Self-Undermining Skepticisms

Radical skepticism has a curious tendency to undermine itself:  If you can know (or justifiably believe) nothing at all, then you cannot know (or justifiably believe) even that.  So it
Philosophy News image
Radical skepticism has a curious tendency to undermine itself:  If you can know (or justifiably believe) nothing at all, then you cannot know (or justifiably believe) even that.  So it seems that one cannot coherently take oneself to be incapable of forming justified beliefs.More limited forms of skepticism might hope to avoid this fate. But it can prove difficult to halt the slide once you've started down that route.  Consider Sharon Street's epistemic argument against moral realism, which we might reconstruct as follows:(1) Coherent moral diversity: there is more than one possible internally-coherent normative stance that could survive (procedurally) ideal reflection.(2) The normative facts are causally inefficacious, and exert no influence on our normative beliefs that might make them tend towards accurately representing the truth of the matter.(3) Genetic Debunking: If (one learns that) a belief is caused (and maintained) by factors that are insensitive to the truth. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: Philosophy, et cetera

blog comments powered by Disqus