Analysis Of David Brueckner 's ' The Skeptic '

1700 Words Aug 1st, 2014 7 Pages
Joshua Warnick
Phil 310 Short Paper

Peter Klein argues that the Skeptic’s main argument is based off of a closure principle, and because of this either cannot be defended, because the closure principle itself cannot be defended, or the Skeptic’s main argument is guilty of virtually begging the question. Anthony Brueckner responds to Klein with five objections. I will be focusing on one of them, which argues that Klein’s reasoning for believing the Skeptic’s main argument virtually begs the question would also lead to the absurd conclusion that all Modus Tollens arguments virtually beg the question. E. J. Coffman attempts to respond by arguing that Bruckner’s objection is unsuccessful because it misconstrues Klein’s objection for dealing with the formal structure and not the content of the Skeptic’s main argument. Along side Brueckner, I will attempt to show that E.J. Coffman’s conclusion is false, and that Klein’s line of reasoning for the Skeptic’s main argument virtually begging the question commits him to the absurd conclusion that all Modus Tollens arguments virtually beg the question.
Before examining Klein’s objection we must put forth the Skeptic’s main argument:
1) If a person, S is justified in believing that there is a table before her, then S is justified in believing that she is not in a skeptical scenario.
2) S is never justified in believing that she is not in a skeptical scenario.
3) Therefore, S is never justified in believing that there is a table before…
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