I sketch and briefly motivate a refined version of skeptical invariantism about knowledge, namely, moderate pragmatic skepticism, and argue that, were it to be true, it would explain attributions of basic intellectual virtue(s)/vice(s). To support the assertion, I present four intuitive cases (loosely inspired from history of science, classic literature and everyday life) where basic intellectual virtue(s)/vice(s) would be standardly attributed and argue that moderate pragmatic skepticism can adequately explain the attribution.

I then examine how the contender of Moorean invariantism fares with regard to the presented cases and argue that it runs into difficulties that reveal three inherent epistemological problems with the modal condition of safety: ‘the problem of elusive safety’, ‘the meta-relevance problem’ and ‘the problem of the circularity of safety knowledge’. Finally, I very briefly reply to three objections and conclude that moderate pragmatic skepticism could, in principle, account for an important facet of epistemic discourse, namely, attributions of basic intellectual virtue(s)/vice(s).

‘Nothing, therefore, can be more contrary than such a[n Academic or Sceptical] philosophy to the supine indolence of the mind, its rash arrogance, its lofty pretensions, and its superstitious credulity.’

Hume, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Section V, Part I, p. 41.