Now, with those clarifications of CP (and EADP) in mind, we can turn toCP2. It claims that we are not justified in denying the skepticalhypothesis—in other words that we are not justified inbelieving that we are not being deceived. What arguments can be givenfor CP2? It is tempting to suggest something like this: The skepticalscenarios are developed in such a way that it is supposed that wecould not tell that we were being deceived. For example, weare asked to consider that there is an Evil Genius “so powerful” thatit could (1) make me believe that there were hands when there were noneand (2) make it such that I could not detect the illusion. Butthe skeptic must be very careful here. She cannot require that in orderfor S to know (or be justified in assenting to) something, sayx, that if x were false, she would not still assentto x. We have just seen (while examining Nozick's account ofknowledge) that this requirement is too strong. So the mere fact thatthere could be skeptical scenarios in which S still believesthat she is not in such a scenario cannot provide the skeptic with abasis for thinking that she fails to know that she is not (actually) ina skeptical scenario. But even more importantly, were that arequirement of knowledge (or justification), then we have seen thatclosure would fail and, consequently, the basis for the first premisein the CP-style argument for Academic Skepticism would be forfeited.
Professional skepticism is a key element of a quality audit, meaning not accepting the evidence gathered at face value, continuing to pursue all avenues of inquiry on the topic at hand, critically assessing evidence witho...
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There appear to be only three ways that one can respond tothe CP-style skeptical argument: deny at least one premise, deny thatthe argument is valid, or reluctantly accept the conclusion—ifneither of the first two alternatives succeeds. (I say“appear” because I will mention later a fourth alternativethat is available to the Pyrrhonian Skeptic.) The secondalternative—denying the validity of the argument—has notbeen taken seriously by the anti-skeptic. i.e., the epistemist,because it would lead to embracing an extremely severe form ofskepticism. If one were to deny that modus tollens is a validform of inference, one would also have to deny the validity of (i)disjunctive syllogism and (ii) modus ponens orcontraposition, since it is easy to transform modus tollensarguments into ones employing the other forms of inference. Hence, ifthis alternative were chosen, reasoning would apparently come to acomplete standstill. That, presumably, is why no one has everseriously considered this alternative.