Exploring Ontology

It's all about the deep questions.

A pragmatic rejection of epistemological skepticism

Epistemological skepticism is the belief that it is impossible, or nearly impossible, to gain knowledge of the external world. I actually tend to favor the side of the skeptic in most argumentation in epistemology, but that doesn’t mean I wish to live my life as a skeptic (I’ll blog about these other arguments later). This post is intended to outline the one reason why I am not a skeptic.

Either
(i) Skepticism is true.
(ii) Skepticism is not true.

And either
(a) I choose to be a skeptic.
(b) I choose not to be a skeptic.

There are four cases to consider:
(i)(a)- Here, I know only one truth. Since I am a skeptic, I do not hold my other beliefs strongly. However, to know that p, one must at least firmly believe that p. Therefore, I do not “know” anything. The only thing I would know is the truth of skepticism.
(i)(b)- I know zero truths. Any truths that I think I do know, I would only truly know by luck. In a skeptical world, no belief can be justified.
(ii)(a)-Again, I know zero truths.
(ii)(b)- Here I have the possibility of knowing many truths. Not only can many beliefs be justifiable in a non-skeptical world, but I will also actively seek out truth since I am not a skeptic.

Clearly in order to maximize the amount of knowledge I can get, I should live my life as a non-skeptic. Although I do have major qualms in believing anything on only pragmatic grounds, I guess I will have to make an exception in the case of skepticism.

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