Common Sense, Scepticism and Deep Epistemic Disagreements

In: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
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  • 1 Université de Nantes, Maître de Conférence, Centre Atlantique de Philosophie, Nantes, France

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Considering the persisting disagreement between the common sense philosophers and the sceptics, it seems that they are faced with a deep epistemic disagreement. Taking stock from Wittgenstein’s On Certainty, one generally thinks that deep epistemic disagreements cannot be rationally resolved. Hinge epistemology, inherited from Wittgenstein, is also considered as an illuminating detour to understand common sense epistemology. But is there really a deep epistemic disagreement between the common sense philosophers and the sceptics? Could it not be considered that they share a common background? If so, is the rational resolution of their disagreement logically possible? What rational means can common sense use to convince someone of the privileged status of an epistemic principle? Relying on Reid’s, Alston’s and Lynch’s arguments, I show that common sense epistemology is a more promising approach than hinge epistemology, because it is driven by an optimism about reason in the solving of deep epistemic disagreements.

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