Cartesian Skepticism and the Epistemic Priority Thesis
Southern Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 40, pp. 573-586, 2002
14 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2002
In Unnatural Doubts, Michael Williams argues that Cartesian skepticism is not truly an “intuitive” problem (that is, one which we can state with little or no appeal to contentious theories) at all. According to Williams, the skeptic has rich theoretical commitments all his own, prominent among which is the epistemic priority thesis. I argue, however, that Williams’s diagnostic critique of the epistemic priority thesis fails on his own conception of what is required for success. Furthermore, in a brief “Afterword” I argue that the later Wittgenstein (to whom Williams sometimes appeals) would concur with my critique of Williams’s antiskeptical efforts.
Keywords: Skepticism, Contextualism, Externalism, Epistemic Priority, Michael Williams, Ludwig Wittgenstein
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