"Recollection and Second-Order Skepticism"

Brett Mullins (Georgia State University)
First published 8 Jan. 2014

Platonic Recollection is a method of knowledge attainment by which an agent acquires certain insights into immutable, immaterial absolute ideas. The recollecting agent can make inferentially valid judgments regarding whether a perception is an instance of an absolute idea. Both culturally and historically, these judgments vary. As a result, error must be widespread among agents. While recollection potentially results in certain first-order knowledge, the ensuing widespread error makes necessary the uncertainty of second-order knowledge in many cases. Though one may know an absolute idea, they may not know whether they indeed know the idea. This second-order uncertainty undermines first order knowledge attributions. This disables differentiation between the knowledgeable and those who lack knowledge from which skepticism follows. 

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