Taking Skepticism Seriously: How the Zhuang-Zi Can Inform Contemporary Epistemology

Comparative Philosophy 8 (2):3-29 (2017)
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This paper explores a few of the ways that the Zhuang-Zi can inform contemporary analytic epistemology. I begin, in section 1, by briefly outlining and summarizing the case for my fictionalist interpretation of the text. In section 2, I discuss how the Zhuang-Zi can be brought into productive dialogue with the question of how we should respond to skeptical arguments. Specifically, I argue that the Zhuang-Zi can be reasonably interpreted as exemplifying an approach that is different from dominant contemporary responses to skeptical arguments in three ways: it is fictionalist; it motivates a skeptical perspective rather than a claim; and it accomplishes its aims in an atypical, but nonetheless contextually appropriate, way. However, the Zhuang-Zi is relevant to contemporary debates about skeptical arguments because it can be used: to respond to the same sorts of skeptical arguments that occupy contemporary commentators; to address a number of questions that arise in connection with such arguments; and to suggest important new questions for epistemologists to pursue.



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Julianne Chung
York University

Citations of this work

Philosophy and the good life in the zhuangzi.Pengbo Liu - 2020 - Metaphilosophy 51 (2-3):187-205.

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References found in this work

Philosophical explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and practical interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.
Elusive knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
The skeptic and the dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.

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