According to most hinge epistemologists, ‘hinges’ are basically certain, but cannot be known. Conversely, proponents of what I call a ‘quasi-epistemic’ reading contend that hinges can be known, though knowledge claims about them are trivial. I, on the other hand, propose that ‘hinge propositions’, although they ‘stand fast’, can neither be known, nor are they certain in the ordinary sense, since, doubt, in respect to them, is logically excluded.
In order to better understand what this means, I distinguish between a ‘logical’ and an epistemic sense of ‘to know’: where the expression of uncertainty is senseless, but no further grounds can be given, we are dealing with a purely ‘logical’ use of ‘to know’. As we shall see in this chapter, this distinction does important philosophical work, as it enables us to fulfil three desiderata usually thought impossible to fulfil together, namely, the joint avoidance of (1) epistemic contextualism, (2) denials of closure, and (3) concessions to radical scepticism. I will begin by drawing out what I take to be the key aspects of Wittgenstein’s conception, and will then go on to discuss what bearing they have on the aforementioned three points.