Modal Stability and Warrant

Philosophia 34 (2):173-188 (2006)
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Keith DeRose believes that it is a strength of his contextualist analysis that it explains why the recently much-discussed skeptical Argument from Ignorance (AI) is so persuasive. Not only that, however; DeRose also believes that he is able to explain the underlying dynamics of AI by utilizing solely the epistemological and linguistic resources contained within his contextualist analysis. DeRose believes, in other words, that his contextualist analysis functions as a genuinely self-contained explanation of skepticism. But does it? In this paper I argue that DeRose’s analysis does not function as a self-contained explanation of skepticism since, as it turns out, DeRose’s analysis is simply irrelevant to the main concerns of the skeptic. To the extent that DeRose’s analysis is irrelevant in this way, I conclude that such an analysis cannot be considered a satisfactory treatment of AI.



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Colin Ruloff
Kwantlen Polytechnic University

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References found in this work

Elusive knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Solving the skeptical problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.
Contextualism and knowledge attributions.Keith DeRose - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4):913-929.
Elusive Knowledge.David Lewis - 2000 - In Sven Bernecker & Fred I. Dretske (eds.), Knowledge: Readings in Contemporary Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
Solving the Skeptical Problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - In Keith DeRose & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Skepticism: A Contemporary Reader. Oup Usa.

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