Scepticism and Contrast Classes Analysis 61 (2) 97-107, Ap 01

Abstract

I argue against the view that epistemic justification is relative to contrast classes. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong holds that we may reconcile the idea that we can have ‘everyday’ justification for our beliefs with the thought that sceptical arguments rob the same beliefs of ‘philosophical’ justification. This is because the beliefs are evaluated relative to a larger set of contrasting possibilities in the philosophical than in the everyday case. I argue that when inferences among our beliefs are considered we see that everyday and philosophical justification cannot be kept apart—either scepticism is mistaken or we cannot have even everyday justification.