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

In: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
Chris Ranalli University of Cologne,

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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.

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