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Living Without Closure

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Abstract:

Epistemic closure, the idea that knowledge is closed under known implication, plays a central role in current discussions of skepticism and the semantics of knowledge reports. Contextualists in particular rely heavily on the truth of epistemic closure in staking out their distinctive response to the so-called "skeptical paradox." I argue that contextualists should re-think their commitment to closure. Closure principles strong enough to force the skeptical paradox on us are too strong, and closure principles weak enough to express unobjectionable epistemic principles are too weak to generate the skeptical paradox. I briefly consider how the contextualist might live without (strong) closure.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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