Epistemological Skepticism(s) and Rational Self-Control
The Monist, Vol. 85, No. 3, pp. 468-477, 2002
11 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2012
Date Written: February 9, 2012
In this paper I aim to do two things. First, I attempt to illustrate an interesting pattern of argument one can find in Hume's work. Next, I employ this Humean pattern of argument to show that IF there is a cogent and intuitive argument for any form of epistemological skepticism, which despite its cogency and intuitiveness has a (literally) unbelievable conclusion, THEN we lack a very important form of doxastic self-control, which I call rational self-control (RSC), over the beliefs problematized by that skeptical argument. Thus, (1) the challenge posed by skepticism is even deeper and more radical than commonly supposed: If any form of skepticism proves unanswerable and yet unbelievable, then we demonstrably lack RSC in the domain problematized by that form of skepticism. Thus, (2) one's views on skepticism may entail definite views on (at least one form of) doxastic self-control.
Keywords: David Hume, skepticism, doxastic control, epistemic agency
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