Closure, credence and rationality: A problem for non-belief hinge epistemology

Matthew Jope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Duncan Pritchard’s Epistemic Angst promises a novel solution to the closure-based sceptical problem that, unlike more traditional solutions, does not entail revising our fundamental epistemological commitments. In order to do this, it appeals to a Wittgensteinian account of rational evaluation, the overarching theme of which is that it neither makes sense to doubt nor to believe in our anti-sceptical hinge commitments. The purpose of this paper is to show that the argument for the claim that there can be no rational basis to believe our anti-sceptical hinge commitments relies upon an implicit assumption about rational support that I label The Pritchensteinian Rational Grounds Principle. I argue that, insofar as this principle is intended to apply to closure-style inferences, it leads to irrational doxastic attitudes. I consider a seemingly plausible modification of the principle that would avoid this result but show that this modified principle faces serious problems of its own.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSynthese
Early online date26 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Wittgenstein
  • hinge
  • closure
  • scepticism
  • mooreanism
  • certainty

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