View More View Less
  • 1 Northwestern University, Department of Philosophy, Evanston, USA

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



In this paper, I am interested in skepticism’s downstream effects on further inquiry. To account for these downstream effects, we need to distinguish (i) the (skepticism-supporting) reasons for doubting whether p, (ii) one’s other background beliefs bearing on the prospects that further inquiry would improve one’s epistemic position on p, and (iii) the value one assigns to determining whether p. I advance two claims regarding skepticism’s downstream effects on inquiry. First, it is characteristic of “radical” forms of skepticism that (i) is sufficient to undermine the prospect described in (ii). By contrast (and second), ordinary forms of skepticism, which can be identified in connection with (ii), can actually be a boon to inquiry by enhancing (iii). In such cases, having reasons for skeptical doubt is not merely compatible with inquiring further, but also serves to motivate and to help frame such inquiry.

  • Dellsén, F. 2020. “The Epistemic Value of Expert Autonomy,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2): 344361.

  • de Melo-Martin, I. & Intemann, K. 2018. The Fight against Doubt. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Fisch, M. 2017. Creativity Undecided: Toward a History and Philosophy of Scientific Agency. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Friedman, J. 2013. “Question-directed attitudes,” Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1): 145174.

  • Goldberg, S. 2012. “A Reliabilist Foundationalist Coherentism,” Erkenntnis 77 (2): 187196.

  • Goldberg, S. 2013a. “Defending Philosophy in the Face of Systematic Disagreement.” In Machuca D. (ed.), Disagreement and Skepticism, 277294. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goldberg, S. 2013b. “Disagreement, Defeaters, and Assertion.” In Christensen D. and Lackey J. (eds.), The Epistemology of Disagreement: New Essays, 167189. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goldberg, S. 2019. “Some Notes on the Possibility of Foundationalist Justification.” In Fitelson B., Borges R., and Braden C. (eds.), Knowledge, Scepticism, and Defeat: Themes from Klein, 197211. Dordrecht: Springer.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goldberg, S. Forthcoming. “On the Epistemic Significance of Practical Reasons to Inquire,” Synthese.

  • Goldberg, S., & Matheson, J. Forthcoming. “The Impossibility of Mere Animal Knowledge for Reflective Subjects,” Erkenntnis.

  • Greaves, H. 2013. “Epistemic Decision Theory,” Mind 122: 915952.

  • Joyce, J. 1998. “A Nonpragmatic Vindication of Probabilism,” Philosophy of Science 65 (4): 575603.

  • Joyce, J. 2009. “Accuracy and Coherence: Prospects for an Alethic Epistemology of Partial Belief.” In Huber F. & Schmidt-Petri C. (eds.), Degrees of Belief, 263297. Dordrecht: Springer.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kitcher, P. 1990. “The Division of Cognitive Labor,” The Journal of Philosophy 87 (1): 522.

  • Klein, P. 2000. “Why Not Infinitism?” In The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 5: 199208.

  • Klein, P. 2012. “Infinitism.” In Cullison A. (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Epistemology, 7291. London: Continuum.

  • Levi, I. 1991. The Fixation of Belief and Its Undoing: Changing Beliefs through Inquiry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Longino, H. 2002. The Fate of Knowledge. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

  • Machuca, D. 2011a. “Ancient Skepticism: Overview,” Philosophy Compass 6 (4): 234245.

  • Machuca, D. 2011b. “Ancient Skepticism: Pyrrhonism,” Philosophy Compass 6 (4): 246258.

  • Machuca, D. 2011c. “Ancient Skepticism: The Skeptical Academy,” Philosophy Compass 6 (4): 259266.

  • Machuca, D. 2019. “Pyrrhonian Argumentation: Therapy, Dialectic, and Inquiry,” Apeiron 52 (2): 199221.

  • Miller, B. Forthcoming. “When Is Scientific Dissent Epistemically Inappropriate?Philosophy of Science.

  • Moon, A. 2018. “The Nature of Doubt and a New Puzzle about Belief, Doubt, and Confidence,” Synthese 195 (4): 18271848.

  • Oreskes, N. 2019. Why Trust Science? Princeton: Princeton University Press.

  • Pettigrew, R. 2013. “A New Epistemic Utility Argument for the Principal Principle,” Episteme 10 (1): 1935.

  • Pettigrew, R. 2014a. “Accuracy and Evidence,” Dialectica 67 (4): 579596.

  • Pettigrew, R. 2014b. “Accuracy, Risk, and the Principle of Indifference,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (1): 3559.

  • Pierce, C. 1877. “The Fixation of Belief,” Popular Science Monthly 12: 115.

  • Rescher, N. 1993. Pluralism: Against the Demand for Consensus. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Solomon, M. 2001. Social Empiricism. Cambridge: MIT Press.

  • Strevens, M. 2003. “The Role of the Priority Rule in Science,” The Journal of Philosophy 100 (2): 5579.

  • Weisberg, M. & Muldoon, R. 2009. “Epistemic Landscapes and the Division of Cognitive Labor,” Philosophy of Science 76 (2): 225252.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Whitcomb, D. 2010. “Curiosity Was Framed,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3): 664687.

  • Zollman, K. 2018. “The Credit Economy and the Economic Rationality of Science,” The Journal of Philosophy 115 (1): 533.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 120 120 29
Full Text Views 14 14 1
PDF Views & Downloads 23 23 2