By Robert Stern

ISBN-10: 0199261571

ISBN-13: 9780199261574

Robert Stern investigates how scepticism will be countered by utilizing transcendental arguments about the priceless stipulations for the potential of adventure, language, or idea. He exhibits that the main harmful sceptical questions trouble neither the understanding of our ideals nor the reliability of our belief-forming tools, yet really how we will justify our ideals.

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433-6. 24 Cf. Philip Kitcher, 'The Naturalists Return', Philosophical Review, 101 (1992), 53-114, esp. pp. 62 ff. Scepticism and Epistemology 33 spurious-just as, in ethics, it is not clear that we would find the claim that murder is morally legitimate intelligible, as a view on what constitutes the right. 25 Now, I do not want to pursue these issues any further here, nor do I wish to adjudicate between the accounts just discussed and the externalist and positive internalist reliabilist theories we considered earlier.

Scepticism and Epistemology 35 Once this contrast between reliabilist and norn1ativist scepticism is drawn, it should be clear that different types of response will be required. Against the reliabilist sceptic, we need a way of replying to the circularity problem, which challenges us to show that we have any grounds for taking certain sorts of belief to be legitimate, when it seems we cannot give any non-circular reason for thinking that beliefs of this sort are formed using a reliable method. g.

One could determine that only through considerable experience. Hence, if these principles· are empirical, the circularity problem just mentioned would beset the attelnpt, within a reliabilist framework, to justify thenl. 23 The reliabilist might also argue that his position is more naturalistically respectable, in offering some explanation for the way in which our practices come to embody certain norms, in so far as these help us towards the goal of truth, whilst allowing us to treat an evaluative property like epistemic justification as supervenient on the nonevaluative property of reliability.

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Transcendental Arguments and Scepticism: Answering the Question of Justification by Robert Stern


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