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Pyrrhonian Skepticism$
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Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195169720

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195169727.001.0001

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Two False Dichotomies

Two False Dichotomies

Foundationalism/Coherentism and Internalism/Externalism

(p.146) 7 Two False Dichotomies
Pyrrhonian Skepticism

Ernest Sosa (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This essay lays out the rationale for two principles — ascent and closure — and shows how they imply further principles of exclusion and of the criterion. These principles lead to the “Pyrrhonian Problematic”, which foundationalism and coherentism attempt to solve, and also to the clash of intuitions between internalists and externalists. It is argued that the kind of knowledge that externalists and foundationalists claim differs from the kind of knowledge that internalists and coherentists claim, and which Pyrrhonists doubt. This distinction between kinds of knowledge is traced back to Descartes’s distinction between cognitio and scientia. If this is correct, externalism and internalism might both be correct, and Pyrrhonism might turn out to be compatible with externalism.

Keywords:   Pyrrhonian skepticism, Descartes, ascent, closure, exclusion, criterion, foundationalism, coherentism, internalism, externalism

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