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

In: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
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  • 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.

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