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On the Standards-Variantist Solution to Skepticism

In: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
Author: Kok Yong Lee1
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The skeptical puzzle consists of three independently plausible yet jointly inconsistent claims: (A) S knows a certain ordinary proposition op; (B) S does not know the denial of a certain skeptical hypothesis sh; and (C) S knows that op only if S knows that not-sh. The variantist solution (to the skeptical puzzle) claims that (A) and not-(B) are true in the ordinary context, but false in the skeptical one. Epistemic contextualism has offered a standards-variantist solution, which is the most prominent variantist solution on the market. In this paper, I argue that the standards-variantist solution in general (and the contextualist solution in particular) is epistemically uninteresting. Proponents of the variantist solution should opt for the position-variantist solution instead. I will discuss some important implications of my findings.

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