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The University of Southampton
PhilosophyPart of Humanities

Justification - Scepticism

You’re sticking with scepticism!

While this is a minority position, many important philosophers have found it difficult to resist. As well as those mentioned on the previous page, David Hume is sometimes interpreted as a sceptic, at least about some areas in which we claim to have knowledge.

The main worry for this view is simply that any theory so profoundly at odds with our ordinary opinions would need to have extremely powerful support before we should accept it, and it’s not clear that sceptics have provided this.


For a more complete guide to this topic, you might consult the following entries from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
“Foundationalist Theories of Epistemic Justification”, by Richard Fumerton (
“Coherentist Theories of Epistemic Justification”, by Erik Olsson (
Also recommended are the following entries from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
“Foundationalism”, by Ted Poston (
“Coherentism in Epistemology”, by Peter Murphy (
“Infinitism in Epistemology”, by Peter Klein and John Turi (
At Southampton, we run various modules that address these and similar issues, including Knowledge and Mind, Epistemology, Scepticism, and The Ethics of Belief. Many of our staff undertake research in this and related areas of epistemology, such as Dr. Kurt Sylvan, Dr. Genia Schönbaumsfeld, and Dr. Conor McHugh.
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