Philosophical Scepticism and the Aims of Philosophy

Helen Beebee

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I define ‘philosophical scepticism’ as the view that philosophers do not and cannot know many of the substantive philosophical claims that they make or implicitly assume. I argue for philosophical scepticism via the ‘methodology challenge’ and the ‘disagreement challenge’. I claim that the right response to philosophical scepticism is to abandon the view that philosophy aims at knowledge, and (borrowing from David Lewis) to replace it with a more modest aim: that of finding ‘equilibria’ that ‘can withstand examination’. Finally, I consider what our attitude to our own philosophical theses should be.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
JournalProceedings of the Aristotelian Society
Issue number1
Early online date7 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


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