Why Disagreement-Based Skepticism cannot Escape the Challenge of Self-Defeat

Episteme:1-18 (2019)

Authors
Grundmann Thomas
Universität Köln
Abstract
Global meta-philosophical skepticism (i.e. completely unrestricted skepticism about philosophy) based upon disagreement faces the problem of self-defeat since it undercuts its motivating conciliatory principle. However, the skeptic may easily escape this threat by adopting a more modest kind of skepticism, that will be called “extensive meta-philosophical skepticism”, i.e., the view that most of our philosophical beliefs are unjustified, except our beliefs in epistemically fundamental principles. As I will argue in this paper, this kind of skepticism is well-motivated, does not undercut the conciliatory principle, but still poses a radical challenge to philosophy as a cognitive discipline. Moreover, I will argue that non-global skepticism that is still extensive undermines itself as well. The deeper reason for this is that this more modest kind of skepticism can only be motivated by the assumption that disagreement with philosophical peers is abundant and that we can identify peers only by relying on track-record arguments. But then one can argue for extensive meta-philosophical skepticism only if one presupposes that those philosophical beliefs that form the basis of track-record evaluations are justified. Here, the threat of self-defeat looms again. I will proceed by first defending the premises of this new anti-skeptical argument against standard objections from the literature. Second, I will show in more detail where the epistemic inconsistency arises in the argument for extensive meta-philosophical skepticism. I conclude with an assessment of the scope and the limits of my argument.
Keywords disagreement  epistemic peerness  meta-philosophical skepticism  self-defeat
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/epi.2019.14
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
A (Different) Virtue Epistemology.John Greco - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):1-26.
Experts: Which Ones Should You Trust?Alvin I. Goldman - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):85-110.
Moral Disagreement and Moral Skepticism.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):302-333.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Disagreement and Moral Skepticism.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):302-333.
Disagreement-Based Skepticism.Diego E. Machuca - 2017 - Syndicate Philosophy 1 (1).
Worrisome Skepticism About Philosophy.Bryan Frances - 2016 - Episteme 13 (3):289-303.
Skepticism and Disagreement.Markus Lammenranta - 2011 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Pyrrhonism in Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary Philosophy. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 203-216.
Can Modal Skepticism Defeat Humean Skepticism?Peter Hawke - 2017 - In Bob Fischer Felipe Leon (ed.), Modal Epistemology After Rationalism. Dordrecht: Synthese Library. pp. 281-308.
The Impossibility of Local Skepticism.Stephen Maitzen - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (4):453-464.
Plantinga’s Skepticism.Jim Slagle - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1133-1145.
Disagreement, Skepticism, and the Dialectical Conception of Justification.Markus Lammenranta - 2011 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 1 (1):3-17.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-06-18

Total views
41 ( #195,841 of 2,250,026 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
41 ( #17,277 of 2,250,026 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature