Philosophical Studies

, Volume 161, Issue 1, pp 47–58 | Cite as

Skepticism: Lehrer versus Mooreanism

  • Guido Melchior


I will compare Lehrer’s anti-skeptical strategy from a coherentist point of view with the anti-skeptical strategy of the Mooreans. I will argue that there are strong similarities between them: neither can present a persuasive argument to the skeptic and both face the problem of easy knowledge in one way or another. However, both can offer a complete and self-explanatory explanation of knowledge although Mooreanism can offer the more natural one. Hence, one has good reasons to prefer Mooreanism to Lehrer’s anti-skeptical approach, if one does not prefer coherentism to foundationalism for other reasons.


Skepticism Lehrer Mooreanism Easy knowledge Coherentism Foundationalism 



The research was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): J 3174-G15. I am very thankful to a referee for numerous helpful comments, to Martina Fürst for fruitful discussions and to Keith Lehrer, nomen est omen, my much admired teacher.


  1. Cohen, S. (2002). Basic knowledge and the problem of easy knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 65(2), 309–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Goldman, A. I. (1979). What is justified belief? In G. Pappas (Ed.), Justification and knowledge (pp. 1–23). Dordrecht: Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hill, C. S. (1996). Process reliabilism and Cartesian scepticism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 56(3), 567–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lehrer, K. (1999). Self-trust. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Lehrer, K. (2000). Theory of knowledge (2nd ed.). Boulder: Westview.Google Scholar
  6. Moore, G. E. (1925). A defence of common sense. In J. H. Muirhead (Ed.), Contemporary British philosophy (Vol. 2, pp. 193–223). London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  7. Moore, G. E. (1959). Certainty. In his philosophical papers (pp. 226–251). London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  8. Pryor, J. (2000). The skeptic and the dogmatist. Noûs, 34(4), 517–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Pryor, J. (2004). What’s wrong with Moore’s argument? Philosophical Issues, 14(1), 349–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Sosa, E. (2007). A virtue epistemology: Apt belief and reflective knowledge (Vol. I). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Vogel, J. (2000). Reliabilism leveled. The Journal of Philosophy, 97(11), 602–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GrazGrazAustria

Personalised recommendations