A Modest Argument Against Scepticism


Abstract: In this paper we don’t intend to show, against the sceptic, that most of our everyday beliefs about the external world are cases of knowledge. What we do try to show is that it is more rational to hold that most of such beliefs are actually ca- ses of knowledge than to deny them this status, as the external world sceptic does. In some sense, our point of view is the opposite of Hume’s, who held that reason clearly favours scepticism about the independent existence of an external world rather than common sense belief in such an independent existence. In arguing for the superior rationality of this common sense, Moorean view, we also take a fallibi- list conception of knowledge to be rationally preferable to an infallibilist view of it.

Keywords: Scepticism, argument from knowledge, common sense, brains-in-a-vat, Moore, Hume, fallibilism.

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