Skepticism - Skepticism Phil 10100-01, -05 18 February 2008...

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Skepticism Phil 10100-01, -05 18 February 2008 Murday
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Alternate Extremes Skepticism Global Skepticism: we don’t know anything. Local Skepticism: we don’t know anything about X. [Some people are skeptics about the future, for instance.] Dogmatism We know all the things that ordinary people think we know.
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Unger’s Argument for Skepticism 1) If we have knowledge, we are entitled to be absolutely certain. 2) We are never entitled to be absolutely certain. 3) Therefore, we never have knowledge.
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Should we accept (1): the claim that knowledge entails absolute certainty? Against (1): we claim to have knowledge of some things where we don’t also claim to be absolutely certain.
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Unger’s Reply Unger: But think about how we attack someone who claims to know something. We say “Are you certain?”, and if he isn’t certain then we think we’ve embarrassed him. So we’re supposing that knowledge implies certainty.
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2 nd attack on (1) Maybe there are two senses of ‘knowledge’: a strong sense that requires certainty, and a weak sense that doesn’t.
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Skepticism - Skepticism Phil 10100-01, -05 18 February 2008...

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