Wittgenstein’s On Certainty and Contemporary Anti-scepticism

  • Duncan Pritchard


Epistemology has seen a quite dramatic resurgence in recent years, and to a large extent this general renewal of interest in epistemological questions has been driven by the more specific renaissance in the epistemological sub-topic of philosophical scepticism.1 If one thinks of the main epistemological proposals that are currently ‘live’ in the contemporary literature one usually finds that these accounts gained their initial impetus from their application to the sceptical problem. The obvious examples in this respect are, of course, the ‘sensitivity-based’ theories of knowledge first advocated by Fred Dretske (1970) and Robert Nozick (1981), the ‘semantic contextualism’ put forward by Keith DeRose (1995), David Lewis (1996) and Stewart Cohen (e.g., 2000), and the ‘safety-based’ theories of knowledge advanced by, amongst others, Ernest Sosa (1999) and myself (e.g., Pritchard 2002c). In each case, the chief attraction of the view is that it is able to offer a relatively compelling resolution of the sceptical problem, where that problem is understood, in essence, in terms of the incompatibility of the following three claims, each of which is plausible when taken on its own:


Epistemic Evaluation Sceptical Argument Sceptical Hypothesis Sceptical Problem Sceptical Paradox 
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© Duncan Pritchard 2005

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  • Duncan Pritchard

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