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The Defect in Effective Skeptical Scenarios

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What epistemic defect needs to show up in a skeptical scenario if it is to effectively target some belief? According to the false belief account, the targeted belief must be false in the skeptical scenario. According to the competing ignorance account, the targeted belief must fall short of being knowledge in the skeptical scenario. This paper argues for two claims. The first is that, contrary to what is often assumed, the ignorance account is superior to the false belief account. The second is that the ignorance account ultimately hobbles the skeptic. It does so for two reasons. First, when this account is joined with either a closure-based skeptical argument or a skeptical underdetermination argument, the best the skeptic can do is show that we don’t know that we know. And second, the ignorance account directly implies the maligned KK principle.

Affiliations: 1: University of Indianapolis,


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