Madison, B. J. C. (2011). Peacocke’s a priori arguments against scepticism. Grazer Philosophische Studien, forthcoming.
In The Realm of Reason (2004), Christopher Peacocke develops a “generalized rationalism” concerning, among other things, what it is for someone to be “entitled”, or justified, in forming a given belief. In the course of his discussion, Peacocke offers two arguments to the best explanation that aim to undermine scepticism and establish a justification for our belief in the reliability of sense perception, respectively. If sound, these ambitious arguments would answer some of the oldest and most vexing epistemological problems. In this paper I will evaluate these arguments, concluding that they are inconclusive at best. Despite offering some interestingly original arguments, Peacocke gives us no reason to think that scepticism is false, and that perception is generally reliable.