Strawson's anti-scepticism: A critical reconstruction

Ratio 16 (3):290–306 (2003)
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P. F. Strawson suggests an anti-sceptical strategy which consists in offering good reason for ignoring scepticism rather than trying to refute it, and the reason he offers is that beliefs about the external world are indispensable to us. I give an exposition of Strawson's arguments for the indispensability thesis and explain why they are not strong enough. I then propose an argument based on some of Davidson's ideas in his theory of radical interpretation, which I think can establish the indispensability thesis. Finally, I spell out the force of Strawson's anti-sceptical strategy by arguing that we have good reason for ignoring scepticism not only because beliefs about the world are indispensable, but also because it is irrational to have both beliefs about the world and sceptical doubts.



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Wai-hung Wong
California State University, Chico

Citations of this work

Once More Unto The Breach: Strawson's Anti-sceptical View.Marco Antonio Franciotti - 2009 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 13 (2):137-152.

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References found in this work

Inquiries Into Truth And Interpretation.Donald Davidson - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
A treatise of human nature.David Hume & D. G. C. Macnabb (eds.) - 1977 - New York: Dutton.
The structure of empirical knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
On Certainty (ed. Anscombe and von Wright).Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1969 - San Francisco: Harper Torchbooks. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe, G. H. von Wright & Mel Bochner.
Problems of the Self.Bernard Williams - 1973 - Cambridge [Eng.]: Cambridge University Press.

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