Skepticism and the acquisition of “knowledge”

Shaun Nichols, N. Ángel Pinillos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Do you know you are not being massively deceived by an evil demon? That is a familiar skeptical challenge. Less familiar is this question: How do you have a conception of knowledge on which the evil demon constitutes a prima facie challenge? Recently several philosophers have suggested that our responses to skeptical scenarios can be explained in terms of heuristics and biases. We offer an alternative explanation, based in learning theory. We argue that, given the evidence available to the learner, it would be rational for the learner to infer an infallibilist conception of knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-414
Number of pages18
JournalMind and Language
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Knowledge
  • epistemology
  • infallibilism
  • learning
  • skepticism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language


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