Discipline Filosofiche 22 (2):49-70 (2012)

Tim Kraft
Universität Regensburg
The relation of scepticism to infallibilism and fallibilism is a contested issue. In this paper I argue that Cartesian sceptical arguments, i.e. sceptical arguments resting on sceptical scenarios, are neither tied to infallibilism nor collapse into fallibilism. I interpret the distinction between scepticism and fallibilism as a scope distinction. According to fallibilism, each belief could be false, but according to scepticism all beliefs could be false at the same time. However, to put this distinction to work sceptical scenarios have to be understood as ignorance-possibilities, not as error-possibilities. To show that scepticism is not tied to infallibilism I reject the principle of unrestricted relevance according to which any error- or ignorance-possibility whatsoever is relevant. Instead I argue that the sceptic should distinguish between local and global ignorance-possibilities. Global ignorance-possibilities are relevant even though not all ignorance-possibilities are relevant. The result is a refined version of the Cartesian sceptical argument that avoids two traps other versions do not avoid.
Keywords Scepticism  Infallibilism  Fallibilism
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemic Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Solving the Skeptical Problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.

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Citations of this work BETA

Defending the Ignorance View of Sceptical Scenarios.Tim Kraft - 2015 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 5 (4):269-295.

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