A problem for rationalist responses to skepticism

Philosophical Studies 168 (2):355-369 (2014)

Authors
Sinan Dogramaci
University of Texas at Austin
Abstract
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 senses are reliably veridical, where that warrant is one we enjoy by default, that is, without relying on any evidence or engaging in any positive argument. The problem with this form of Rationalism is that, even if you have default knowledge that your senses are reliable, this is not adequate to rule out every kind of skeptical scenario. The problem is created by one-off skeptical scenarios, scenarios that involve a highly reliable perceiver who, by a pure fluke, has a one-off, non-veridical experience. I claim you cannot infer that your present perceptual experience is veridical just on the basis of knowledge of your general reliability. More generally, if you infer that the present F is G, just on the basis of your knowledge that most Fs are Gs, this is what I call statistical inference, and, as I argue, statistical inference by itself does not generate knowledge. I defend this view of statistical inference against objections, including the objection that radical skepticism about our ordinary inductive knowledge will follow unless statistical inference generates knowledge.
Keywords Rationalism  Mooreanism  Dogmatism  Statistical inference  Knowledge  Lottery
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0136-4
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

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

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Belief's Own Ethics.J. Adler - 2002 - MIT Press.
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.

View all 47 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Skepticism: Lehrer Versus Mooreanism.Guido Melchior - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (1):47-58.
Basic Knowledge and Easy Understanding.Kelly Becker - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (2):145-161.
When Can Non‐Commutative Statistical Inference Be Bayesian?Miklós Rédei - 1992 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (2):129-132.
On Causal Inference in Determinism and Indeterminism.Joseph Berkovitz - 2002 - In Harald Atmanspacher & Robert C. Bishop (eds.), Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism. Thorverton Uk: Imprint Academic. pp. 237--278.
The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism.John Greco (ed.) - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
An Old Problem for the New Rationalism.Yuval Avnur - 2011 - Synthese 183 (2):175-185.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-04-23

Total views
229 ( #26,573 of 2,242,404 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
26 ( #27,626 of 2,242,404 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature