In Brill Studies in Skepticism (forthcoming)

Susanna Rinard
Harvard University
Many have thought that it is impossible to rationally persuade an external world skeptic that we have knowledge of the external world. This paper aims to show how this could be done. I argue, while appealing only to premises that a skeptic could accept, that it is not rational to believe external world skepticism, because doing so commits one to more extreme forms of skepticism in a way that is self-undermining. In particular, the external world skeptic is ultimately committed to believing a proposition P while believing that she shouldn’t believe P, an irrational combination of beliefs. Suspending judgment on skepticism is also problematic, for similar reasons; and, I argue, rational dilemmas are not possible; so, we should believe that skepticism is false.
Keywords Skepticism  External World Skepticism  Memory Skepticism  Reasoning Skepticism  Self-Defeat  Epistemic Akrasia  Suspending Judgement
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References found in this work BETA

Warrant and Proper Function.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Theory of Knowledge.Roderick Milton Chisholm - 1966 - Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA: Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.

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Citations of this work BETA

1% Skepticism.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):271-290.
McDowell and Wright on Anti-Scepticism Etc.Alex Byrne - 2014 - In Dylan Dodd & Elia Zardini (eds.), Scepticism and Perceptual Justification. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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