Scepticism and absurdity

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 7 (1-4):163 – 190 (1964)
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Abstract

Analytic rejections of extreme traditional views, especially scepticism, as 'absurd' in some sense of violating 'rules' of discourse, arc considered. References to linguistic and pragmatic rules are discussed and found inadequate as bases for rejecting scepticism. References to logical principles alone are found to lead into scepticism. The claim that epistemology and scepticism take for granted an inadequate theory of words like 'know', or 'knowledge', as descriptive predicates, is considered. Alternatives, construing such words as appraisive or performative, are discussed, but are not found to provide any real escape from the traditional epistemological issues, or from scepticism.

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