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Scepticism Comes Alive$
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Bryan Frances

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199282137.001.0001

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How Live Hypotheses Sabotage Knowledge

How Live Hypotheses Sabotage Knowledge

Chapter:
(p.18) 3 How Live Hypotheses Sabotage Knowledge
Source:
Scepticism Comes Alive
Author(s):

Bryan Frances (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199282137.003.0003

The argument template used to generate the new sceptical arguments is presented. In doing so, what it means for a hypothesis to be “live”, what it means for someone to be a “mere mortal” with regard to a live hypothesis, what it means to be able to “rule out” a hypothesis are explained. The key premises of the argument: the Modesty Principle, the Live Hypothesis Principle, and the Mere Mortal Premiss are formulated. Roughly put, if one is a mere mortal with regard to a live hypothesis H, then in order for one to know something P obviously inconsistent with H, one needs to be able to rule out or neutralize H. But since one is a mere mortal, one can’t neutralize H; so one does not know P.

Keywords:   scepticism, rule out, experts, error, relevant alternatives, hypothesis, knowledge, defeaters

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