Skeptical Parasitism and the Continuity Argument
Metaphilosophy, Vol. 35, pp. 714-732, 2004
19 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2004
Recent literature on skepticism has raised a nearly univocal voice in condemning skeptical argumentation on the grounds that such argumentation necessarily involves our adopting some non-ordinary or unnatural perspective. Were this really so, then skeptical conclusions would not speak to us in the way in which skeptics think they do: We would be “insulated” from any such conclusions. I argue that skeptical argumentation need not rely on any non-ordinary or unnatural standards. Rather the skeptic’s procedure is to offer a critique from within. Having given my argument for this claim (which I call the Continuity Argument), I consider and respond to two important objections. I conclude that the skeptic has a powerful meta-argument to be deployed in defending the legitimacy of his skeptical conclusions against the slings and arrows of (those I call) the half-true theorists.
Keywords: skepticism, knowledge, epistemic standards, insulation, contextualism, the ordinary, the familiar
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