I need some help with my philosophy homework. We were told to formulate our own skeptical hypothesis and use it as part of a radical skeptical argument, and that the skeptical hypothesis needs to be different from the usual examples (dreaming, virtual reality, BIV, etc). I've been thinking about it for a while but I couldn't really formulate any that is totally different from the examples given. Please do help if you can

  • I can't think of anything the existence of which, or our knowledge of the existence of which, has not been subject to skepticism. You could try something about which skepticism is rare: the existence human rights, for instance. – Geoffrey Thomas Aug 20 at 8:44
  • It is not very clear how far "etc." extends in your list. If they ask you, a novice, to come up with something that no one else have thought of before that is hardly realistic. And if it is just something different about the listed examples how about cultural relativism? People are skeptical that there is any objective truth not determined by interests and biases inculcated by their upbringing. "True" is just a shorthand for serving a purpose dictated by culture, and changing from one to the next. – Conifold Aug 20 at 21:25

So the purpose of the assignment isn't just to get you to come up with a "new" skeptical argument. By definition, anything we present you with isn't going to be anything that meets the requirement.

It's to get you to understand the qualities of the skeptical arguments you've been given so far, to enumerate those qualities, and to identify conditions that any "new" skeptical argument would need to meet. For example, one thing which your properties all have in common is that they in some way relate to sensory data - you're not receiving information from the outside world, but rather via some intermediating force on your brain (be it your own neurochemistry in dreaming, a computer program in virtual reality, or a malevolent spirit in the Cartesian Demon)

It's not necessarily the case that all skeptical arguments are about sense data, but you could maybe dream up some other examples that are. What other ways do we receive and process information, and how might you interfere with that mechanism to create a new scenario with reason to doubt the veracity of that information? E.g. visual information: "maybe someone's just projecting the world onto my eyes", auditory information: "what if I'm being followed around by a fleet of invisible noise-producing speaker robots in an otherwise silent reality"

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