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Nicholas Of Autrecourt'S Skepticism: The Ambivalence Of Medieval Epistemology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter demonstrates that Nicholas of Autrecourt, analyzing the conditions of possibility of the knowledge and acutely aware of the limits of knowledge, is led to defend a form of fallibilist foundationalism based on a theory of probable knowledge. Such a conception of knowledge emphasizes degrees of epistemic justification and rejects the traditional picture of knowledge as based on evidentness and truth. It was this change in the classical conception of knowledge together with his critical use of methodological tools that led to Nicholas being seen as the paradigm medieval skeptic. In this connection, it is necessary to make a distinction between Nicholas own epistemological project and its consequences for the fourteenth century epistemology.

Keywords: fallibilist foundationalism; fourteenth century epistemology; medieval skepticism; Nicholas of Autrecourt; theory of probable knowledge; Ultricurian skepticism



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