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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 April 2021

Probability and Scepticism*

Probability and Scepticism*

(p.71) 4 Probability and Scepticism*
Scepticism and Perceptual Justification

Brian Weatherson

Oxford University Press

One way to motivate scepticism is by looking at the ways we might possibly know we aren’t brains in vats. Could we know we aren’t brains in vats a priori? Many will say no, since it is possible to be a brain in a vat. Could we know it on the basis of evidence? The chapter argues that given some commonly held assumptions, the answer is no. In particular, there is a kind of sceptical hypothesis whose probability is decreased by conditionalising on the evidence we have. Using this fact, I argue that if we want to say our knowledge that we aren’t brains in vats is a posteriori, we have to give up the view that all updating on evidence is by conditionalisation.

Keywords:   a posteriori, a priori, conditionalization, Hume, knowledge, probability, scepticism

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