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The Possibility of Philosophical UnderstandingReflections on the Thought of Barry Stroud$
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Jason Bridges, Niko Kolodny, and Wai-hung Wong

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195381658

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381658.001.0001

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What the Skeptic Still Can’t Learn from How We Use the Word “Know”

What the Skeptic Still Can’t Learn from How We Use the Word “Know”

(p.124) 7 What the Skeptic Still Can’t Learn from How We Use the Word “Know”
The Possibility of Philosophical Understanding

Wai-hung Wong

Oxford University Press

I argue that the contextualist antiskeptical strategy fails because it misconstrues skepticism by overlooking two important aspects of skepticism: first, all of our knowledge of the external world is brought into question at one fell swoop; second, skepticism depends on certain ideas about sense perception and its role in our knowledge of the world. Contextualists may have solved “the skeptical paradox” in their own terms, but such a solution cannot in any way make skepticism less threatening to human knowledge or to the philosophical understanding of human knowledge. I also discuss some important aspects of the practice of knowledge attribution in order to show that the more we can make sense of particular knowledge attributions, the less we can take skepticism seriously, and that the practice of knowledge attribution as we understand and engage in it presupposes that we have knowledge of the world.

Keywords:   DeRose, contextualist, contextualism, epistemic position, epistemic standards, knowledge attribution, perception, sensitivity, the skeptical paradox, skepticism

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