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Steven Luper, Hg.: The Skeptics. Contemporary Essays
Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003. 293 Seiten. Ashgate Epistemology and Mind Series – Skeptik LinksSkeptik Literatur
Modern sceptical scenarios offer an ongoing challenge in epistemology today. The seventeen essays (plus a fine introduction by the editor) in this anthology cover a wide range of pros and cons. Most of the authors are well-known. The reader expects a summary of present research into the problem of scepticism. And that's what she / he gets. The philosophers display their positions or slightly changed new insights, including contextualism, coherentism, and externalism.
Browsing through the contents (luper Table of Contents) of these contemporary essays two very familiar essays seem to be out of order: David Lewis' "Elusive Knowledge" and Hilary Putnam's "Brains in Vats." The inclusion of these influential papers is justified by two new essays, each one following immediately its predecessor. Robert Fogelin gives in "Two Diagnoses of Skepticism" a comparison of his view about defeating possibilities with David Lewis' view. Under the rather bulky title "Trees, Computer Program Features, and Skeptical Hypotheses" Anthony Brueckner tries to refute sceptical scenarios like the brains in a vat.
As often, Fred Dretske's contribution "Skepticism: What Perception Teaches", although not new at all, striked me with its straight-forwardness.
Peter Klein defends his view "that the answer to the regress problem is that the regress never properly ends" (p. 86). In the very first essay Gilbert Harman brings up what he calls "general foundationalism". He solves the foundation problem of justification elegantly. None of our beliefs and methods require justification at all, as long as there are no special reasons to distrust these beliefs (p. 1). If general foundationalism were right the reader could close the book after reading Harman's "Skepticism and Foundations." I recommend to read on.
All essays are thoroughgoingly written. They require a couple of re-reads, at least from my side. Steven Luper has done a wonderful job in bringing together all these fine papers. The Skeptics is also an excellent textbook for courses in epistemology.
Table of Contents
Steven Luper: "Introduction", S. xi-xxiii
1 Gilbert Harman: "Skepticism and Foundations", S. 1-11 harmanonline
2 Michael Ayers: "What Are We to Say to the Cartesian Skeptic?", S. 13-28
3 A. C. Grayling: "Skepticism and Justification", S. 29-44
4 James Van Cleve: "Is Knowledge Easy – or Impossible? Externalism as the Only Alternative to Skepticism", S. 45-59
5 Richard Foley: "Three Attempts to Refure Skepticism and Why They Fail", S. 61-73
6 Peter Klein: "How a Pyrrhonian Skeptic Might Respond to Academic Skepticism", S. 75-94
7 Keith Lehrer: "Skepticism, Fallibility and Circularity", S. 95-103
8 Fred Dretske: "Skepticism: What Perception Teaches", S. 105-118
9 David Lewis: "Elusive Knowledge", S. 119-136
10 Robert Fogelin: "Two Diagnoses of Skepticism", S. 137-147
11 Marie McGinn: "Responding to the Sceptic: Therapeutic versus Theoretical Diagnosis", S. 149-163
12 Ernest Sosa: "Neither Contextualism Nor Skepticism", S. 165-182
13 Steven Luper: "Indiscernability Skepticism", S. 183-202, luperonline
14 Hilary Putnam: "Brains in Vats", S. 203-216, putnamonline
15 Anthony Brueckner: "Trees, Computer Program Features, and Skeptical Hypotheses", S. 217-226
16 Shaun Nichols, Stephen Stich, Jonathan M. Weinberg: "Metaskepticism: Meditations in Ethno-Epistemology", S. 227-247, nicholsonline
17 David Bloor: "Scepticism and the Social Construction of Science and Technology: The Case of the Boundary Layer", S. 249-265
Bibliography, S. 267-287 – Index, S. 289-293
putnamBrains in a Vat in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
SkepticismSkepticism in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
SkepticsThe Skeptics reviewed by: Ward E. Jones
luperSteven Luper, Professor of Philosophy, Trinity University, San Antonio, USA
Duncan Pritchard 2002: "Recent Work on Radical Skepticism". In: American Philosophical Quarterly 39. S. 215-57, mit Berücksichtigung von Steven Luper: The Skeptics. Contemporary Essays
luper Michael D. Roth, Glenn Ross, Hg.: Doubting. Contemporary Perspectives on Skepticism
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Luper skepticsSteven Luper: The Skeptics. Contemporary Essays. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003. 293 S. Ashgate epistemology and mind series
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