By John Kekes

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2011 00:08:42] Document Previous Released By -TSJ5J- Next Page 31 tity presupposes that way of talking. For instance, talk about elephants presupposes the linguistic framework for material objects, while talk about material objects is, in some sense, fundamental so that it presupposes nothing for settling internal questions about material objects. On this criterion external questions could not sensibly arise, because linguistic frameworks would be fundamental. The difficulty is that there are alternative and equally fundamental linguistic frameworks.

Scepticism: A Summary The most fundamental kind of scepticism is directed against the rationality of standards of rationality. It demands a rational justification of these standards and its challenge is the claim that such justifications turn out to be questionbegging, lead to infinite regress, or are, themselves, merely disguised fideistic appeals. Scepticism can afford perfect liberality in respect to the various forms of reasoning whose reliability rationalists advocate; in this respect it is much stronger than Humean scepticism which rigidly insists upon the exclusiveness of induction and deduction.

The implication is that theories must do justice to the data with which they start, and so it is to common sense that such theories must do justice. It cannot be the legitimate result of a theory that it contradicts the data which it is supposed to explain—for such contradiction is an infallible sign of something having gone awry. What is true of theories in general is true also of philosophical theories. If a philosophical theory starts with common sense, it cannot end by going against its own starting point.

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