Revisionism, Scepticism, and the Non-Belief Theory of Hinge Commitments

in International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


In his recent work, Duncan Pritchard defends a novel Wittgensteinian response to the problem of radical scepticism. The response makes essential use of a form of non-epistemicism about the nature of hinge commitments. According to non-epistemicism, hinge commitments cannot be known or grounded in rational considerations, such as reasons and evidence. On Pritchard’s version of non-epistemicism, hinge commitments express propositions but cannot be believed. This is the non-belief theory of hinge commitments (NBT). One of the main reasons in favour of NBT over rival anti-sceptical Wittgensteinian views is that it has less theoretical costs and revisionary consequences than its rivals. In this paper, I argue that NBT fares at least as bad as its rivals in terms of its theoretical costs and revisionism. In particular, I argue that NBT is inconsistent with certain cases of philosophical disagreement; that it faces worries with mental-state scepticism; and that it faces difficulties in explaining how we can represent ourselves as committed to hinge commitments.

Revisionism, Scepticism, and the Non-Belief Theory of Hinge Commitments

in International Journal for the Study of Skepticism



Ashton N. (2015). “Undercutting Underdetermination-Based ScepticismTheoria 81: 333354.

Baker L. (1987). Saving Belief. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Berkeley G. (1996). Principles of Human Knowledge . Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Berkeley G. (1998). Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bernstein S. (forthcoming). “Causal Idealism” In Goldschmidt T. & Pearce K. (eds.) Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Boghossian P. (1990). “The Status of ContentPhilosophical Review 99: 157184.

Bourget D. & Chalmers D. (2014). “What do Philosophers Believe?” Philosophical Studies 170: 465500.

Brueckner A. (1994). “The Structure of the Skeptical ArgumentPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research 54: 827835.

Chalmers D. (1996). The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental TheoryNew York & Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chalmers D. (2002). “Does Conceivability Entail Possibility?” In Gendler T. & Hawthorne J. (eds.) Conceivability and Possibility145200. Oxford University Press.

Chalmers D. (2010). “The Two-Dimensional Argument against Materialism.” In his The Character of Consciousness141206. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Churchland P. (1981). “Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional AttitudesJournal of Philosophy 78: 6790.

Churchland P. (1986). Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind/Brain. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Conway G.D. (1989). Wittgenstein on FoundationsAtlantic HighlandsN.J. Humanities Press.

Coliva A. (2010). Moore and Wittgenstein: Scepticism Certainty and Common Sense. Palgrave Macmillan.

Coliva A. (2013). “Hinges and Certainty. A Précis of Moore and Wittgenstein: Scepticism, Certainty and Common SensePhilosophia 41: 112.

Coliva A. (2015a). Extended Rationality: A Hinge Epistemology. Palgrave Macmillan.

Coliva A. (2015b). “How to Commit Moore’s ParadoxJournal of Philosophy 112: 169192.

Coliva A. & Moyal-Sharrock D. . (2016). “Introduction: Hinge EpistemologyHinge Epistemology special issue of International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 6: 7378.

Conant J. (1998). “Wittgenstein on Meaning and UsePhilosophical Investigations 21: 222250.

Daly C. & Liggins D. (2016). “Is Ontological Revisionism Uncharitable?” Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46: 405425.

Dennett D. (1988). “Quining Qualia.” In Marcel A. & Bisiach E. (eds.) Consciousness in Contemporary Science4277. New York: Oxford University Press.

DeRose K. (1995). “Solving the Skeptical ProblemPhilosophical Review 104: 152.

DeRose K. (2009). The Case for Contextualism: Knowledge Skepticism and Context volume 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Descartes R. (1996). Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies. Trad. Cottingham. J. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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

Feyerabend P. (1963). “Mental Events and the BrainJournal of Philosophy 40: 295296.

Foster J . (1982). The Case for Idealism . London; Boston: Routledge and K. Paul.

Geirsson H. (2005). “Conceivability and Defeasible Modal Justification”Philosophical Studies 122 (3): 279304.

Green M. & Williams J. (eds.). (2007). Moore’s Paradox: New Essays on Belief Rationality and the First Person. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hirsch E. (2005). “Physical-Object Ontology, Verbal Disputes, and Common SensePhilosophy and Phenomenological Research 70: 6797.

Hume D. (2000). Treatise of Human Nature. Edited by Norton D. & Norton M. . Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Kelly T. (2005). “Moorean Facts and Belief Revision, or Can the Skeptic Win?” Philosophical Perspectives 19: 179209.

Kelly T. (2008). “Common sense as Evidence: Against Revisionary Ontology and SkepticismMidwest Studies in Philosophy 32: 5378.

Korman D. (2009). “Eliminativism and the Challenge from Folk BeliefNoûs 43: 242264.

Kriegel U. (2013). “The Epistemological Challenge of Revisionary Metaphysics”Philosophers’ Imprint 13/12: 130.

Mackie J.L. (1977). Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong. London: Penguin.

McDowell J. (2009). “Wittgensteinian ‘Quietism’Common Knowledge 15: 365372.

McGinn M. (2008) “Wittgenstein on Certainty” In Greco J. (ed.) Oxford Handbook to Skepticism372391. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McGlynn A. (2014). “On Epistemic Alchemy.” In Dodd & Zardini (2014) 173188.

Menzies P. (1998). “Possibility and Conceivability: A Response-Dependent Account of Their ConnectionsEuropean Review of Philosophy 3: 255277.

Merricks T. (2001). Objects and Persons. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Merricks T. (forthcoming). “Do Ordinary Objects Exist: No.” In Barnes E. (ed.) Current Controversies in Metaphysics. Oxford: Routledge.

Metzinger T. (2003). Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Metzinger T. (2011). “The No-Self Alternative.” In Gallagher S. (ed.) Oxford Handbook of the Self280294. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Minar E. (2005). “On Wittgenstein’s Response to Scepticism: The Opening of On Certainty.” In Moyal-Sharrock D. & Brenner W.H. (eds.) Readings of Wittgenstein’s On Certainty. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Moore G.E. (1925). “A Defence of Common Sense.” In Muirhead J. (ed.) Contemporary British Philosophy (2nd series)191224. London: Allen & Unwin.

Moore G.E. (1939). “Proof of an External WorldProceedings of the British Academy 25: 273300.

Moore G.E. (1993a). “Moore’s Paradox.” In Baldwin T. (ed.) G.E. Moore: Selected Writings207212. London: Routledge.

Moore G.E. (1993b). “Refutation of Idealism.” In Baldwin T. (ed.) G.E. Moore: Selected Writings2343. London: Routledge.

Moyal-Sharrock D. (2004). Understanding Wittgenstein’s On Certainty. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Moyal-Sharrock D. (2013). “On Coliva’s Judgmental HingesPhilosophia 41: 1325.

Moyal-Sharrock D. (2016). “The Animal in EpistemologyInternational Journal for the Study of Skepticism 6: 97119.

Pearce K. (forthcoming). “Mereological Idealism.” In Goldschmidt T. & Pearce K. (eds.) Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pereboom D. (2001). Living Without Free Will. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Phillips D. (2005). “The Case of the Missing Propositions.” In Moyal-Sharrock D. & Brenner W. (eds.) Readings of Wittgenstein’s On Certainty1629. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Prichard D. (2005). Epistemic Luck. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Prichard D. (2011). “Wittgenstein on Scepticism.” In McGinn M. & Kuusela O. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Wittgenstein521547. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Prichard D. (2012). “Wittgenstein and the Groundlessness of our BelievingSynthese 189: 255272.

Prichard D. (2014). “Entitlement and the Groundlessness of Our Believing.” In Dodd & Zardini (2014) 190211.

Prichard D. (2016a). Epistemic Angst: Radical Skepticism and the Groundless of our Believing. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Prichard D. (2016b). “The Sources of ScepticismHinge Epistemology special issue of International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 6: 131155.

Prichard D. (forthcoming). “Epistemic AngstPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research.

Rey G. (1983). “A Reason for Doubting the Existence of Consciousness.” In Davidson R. Schwartz G. & Shapiro D. (eds.) Consciousness and Self-Regulation139. New York: Springer.

Salvatore N. (2016). “Wittgenstein: Epistemology,Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy <>.

Schroeder M. (2008). Being For: Evaluating the Semantic Program of Expressivism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stoneham T. (2002). Berkeley’s World: An Examination of the Three Dialogues. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Stroll A. (1994). Moore and Wittgenstein on Certainty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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

Thomasson A. (2007). Ordinary Objects. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Thomasson A. (2015). Ontology Made Easy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Unger P. (1975). Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Unger P. (1979). “Why There Are No PeopleMidwest Studies in Philosophy 4: 177222.

Vaidya A. (2007). “The Epistemology of Modality,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2016 Edition) Zalta E. (ed.) URL = <>.

van Inwagen P. (2014). Existence: Essays in Ontology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Virvidakis S. (2008). “Varieties of QuietismPhilosophical Inquiry 30: 157175.

Wegner D. (2002). The Illusion of Conscious Will. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Wittgenstein L. (1922). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Translated by Ogden. C.K. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Wittgenstein L. (1953). Philosophical Investigations. Oxford: Blackwell.

Wittgenstein L. (1969). On Certainty . Edited by Anscombe G. & Wright G. . New York: Harper Torchbooks.

Williams J. (2015). “Moore’s Paradox in Thought: A Critical SurveyPhilosophy Compass 10: 2437.

Williams M. (1991). Unnatural Doubts: Epistemological Realism and the Basis of Scepticism. Oxford: Blackwell.

Williamson T. (2000). Knowledge and its Limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Wright C. (1985). “Facts and CertaintyProceedings of the British Academy 71: 429472.

Wright C. (2004a). “Warrant for Nothing (and Foundations for Free)?” Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78: 167212.

Wright C. (2004b). “Wittgensteinian Certainties.” In McManus D. (ed.) Wittgenstein and Scepticism2255. London: Routledge.

Wright C. (2014). “On Epistemic Entitlement (II): Welfare State Epistemology.” In Dodd & Zardini (2014) 214245.

Yablo S. (1993). “Is Conceivability a Guide to Possibility?” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53: 142.

Zangwill N. (1992). “QuietismMidwest Studies in Philosophy 17: 160176.

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 51 51 10
Full Text Views 17 17 13
PDF Downloads 0 0 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0