Logos & Episteme

Volume 2, Issue 1, 2011

Pierre Le Morvan
Pages 87-102

Healthy Skepticism and Practical Wisdom

This paper explores and articulates an alternative to the two main approaches that have come to predominate in contemporary philosophical discussions of skepticism. These we may call the ‘Foil Approach’ and the ‘Bypass Approach’ respectively. On the Foil Approach, skepticism is treated as a problem to be solved, or challenge to be met, or threat to be parried; skepticism’s value, insofar as it is deemed to have one, accrues from its role as a foil contrastively illuminating what is required for knowledge and justified belief. On the Bypass Approach, skepticism is bypassed as a central concern of epistemology. In this paper, I articulate an alternative to both these approaches, one that explores when skepticism is healthy and when it is not. I call it the ‘Health Approach’ to skepticism.

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