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The Skeptical Paradox and the Indispensability of Knowledge-Beliefs

Wai-Hung Wong
Synthese
Vol. 143, No. 3 (Feb., 2005), pp. 273-290
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20118538
Page Count: 18
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The Skeptical Paradox and the Indispensability of Knowledge-Beliefs
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Abstract

Some philosophers understand epistemological skepticism as merely presenting a paradox to be solved, a paradox given rise to by some apparently forceful arguments. I argue that such a view needs to be justified, and that the best way to do so is to show that we cannot help seeing skepticism as obviously false. The obviousness (to us) of the falsity of skepticism is, I suggest, explained by the fact that we cannot live without knowledge-beliefs (a knowledge-belief about the world is a belief that a person or a group of people know that p, where p is an empirical proposition about the world). I then go on to argue for the indispensability of knowledge-beliefs. The first line of argument appeals to the practical aspects of our employment of the concept of knowledge, and the second line of argument draws on some Davidsonian ideas concerning understanding and massive agreement.

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