The ‘Default View’ of Perceptual Reasons and ‘Closure-Based’ Sceptical Arguments

In: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Southampton

It is a commonly accepted assumption in contemporary epistemology that we need to find a solution to ‘closure-based’ sceptical arguments and, hence, to the ‘scepticism or closure’ dilemma. In the present paper I argue that this is mistaken, since the closure principle does not, in fact, do real sceptical work. Rather, the decisive, scepticism-friendly moves are made before the closure principle is even brought into play. If we cannot avoid the sceptical conclusion, this is not due to closure’s holding it in place, but because we’ve already been persuaded to accept a certain conception of perceptual reasons, which both issues a standing invitation to radical scepticism and is endemic in the contemporary literature. Once the real villain of the piece is exposed, it will become clear that the closure principle has been cast in the role of scapegoat in this debate.

  • Atkins P. , and Nance I. (2014). “A Problem for the Closure Argument,” International Journal for the Study of Scepticism 4: 3649.

  • Bennett J. (1971). Locke, Berkeley, Hume: Central Themes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Brueckner A. (1994). “The Structure of the Skeptical Argument,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54: 827835.

  • Brueckner A. (2010). “Skepticism and Closure.” In Dancy, Sosa, and Steup (2010), 312.

  • Burge T. (2003). “Perceptual Entitlement,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67: 503548.

  • Cohen S. (1999). “Contextualism, Scepticism, and the Structure of Reasons.” In J. Tomberlin (ed.), Philosophical Perspectives, 57–89. Atascadero, ca: Ridgeview.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cohen S. (2005). “Contextualism Defended.” In M. Steup and E. Sosa (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, 56–61. Oxford: Blackwell.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coliva A. (2012). “Moore’s Proof, Liberals and Conservatives—Is There a (Wittgensteinian) Third Way.” In A. Coliva (ed.), Mind, Meaning and Knowledge, 323351. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Conee E. (2007). “Disjunctivism and Anti-Skepticism,” Philosophical Issues 17: 1636.

  • Dancy J. , Sosa E. , and Steup M. (eds.). (2010). A Companion to Epistemology. Oxford: Blackwell.

  • DeRose K. (1995). “Solving the Skeptical Problem,” Philosophical Review 104: 1–52.

  • Dodd D. and Zardini E. (eds.). (2014). Scepticism and Perceptual Justification. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Dretske F. (1970). “Epistemic Operators,” Journal of Philosophy 60: 10071023.

  • Dretske F. (1971). “Conclusive Reasons,” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 49: 122.

  • Dretske F. (2005a). “The Case against Closure.” In Sosa and Steup (2005), 1325.

  • Dretske F. (2005b). “Reply to Hawthorne.” In Sosa and Steup (2005), 4346.

  • Dretske F. (2010). “Epistemological Self-Portrait.” In Dancy, Sosa, and Steup (2010), 130133.

  • Floridi L. (2014). “Information Closure and the Sceptical Objection,” Synthese 191: 1037–1050.

  • Hawthorne J. (2005). “The Case for Closure.” In Sosa and Steup (2005), 2642.

  • Klein P. (2004). “Closure Matters: Academic Scepticism and Easy Knowledge,” Philosophical Issues 14: 165184.

  • McGinn C. (1984). “The Concept of Knowledge,” Midwest Studies in Philosophy 9: 529544.

  • Millar A. (1991). Reasons and Experience. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  • Millar A. (2011). “Disjunctivism and Scepticism.” In J. Greco (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Scepticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Millar, A. (2014). “Perceptual Knowledge and Background Beliefs.” In D. Dodd and E. Zardini (eds.), Scepticism and Perceptual Justification, 128–148. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Nagel T. (1986). The View from Nowhere. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Nozick R. (1981). Philosophical Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Pollock J. (1974). Knowledge and Justification. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

  • Pritchard D. (2005). “The Structure of Sceptical Arguments,” Philosophical Quarterly 55: 3752.

  • Pryor, J. (2000). “The Skeptic and the Dogmatist,” Noûs 43: 517–49.

  • Pryor, J. (2007). Epistemic Luck. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Pryor, J. (2008). “McDowellian Neo-Mooreanism.” In A. Haddock and F. Macpherson (eds.), Disjunctivism: Perception, Action, Knowledge, 283310. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pryor, J. (2009). “Wright contra McDowell on Perceptual Knowledge and Scepticism,” Synthese 171: 467479.

  • Pryor, J. (2012). Epistemological Disjunctivism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Sosa E. and Steup M. (eds.). (2005). Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Stroud B. (1984). The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • White R. (2014). “What Is My Evidence that here Is a Hand?” In Dodd (2014), 298321.

  • Williams M. (1996). Unnatural Doubts. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

  • Wright C. (2002). “Anti-Sceptics Simple and Subtle: G. E. Moore and John McDowell,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65: 330348.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wright C. (2014). “On Epistemic Entitlement (II): Welfare State Epistemology.” In Dodd and Zardini (2014), 213247.

  • Yalcin Ü. (1992). “Sceptical Arguments from Underdetermination,” Philosophical Studies 68: 134.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 43 25 0
Full Text Views 17 2 0
PDF Downloads 3 1 0