Genia Schönbaumsfeld
University of Southampton
In a series of recent articles, Duncan Pritchard argues for a ‘neo-Moorean’ interpretation of John McDowell’s anti-sceptical strategy. Pritchard introduces a distinction between ‘favouring’ and ‘discriminating’ epistemic grounds in order to show that within the radical sceptical context an absence of ‘discriminating’ epistemic grounds allowing one to distinguish brain-in-a-vat from non-brain-in-a-vat scenarios does not preclude possessing knowledge of the denials of sceptical hypotheses. I argue that Pritchard’s reading is mistaken for three reasons. First, the distinction between ‘favouring’ and ‘discriminating’ epistemic grounds only works for ‘mules-disguised-as zebras’ examples, but breaks down in the radical sceptical case. Second, McDowellian disjunctivism neutralizes the radical sceptical threat, but does not refute it. Third, any attempt to refute scepticism is confronted by the following dilemma: either one accepts the ‘highest common factor’ conception of perceptual experience thus rendering radical scepticism in principle irrefutable, or one discards it in favour of the disjunctive conception, but then there is no radical sceptical scenario left to refute. So, whichever horn of this dilemma Pritchard grasps, refutation is either impossible or superfluous
Keywords Duncan Pritchard   Crispin Wright   John McDowell   highest common factor argument   radical scepticism   discriminating epistemic grounds
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Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.1163/22105700-02021082
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References found in this work BETA

Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Mind and World.Huw Price & John McDowell - 1994 - Philosophical Books 38 (3):169-181.
Mind and World.John Mcdowell - 1994 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 58 (2):389-394.
(Anti-)Sceptics Simple and Subtle: G. E. Moore and John McDowell.Crispin Wright - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (2):330-348.
Knowledge by Hearsay.John McDowell - 1993 - In A. Chakrabarti & B. K. Matilal (eds.), Knowing From Words. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 195--224.

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Citations of this work BETA

Disjunctivism and Scepticism.Duncan Pritchard & Chris Ranalli - forthcoming - In Baron Reed & Diego E. Machuca (eds.), Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present. Bloomsbury Academic.
Disjunctivism and the Epistemological Holy Grail.Tess Dewhurst - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):599-618.

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Similar books and articles

McDowellian Neo-Mooreanism.Duncan Pritchard - 2006 - In Fiona Macpherson & Adrian Haddock (eds.), Disjunctivism: Perception, Action, Knowledge. Oxford University Press. pp. 283--310.
How to Be a Neo-Moorean.Duncan Pritchard - 2007 - In Sanford C. Goldberg (ed.), Internalism and Externalism in Semantics and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 68--99.
Scepticism and Dreaming.Duncan Pritchard - 2001 - Philosophia 28 (1-4):373-390.
Radical Scepticism, Epistemic Luck, and Epistemic Value.Duncan Pritchard - 2008 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 82 (1):19-41.
McDowell, Scepticism, and the 'Veil of Perception'.David Macarthur - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2):175-190.
Pritchard’s Angst.Robert G. Hudson - 2006 - Acta Analytica 21 (3):85-92.
McDowell on Reasons, Externalism and Scepticism.Duncan Pritchard - 2003 - European Journal of Philosophy 11 (3):273-294.


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