first outlines the contours of the problem and then traces it through a series of examples. Drawing largely on the tradition of phenomenology and philosophical hermeneutics, a broadly Continental response to this formidable problem is suggested. (...)
  29. Business Principles, Life Principles.Cruz Cora - manuscript
    This paper introduces (or reiterates) a paradox: if humanist (rational and egalitarian) principles of social organization are attendant upon the evolution of an educated, leisured class (be it feudal or bourgeois), how can these norms be applied from the “bottom up”? It is the paradox of democratic liberalism, the spectre behind the ideal of “participatory parity” which both entails and presupposes equality of capability, and hence of socioeconomic status. By way of a very brief genealogy of enlightenment values, against contemporary (...)
  30. Asymmetry and Transcendence: On Scepticism and First Philosophy.Paul Davies - 2005 - Research in Phenomenology 35 (1):118-140.
    In attempting to re-think the notion of asymmetry and its relations with 'first philosophy' and to see how that notion is tracked by the provocation of scepticism, the paper demonstrates something about the implications of Levinas' ethical asymmetry. The paper considers Levinas' tendency to introduce the topic of scepticism when confronted by the logical and textual difficulties that necessarily befall his account of the ethical relation. It argues that such an introduction commits Levinas to the claim: first philosophy entails a (...)
  31. Meta-Philosophy) Death of Philosophy Part 2.Ulrich de Balbian - forthcoming - Oxford: Academic Publishers.
    1 1 Ulrich de Balbian Meta-Philosophy Research Center (Meta-Philosophy) Death of Philosophy Part 2 PART 2 Philosophy subject-matter page2 Different approaches to doing philosophy (Methods) page 164 Metaphysics, Ontology, Epistemology page.
  32. (Meta-Philosophy) Exercise in Experimental Philosophy (CMT, BT, CMA).Ulrich de Balbian - forthcoming - Oxford: Academic Publishers.
    My new (Experimental) PHILOSOPHY (XPhi) book for FREE download -/- xercise_inXPhi -/- (Meta-Philosophy) Theorizing about Philosophy (CMT, CB and CMA) as an exercise inXPhi -/- The processes of theorizing are explored, Weick's Conceptual Metaphor Theory, Conceptual Blending Theory and Conceptual Metaphor tool are described. This Meta-Philosophy investigation of philosophy and philosophizing is an exercise in Experimental Philosophy. The Empirical Generalization or Hypothesis arrived at states that: Philosophy/izing is like or resembles the process/es of Theorizing.
  33. (META-PHILOSOPHY) PHILOSOPHY's GHOST Dead Discipline Walking.Ulrich De Balbian - 2017 - Oxford: Academic Publishers.
    I have been working on meta-philosophy for quite some time and was pleasantly surprised to encounter, mid-May 2017, someone who shares this commitment (apart from his many other interests and specializations) for very similar reasons as my own. He is Dr Desh Ray Sirswal from India and one of his numerous websites, blogs, journals, etc is - I let him speak for himself. “My objective is to achieve an intellectual detachment from all philosophical systems, and not to solve specific (...)
  34. Philosophy - Aims, Methods, Rationale.Ulrich De Balbian - 2017 - Oxford: Academic Publishers.
    In this meta-philosophical study I commence with an investigation of Wisdom. I then continue with an exploration of the institutionalization of the subject and the professionalization of those involved in it. This I contrast with original and creative philosophizing. In then sows that philosophizing resembles and attempts to do theorizing. The 9 questions, etc of the Socratic Method and details of the Philosophical Toolkit occur throughout different stages of theorizing as one level and one dimension of it. Linked books are (...)
  35. SEEKING PHILOSOPHY – BY WORDS 2 Questions and Fake Problems.Ulrich De Balbian - 2017 - Oxford: Academic Publishers.
    An exploration of philosophy, its subject-matter (and development of new objects of study and investigation or philosophizing, for example experimental ‘philosophy’, inter-disciplinary work such as in the discourse of cognitive research and philosophy of everything, i e the arts, sport, religion, sex, love, politics, etc), its methods and confines, both internal and external linits, eg cognitive biases, fallacies, -isms, one-dimensionality, uni-levelled, etc. Philosophy - institutionalization, Professionalization, subject-matter, methods, cognitive biases, fallacies.
  36. SEEKING PHILOSOPHY – BY WORDS 2 Questions and Fake Problems.Ulrich De Balbian - 2017 - Oxford: Academic Publishers.
    An exploration of philosophy, its subject-matter (and development of new objects of study and investigation or philosophizing, for example experimental ‘philosophy’, inter-disciplinary work such as in the discourse of cognitive research and philosophy of everything, i e the arts, sport, religion, sex, love, politics, etc), its methods and confines, both internal and external linits, eg cognitive biases, fallacies, -isms, one-dimensionality, uni-levelled, etc. Philosophy - institutionalization, Professionalization, subject-matter, methods, cognitive biases, fallacies.
  37. Similar to PHILOSOPHY = PHILO SOPHOS = LOVE OF WISDOM with Enlarged Appendices.Ulrich De Balbian - 2017 - Oxford: Academic Publishers.
    Exploration of the meanings, dimensions, levels of the umbrella-notion of wisdom. I added a discussion between the academics of the notion and research into it (on Wisdom list LISTSERV@JISCMAIL.AC.UK ) as second appendix. I added on 7/09/2017 a new appendix ary-Syntheses-Roger-Walsh-2015-Review-of-General-Psychology.pdf . -/- Most people involved in this discourse will be aware of the meaning of the word philosophy. The love part might be familiar to many of the human beings, although each individual will probably have his/her own superficial notion (...)
  38. Hume's Scepticism and the Science of Human Nature.William Deangelis - 2003 - Hume Studies 29 (1):150-154.
  39. Archimedean Metaethics Defended.Kenneth M. Ehrenberg - 2008 - Metaphilosophy 39 (4-5):508-529.
    Abstract: We sometimes say our moral claims are "objectively true," or are "right, even if nobody believes it." These additional claims are often taken to be staking out metaethical positions, representative of a certain kind of theorizing about morality that "steps outside" the practice in order to comment on its status. Ronald Dworkin has argued that skepticism about these claims so understood is not tenable because it is impossible to step outside such practices. I show that externally skeptical metaethical theory (...)
  40. Middle Way Philosophy 4: The Integration of Belief.Robert M. Ellis - 2015 - Lulu.
    This fourth volume of the Middle Way Philosophy series uses cognitive psychology and balanced sceptical philosophy to explain both how we get stuck in dogmas, and how provisionality is possible. It is argued that we can make progress both in avoiding delusions and developing wisdom not by finding ‘truth’ or employing ‘rationality’, but rather through awareness of our assumptions. We need not ultimately true beliefs (as is often assumed), but judgements that are more adequate to each new set of conditions. (...)
  41. Middle Way Philosophy 3: The Integration of Meaning.Robert M. Ellis - 2013 - Lulu.
    This third volume of the Middle Way Philosophy series applies the revolutionary view, taken from cognitive science, that meaning is found in our bodies rather than in a relationship between language and reality. Cognitive and emotive meaning cannot be separated. This approach reveals the basic error of the metaphysical views that depend on absolute cognitive meaning. It also provides the basis for an account of how we can integrate meaning. Each new time we connect an experience to a symbol we (...)
  42. Middle Way Philosophy 1: The Path of Objectivity.Robert M. Ellis - 2012 - Lulu.
    The first of a series of 4 volumes on Middle Way Philosophy. Middle Way Philosophy was originally inspired by the Middle Way of the Buddha but is developed in an entirely Western context. It addresses the questions of objectivity, justification, facts and values, and the relationship of philosophy and psychology. It develops the concept of experiential adequacy to provide a non-metaphysical resolution of the dichotomy between absolutism and relativism in both facts and values.
  43. Intemalism, the Gettier Problem, and Metaepistemological Skepticism.Mylan Engel Jr - 2000 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 60 (1):99-117.
    When it comes to second-order knowledge (i.e. knowing that one knows), internalists typically contend that when we know that p, we can, by reflecting, directly know that we are knowing it. Gettier considerations are employed to challenge this internalistic contention and to make out a prima facie case for internalistic metaepistemological skepticism, the thesis that no one ever intemalistically knows that one internalistically knows that p. In particular, I argue that at the metaepistemological second-order level, the Gettier problem generates three (...)
  44. Negative Dialectics and the End of Philosophy.Glenn W. Erickson - 1990 - Longwood Academic.
  45. Skepticism and Philosophy.Elena Ficara - 2011 - Rivista di Storia Della Filosofia 66 (1):165-167.
  46. La pragmatica del vuoto in Nagarjuna.Giacomo Foglietta - 2010 - Nóema 1 (1):1-26.
    Nāgārjuna, vissuto in India attorno al primo secolo dopo Cristo, è certamente una delle figure più importanti del pensiero buddhista. In una delle sue opere principali, le ‘Strofe sulla via di mezzo ’, egli elabora in modo compiuto la nozione di ‘vuoto’, che diverrà uno dei concetti fondamentali di tutto il buddhismo successivo, dando vita alla ‘scuola del vuoto’, la quale avrà grande fortuna in Tibet, Cina e Giappone. Per vuoto non si intende certo il nulla, bensì l’inconsistenza rivelata dal (...)
  47. Skeptical Stories: Introduction to Live Skepticism.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    The epistemological consequences of paradox are paradoxical. They can be usefully generated by telling a series of once-upon-a-time stories that make various philosophical points, starting out innocent and ending up, well, paradoxical. This is an introduction to my Live Skepticism, defended in Skepticism Comes Alive.
  48. Unreliable at Truth or Unreliable at Validity.Bryan Frances - forthcoming - In title TBD. Brill.
    By considering the epistemology and structure of certain philosophical problems, I argue for a disjunctive thesis: either (1) it is highly probable that some philosophical reductios of highly commonsensical propositions are successful, or (2) there is enough hidden semantic structure in even very simple sentences of natural language to make philosophers highly unreliable at spotting logical validity in even the simplest cases, no matter how carefully the arguments are constructed.
  49. Philosophical Expertise.Bryan Frances - forthcoming - In James Chase & David Cody (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Applied Epistemology. Routledge.
    Philosophical expertise consists in knowledge, but it is controversial what this knowledge consists in. I focus on three issues: the extent and nature of knowledge of philosophical truths, how this philosophical knowledge is related to philosophical progress, and skeptical challenges to philosophical knowledge.
  50. Scepticism and Disagreement.Bryan Frances - forthcoming - In Diego Machuca and Baron Reed (ed.), Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present. Bloomsbury Academic.
    There is a long history of using facts about disagreement to argue that many of our most precious beliefs are false in a way that can make a difference in our lives. In this essay I go over a series of such arguments, arguing that the best arguments target beliefs that meet two conditions: (i) they have been investigated and debated for a very long time by a great many very smart people who are your epistemic superiors on the matter (...)
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