What do I know? scepticism : reasoning and knowledge
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This thesis concerns approaches to solving the problem of paradoxical sceptical arguments from ignorance within contemporary epistemology. In chapter 1, I critically discuss three frameworks for approaching the sceptical problem, and argue that theoretical responses are unsatisfactory. In chapter 2, I critically examine recent accounts of sceptical hypotheses, and argue against them on the grounds of generality, and in favour of my own account. In chapter 3, I critically examine recent accounts of the epistemic principles underwriting sceptical arguments from ignorance, and argue against them on the grounds of generality, and in favour of my own account. In chapter 4, I critically evaluate the adequacy of resolutions to sceptical paradoxes suggested by three prominent versions of epistemological contextualism. In chapter 5, I examine a central objection to the error theories implied by contextualist resolutions of sceptical paradoxes, which focuses on the notion of semantic blindness. Two assessments of the objection are set out, and contextualist responses to each. I argued that considerations of semantic blindness count against contextualist resolutions of sceptical paradoxes in favour of invariantists. In chapter 6, I assess the potential for an invariantist to provide an adequate error-theory concerning, and resolving, sceptical paradoxes. I critically assess approaches based on aspects of the heuristics and biases paradigm, and of dual-process theories of mindreading. I propose, instead, a novel anti-sceptical error-theory in terms of the default-interventionist model of dual-process theory of judgement and reasoning, together with my conclusions from chapters 2 and 3.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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