The Self-Hollowing Problem of the Radical Sceptical Paradox

Erkenntnis 85 (5):1269-1288 (2020)
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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to provide a new solution to the radical sceptical paradox. A sceptical paradox purports to indicate the inconsistency within our fundamental epistemological commitments that are all seemingly plausible. Typically, sceptics employ an intuitively appealing epistemic principle (e.g., the closure principle, the underdetermination principle) to derive the sceptical conclusion. This paper will reveal a dilemma intrinsic to the sceptical paradox, which I refer to as the self-hollowing problem of radical scepticism. That is, on the one hand, if the sceptical conclusion turns out to be true, then the epistemic principle employed by sceptics would lose its foundation of plausibility; on the other hand, if the sceptical conclusion does not follow, then the sceptical problem would not arise. In either case, the so-called sceptical paradox cannot be a genuine paradox. This new solution has three theoretical merits: it is undercutting, less theory-laden, and widely applicable.

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Changsheng Lai
Shanghai JiaoTong University

Citations of this work

Memory scepticism and the Pritchardean solution.Changsheng Lai - 2023 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):1-20.

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Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
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