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Scepticism and Perceptual Justification$
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Dylan Dodd and Elia Zardini

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199658343

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658343.001.0001

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How to Motivate Scepticism*

How to Motivate Scepticism*

(p.337) 16 How to Motivate Scepticism*
Scepticism and Perceptual Justification

Dylan Dodd

Oxford University Press

The chapter addresses the question of whether there is a way of arguing for scepticism from evidential underdetermination—from the sceptic’s claim that there are sceptical hypotheses that are both consistent with our evidence and inconsistent with our real-world beliefs. The chapter criticizes several such arguments prominent in contemporary discussions of scepticism. However, the chapter concludes that there is a way of motivating scepticism from evidential underdetermination. First, we assume evidentialism (insofar as beliefs are justified, they’re justified solely by one’s evidence). Second, we take the probability of our real-world beliefs as being the set of values given by every probability function consistent with one’s evidence (‘Mushy Bayesianism’). Contrary to the claims of Roger White, the chapter argues that Mushy Bayesianism is a coherent way of formally modelling probabilities as reflecting our evidence. Furthermore, the chapter argues that it provides a way of motivating scepticism.

Keywords:   Bayesianism, evidentialism, imprecise probability, scepticism, underdetermination

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