Authors
Susanna Rinard
Harvard University
Abstract
Pragmatic responses to skepticism have been overlooked in recent decades. This paper explores one such response by developing a character called the Pragmatic Skeptic. The Pragmatic Skeptic accepts skeptical arguments for the claim that we lack good evidence for our ordinary beliefs, and that they do not constitute knowledge. However, they do not think we should give up our beliefs in light of these skeptical conclusions. Rather, we should retain them, since we have good practical reasons for doing so. This takes the sting out of skepticism: we can be skeptics, of a kind, without thereby succumbing to practical or intellectual disaster. I respond to objections, and compare the position of the Pragmatic Skeptic to views found in the work of (among others) David Hume, William James, David Lewis, Berislav Marusic, and Robert Pasnau.
Keywords pragmatism  pragmatic reasons for belief  practical reasons for belief  skepticism  external world skepticism  inductive skepticism  William James  David Hume  practical reasons  philosophical skepticism
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Skepticism: Impractical, Therefore Implausible.Michael Hannon - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):143-158.
Problems of Religious Luck: Assessing the Limits of Reasonable Religious Disagreement.Guy Axtell - 2019 - Lanham, MD, USA & London, UK: Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield.
The Inelimninability of Epistemic Rationality.David Christensen - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
What to Believe About Your Belief That You're in the Good Case.Alex Worsnip - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6:206-233.

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