Perspectival Externalism Is the Antidote to Radical Skepticism

Episteme 14 (3):363-379 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

ABSTRACTHilary Putnam provides an anti-skeptical argument motivated by semantic externalism. He argues that our best theorizing about what it takes to experience, think, and so on, entails that the world is much as we take it to be. This fact eliminates the possibility of radical skeptical scenarios, where from our perspective everything seems as it does in the actual case, but we are widely and systematically mistaken. I think that this approach is generally correct, and that it is the most promising strategy for undermining radical skepticism. There are, however, well-discussed difficulties with Putnam's way of pursuing this strategy. I argue that in order to avoid these objections we will have to be more radical externalists than Putnam proposed; in particular, we will have to beperspectival externalists. According to perspectival externalism, a subject's reliable relations to her environment play a crucial role in determining not only the contents of her mental events, but also what it is like for her to grasp those contents. While semantic externalism is widely accepted in epistemology, perspectival externalism is not. I argue that perspectival externalism is independently more plausible than mere semantic externalism, and that such an account can enable us to better pursue Putnam's anti-skeptical strategy.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,391

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Externalism and skepticism.John Greco - 2004 - In Richard Schantz (ed.), The Externalist Challenge. De Gruyter. pp. 53.
Semantic Externalism and Psychological Externalism.Åsa Wikforss - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (1):158-181.
Externalism, Skepticism, and Belief.Michael Shaw Perry - 2014 - Logos and Episteme 5 (3):275-301.
Externalism, Skepticism, and Skeptical Dogmatism.Mark Walker - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (1):27-57.
Skepticism, contextualism, externalism and modality.Ron Wilburn - 2006 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 10 (2):171-187.
Knowledge of content and knowledge of the world.Anthony Brueckner - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (2):327-343.
Radical externalism.Ted Honderich - 2006 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (7-8):3-13.
Skepticism and externalism.Anthony Brueckner - 1993 - Philosophia 22 (1-2):169-71.
Externalism and skepticism.Keith Butler - 1998 - Dialogue 37 (1):13-34.
Externalism and skepticism.Andr Gallois - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 81 (1):1-26.

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-01-04

Downloads
87 (#142,861)

6 months
7 (#117,744)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Lisa Miracchi
University of Pennsylvania

References found in this work

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Individualism and the mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Individualism and psychology.Tyler Burge - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (January):3-45.
Brains in a vat.Anthony L. Brueckner - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (3):148-167.

View all 8 references / Add more references