Living Skepticism. Essays in Epistemology and Beyond


This book of original papers offers fresh approaches to skepticism–a topic in philosophy with a noble two-millennia history; and one that even inaugurated modern philosophy in Descartes’s Meditations. Particularly with the rise of scientific forms or models of philosophy, skepticism today is often treated as a dead-end not worthy of serious reflection. In contrast to this prevailing attitude, the skepticisms discussed in these pages are alive. Here are assembled leading thinkers who claim at least some forms of skepticism to be true (e.g. skepticism about ethics or metaphysics) or insightful enough to be a lasting source of philosophical enlightenment and inspiration.

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Stephen Hetherington (Ph.D., Pittsburgh) is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, UNSW, Sydney. His books include Good Knowledge, Bad Knowledge (OUP, 2001), How to Know (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), and Knowledge and the Gettier Problem (CUP, 2016). He also served as Editor-in-Chief for the Australasian Journal of Philosophy 2013–22.

David Macarthur (Ph.D., Harvard) is Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Sydney. He edited the volume Hilary & Ruth-Anna Putnam’s Pragmatism as a Way of Life (Harvard, 2017) and co-edited, with Mario De Caro, Naturalism in Question (Harvard, 2004), Naturalism and Normativity (Columbia, 2010), Hilary Putnam: Philosophy in an Age of Science (Harvard, 2012), and Hilary Putnam: Philosophy as Dialogue (Harvard, 2022).
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Skepticism as a Way of Thinking
  Stephen Hetherington and David Macarthur

1 Skepticism and Metaphysics
  Barry Allen

2 No Moral Ground: Political Content and the Emptiness of Ethics
  Anat Matar

3 A Material Defense of Inductive Inference
  John D. Norton

4 The Recovery of the Human: Cavell, Skepticism, Romanticism
  Nikolas Kompridis

5 Skepticism & Naturalism of Other Minds: Remarks on the (In)visibility of Other Minds
  David Macarthur

6 A Defense of Transcendental Arguments
  Stephen L. White

7 Content-Determinacy Skepticism and Phenomenal Intentionality
  Terry Horgan and George Graham

8 Skeptical Politics
  Andrew Norris

9 Fallible Knowing, Fallible Acting
  Stephen Hetherington


Specialists in epistemology both traditional and non-traditional in analytic and continental philosophy, ethicists and political philosophers, philosophers of mind & language, postgraduate and undergraduate students in philosophy, general readers who enjoy philosophy.
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