On the Fourfold Root of Philosophical Skepticism
Walker (Mark)
Source: Sorites 14, October 2002: 85-109
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

    Philosophical skepticism challenges us to demonstrate that knowledge is possible. Most often this challenge is made by questioning whether the attempts at justifying our epistemic claims are sufficient. In effect, then, the philosophical skeptic should be seen as arguing that knowledge is impossible because one of the necessary conditions for knowledge (justification) does not obtain. Some work in analytic epistemology suggests that knowledge has three additional necessary conditions, namely, that it must be the case that knowledge claims are believed, true, and that some additional concept obtains which rules out «Gettier-type» counter-examples. It is argued that if we accept that knowledge has three additional necessary conditions (in addition to the justification component) then this opens up the possibility for three additional types of philosophical skepticism. Skepticism based on the idea that our knowledge claims lack truth I term ‘alethic skepticism’; skepticism based on the idea that the belief condition does not obtain I term ‘noetic skepticism’; and finally, I term ‘gettier skepticism’ the view that our knowledge claims do not rule-out Gettier-type counter-examples.

Comment:

Filed electronically with the full edition of Sorites 14

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