A Dilemma for Skeptics

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Some of the most enduring skeptical arguments invoke stories of deception -- the evil demon, convincing dreams, an envatted brain, the Matrix -- in order to show that we have no first-order knowledge of the external world. I confront such arguments with a dilemma: either (1) they establish no more than the logical possibility of error, in which case they fail to threaten fallible knowledge, the only kind of knowledge of the external world most of us think we have anyway; or (2) they defeat themselves because they must grant us empirical knowledge or justified beliefs of the very kind they must also entirely deny us. Either way they pose no significant threat.
Categories
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
MAIADF
Upload history
Archival date: 2014-03-07
View other versions
Added to PP index
2013-12-21

Total views
262 ( #18,044 of 52,640 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #35,907 of 52,640 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.