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How to Be an Anti-Skeptic and a Noncontextualist

  • Bruce Russell

Abstract

Contextualists often argue from examples where it seems true to say in one context that a person knows something but not true to say that in another context where skeptical hypotheses have been introduced. The skeptical hypotheses can be moderate, simply mentioning what might be the case or raising questions about what a person is certain of, or radical, where scenarios about demon worlds, brains in vats, The Matrix, etc., are introduced. I argue that the introduction of these skeptical hypotheses leads people to fallaciously infer that it is no longer true to say that the relevant person knows. I believe that that is a better explanation of the so- called intuition that the person does not know than the contextualist’s who claim that raising these skeptical hypotheses changes the standards that determine when it is true to say “S knows that P.” At the end I raise the possibility that contextualists might defend their view on pragmatic rather than skeptical grounds by arguing that the standards of evidence rise when more is at stake in a practical sense.

Keywords

Life Insurance Skeptical Argument Golden Eagle Skeptical Hypothesis Friday Afternoon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Russell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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