Author: Adam Leite

DeRose appeals to ordinary English usage to support his contextualist semantics for "know"-attributions. A common objection holds that though the relevant assertions are both appropriate and seemingly true, their seeming truth arises merely from their appropriateness. This Warranted Assertability Maneuver (WAM) aims to provide a stand-alone objection by providing a reason not to take the ordinary language data at face-value. However, there is no plausible model or mechanism for the pragmatic phenomena WAMmers must postulate. Given what the WAM requires, it is doubtful it could work out in detail.

In: Grazer Philosophische Studien
Author: Adam Leite

Penelope Maddy claims that we can have no evidence that we are not being globally deceived by an evil demon. However, Maddy’s Plain Inquirer holds that she has good evidence for a wide variety of claims about the world and her relation to it. She rejects the broadly Cartesian idea that she can’t be entitled to these claims, or have good evidence for them, or know them, unless she can provide a defense of them that starts from nowhere. She likewise rejects the more limited demand for a defense that makes use only of considerations that do not concern the world outside of her mind. She allows that some considerations about the world can be appealed to perfectly appropriately as fully adequate evidence in favor of other considerations about the world. So why can’t the Plain Inquirer rule out global skeptical hypotheses by producing evidence against them that depends upon other considerations about the world? Is there good reason for singling out global skeptical hypotheses such as I am not being deceived by an evil demon as requiring a different kind of treatment? Considerations about epistemic asymmetry and epistemic circularity, as well as Wittgensteinian considerations about the relation between evidence and the real-world and human background context, all lead to the conclusion that there is not.

In: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
Author: Adam Leite

In ordinary circumstances in which we know there is a goldfinch on a branch in the garden, do we know that the thing on the branch isn’t stuffed? Austin’s methodology is perfectly compatible with holding both that we do and that we wouldn’t know it’s a goldfinch if we didn’t. Moreover, Austin’s methodology supports the claim that if we had no information whatsoever about whether it is stuffed, we wouldn’t know the thing on the branch is a goldfinch. Finally, Mark Kaplan’s claim that P is part of your evidence if and only if you know that P leaves him with good reason to agree that in ordinary circumstances, you do know that the goldfinch isn’t stuffed. This result suggests a distinctive way of approaching arguments for external world skepticism with the structure of the so-called Argument from Ignorance. And it highlights just how much can be learned from approaching epistemological issues in an Austinian spirit.

In: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism