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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2019, Vol. 14 Issue (3) : 469-489
My Ordinary Anti-Sceptical Beliefs Are Not Insensitive
LAI Changsheng()
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9AD, UK
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An orthodox sceptical hypothesis claims that one’s belief that “I am not a brain-in-a-vat (BIV)” (or any other ordinary anti-sceptical belief) is insensitive. A form of sensitivity-based scepticism, can thus be constructed by combining this orthodox hypothesis with the sensitivity principle and the closure principle. Unlike traditional solutions to the sensitivity-based sceptical problem, this paper will propose a new solution—one which does not reject either closure or sensitivity. Instead, I argue that sceptics’ assumption that one’s ordinary anti-sceptical beliefs are insensitive will give rise to self-contradiction. The orthodox sceptical hypothesis is thus revealed to be incoherent and arbitrary. Given that there is no coherent reason to presuppose our ordinary anti-sceptical beliefs to be insensitive, the argument for sensitivity-based scepticism can thus be blocked at a lower epistemological cost.

Keywords sensitivity-based scepticism      the sensitivity principle      the closure principle      sceptical hypothesis     
Issue Date: 14 October 2019
 Cite this article:   
LAI Changsheng. My Ordinary Anti-Sceptical Beliefs Are Not Insensitive[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2019, 14(3): 469-489.
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