External world skepticism

Philosophy Compass 2 (4):625–649 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Recent literature in epistemology has focused on the following argument for skepticism (SA): I know that I have two hands only if I know that I am not a handless brain in a vat. But I don't know I am not a handless brain in a vat. Therefore, I don't know that I have two hands. Part I of this article reviews two responses to skepticism that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s: sensitivity theories and attributor contextualism. Part II considers the more recent ‘neo-Moorean’ response to skepticism and its development in ‘safety’ theories of knowledge. Part III argues that the skeptical argument set out in SA is not of central importance. Specifically, SA is parasitic on skeptical reasoning that is more powerful and more fundamental than that displayed by SA itself. Finally, Part IV reviews a Pyrrhonian argument for skepticism that is not well captured by SA, and considers a promising strategy for responding to it.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,122

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Oxford handbook of skepticism.John Greco (ed.) - 2008 - New York: Oxford University Press.
When a Skeptical Hypothesis Is Live.Bryan Frances - 2005 - Noûs 39 (4):559–595.
Exuberant skepticism.Paul Kurtz - 2010 - Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books. Edited by John R. Shook.
Evidentialism and skeptical arguments.Dylan Dodd - 2012 - Synthese 189 (2):337-352.
Closure On Skepticism.Sherrilyn Roush - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (5):243-256.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
353 (#53,557)

6 months
24 (#104,257)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

John Greco
Georgetown University

Citations of this work

Closure On Skepticism.Sherrilyn Roush - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (5):243-256.
Rationality disputes – psychology and epistemology.Patrick Rysiew - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1153-1176.
Epistemological solipsism as a route to external world skepticism.Grace Helton - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):229-250.
An Argument for External World Skepticism from the Appearance/Reality Distinction.Moti Mizrahi - 2016 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 6 (4):368-383.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Philosophical explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Epistemic Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2005 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
A virtue epistemology.Ernest Sosa - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 46 references / Add more references