Skepticism and Epistemic Closure: Two Bayesian Accounts

In: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
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  • 1 University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK, and Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, Ludwig Maximilian University, Germany
  • 2 2Rhode Island College, Providence, USA,

This paper considers two novel Bayesian responses to a well-known skeptical paradox. The paradox consists of three intuitions: first, given appropriate sense experience, we have justification for accepting the relevant proposition about the external world; second, we have justification for expanding the body of accepted propositions through known entailment; third, we do not have justification for accepting that we are not disembodied souls in an immaterial world deceived by an evil demon. The first response we consider rejects the third intuition and proposes an explanation of why we have a faulty intuition. The second response, which we favor, accommodates all three intuitions; it reconciles the first and the third intuition by the dual component model of justification, and defends the second intuition by distinguishing two principles of epistemic closure.

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  • 4

     See Cohen (1992) and Alston (1996) for the distinction of belief and acceptance in epistemology. We will say a little more about the notion of acceptance in Section 3.

  • 21

     See Shogenji (2012) for a detailed analysis of the conjunction fallacy based on the dual component model of justification.

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