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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

(p.18) 3 How Live Hypotheses Sabotage Knowledge
Scepticism Comes Alive

Bryan Frances (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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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