One more foiled defense of skepticism

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This paper is a response to Anthony Brueckner's critique of my essay "The Self-Defeating Character of Skepticism," which appeared in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research in 1992. In this reply I contend that the three main avenues by which one might plausibly account for one's self-awareness are unavailable to an individual who is restricted to the skeptic's epistemic ground rules. First, all-encompassing doubt about the world cancels our "external" epistemic access via perception to ourselves as material individuals in the world. Second, one does not have direct cpistemic access to one's substantial self through introspection, since the self as such is not a proper object of inner awareness. Third, we cannot claim, as Descartes did, that we have indirect epistemic access to the substantial self by inference from the occurrence of experiences.The summary conclusion for which I argue is that, if we are to account for our self-knowledge, we cannot adopt the purely subjective epistemological stance that is at the heart of global skepticism.
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Archival date: 2015-02-20
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