Basically, can we prove that we won't be able to overcome the skeptic argument? Anything I should look up to better understand this?

  • 4
    What have you found out so far?
    – Joseph Weissman
    Dec 20, 2016 at 23:31
  • Anti-realists think so, but realists obviously disagree. Who are we supposed to prove it to, and what counts as proof? Why the complication of "proving that we won't be able to overcome the skeptical argument" (which one?) rather than just accepting it as proof, or rejecting it?
    – Conifold
    Dec 21, 2016 at 0:23
  • How can radical skepticism ever be refuted if they can doubt in validity of the method you would use to do so?
    – ninek
    Dec 21, 2016 at 19:59
  • "Anything I should look up to better understand this?" yes. give it a try, you might be surprised.
    – user20153
    Dec 21, 2016 at 22:22
  • @mobileink would you answer the comment I made above?
    – ninek
    Dec 21, 2016 at 22:46

3 Answers 3


To prove something you always have to look at a problem/hypothesis from an higher viewpoint. It is impossible to solve a problem when only looking at the problem from within the domain itself because it can affect your view at the problem.

When you solve a mathematics problem you are solving it with only mathematics. But you are looking at the problem and thinking about the problem without mathematics can affect your thinking.

So to solve the problem "Can we prove that we can't prove reality?" we realy have to look at reality from outside of reality otherwise reality can have effect on the results. This clearly is impossible at this moment in time.

so there is some sort of prove for you.

  • Following your argument no problem in mathematics can be proved inside the domain of mathematics. Is my understanding of your position correct? If not, what is your position?
    – Moritz
    Dec 23, 2016 at 0:42
  • @Moritz, that is not what I meant. You can look at mathematics and reason on it from outside of mathematics itself. You can look at a mathematics problem without it interfering with your reasoning. Something not possible when you look at reality. I'll update my answer.
    – Ravenix
    Dec 23, 2016 at 8:47

The skeptic argument is unreliable because it asserts the reality of its own proposition in contradiction to its own premises. It says: It is real that we can't prove anything is real. It is a self-defying argument. Skepticism is a tool inside reason and is not a procedure to derive proof about the world itself.


Existence necessarily exists. There are several synthetic a priori judgments that are necessarily true; Mises fleshed out a view. Look into Descartes's Meditations as well; there seems to be possible equivocation with your question.

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