Questions tagged [skepticism]

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10
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8answers
4k views

Is watching an amputated limb regrow proof of the supernatural?

A typical challenge skeptics present when confronted with claims of alleged miracles is "why won't God Heal amputees?". But, would that do the job? Consider the following thought experiment: ...
-1
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1answer
40 views

Can you give other examples of skeptical hypotheses that haven't been mentioned yet?

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 ...
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1answer
35 views

What's Sextus Empiricus recommended book about scepticism?

Having read Cicero's Academics, I'd like to learn a bit more about skepticism (through original texts, not summaries). If a had to read only one book from Sextus Empiricus, would you recommend the ...
7
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5answers
225 views

Philosophical assumptions underlying science

I am a medical student and have been interested lately in the foundations of the scientific research method I have been taught. I've read that there is in fact no such thing as a unique scientific ...
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0answers
58 views

How can beliefs be justified when they are always subject to Cartesian skepticism?

It seems obvious to me that after glancing at my watch I "know" what time it is. But this apparent "knowledge" can be explained away by infinitely many skeptical hypotheses. ...
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0answers
19 views

The anatomy of miracles [duplicate]

I myself think miracles are phenomena that cannot be explained by extant accepted theories. Now, science and scientific method claims to reject miracles and propose a reason and logic for every ...
0
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1answer
38 views

Where does Moore admits that none really knows the truth about those propositions that supposedly we all know?

Alfred Jules Ayer, in a conference where he exposes the achievements of Moore, starts it by saying: "It is true that Moore diminishes the force of his position by adding that no one knows the ...
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5answers
376 views

How do philosophers respond to global skepticism?

I saw a video of a philosopher (Robert Audi) who said that common sense is the best response we can give to global skepticism. I would agree, but it's not clear to me what the nature of common sense ...
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0answers
43 views

Difference between *skepticism* and *fallibilism*?

Is the difference simply something like this: Skepticism: Certainty is never possible. Fallibilism: Certainty is not usually possible.
0
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1answer
51 views

Chalmers'argument that the brain in the VAT does not lead to skepticism [closed]

Chalmers gave an argument that the brain in the VAT does not lead to skepticism (even if I am the brain in the VAT, I can also say "I have one hand is true") in his "The Matrix as Metaphysics"(for the ...
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2answers
89 views

Is it epistemically untenable to posit a total explanation of reality?

I am certainly not well-versed in metaphysics, so please correct the terminology I have employed throughout. When I speak of a total explanation of reality, I am describing an explanation that ...
1
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1answer
192 views

Do philosophers recognize a deeper problem behind issues like the Problem of the Criterion or the Munchausen Trilemma?

First off, I would like to make it clear that I'm not implying I discovered some secret knowledge about the problems mentioned in the title that has alluded other philosophers for the past 2000+ years....
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1answer
81 views

Is existence a necessary condition for thinking? [closed]

Is existence a necessary condition for thinking? Descartes argues that because he thinks, he exists. But wouldn't he have to exist in the first place for him to: A) Think and B) Realize that he ...
0
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2answers
159 views

Do stories contain “Meta-truth”? Jordan Peterson

I am hoping someone can help me find what is wrong and/or right with the idea of "meta-truth". I am also curious as to what can be problematic. ..I don't think "meta-truth" is defined officially. ...
2
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1answer
130 views

Epistemic pluralism’s potential slippery slope into epistemic nihilism

William James long ago noted that: “Up to about 1850 almost everyone believed that sciences expressed truths that were exact copies of a definite code of non-human realities. But the enormously ...
7
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1answer
164 views

Hume on infinity

I know Hume argued against dividing finite space into infinitely many regions, but I can't seem to find anything regarding his thoughts on infinity itself. From his Enquiry you sort of get that he ...
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0answers
61 views

Some questions about skepticism and the principle of knowledge?

What about this principle? ("if K (P - > ~ Q), then ~ k (~ Q) - > ~ k (P)") (if you know (P implies non-Q, then you don't know non-Q implies don't know P) I learnt about that Nozick gave an anti ...
2
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2answers
194 views

I could prove: Solipsism is wrong. Is my argument acceptable?

Solipsism is the idea that one cannot be sure of anyone's existence but only themself. I think that one can assume this idea to be right and then prove that this is wrong. This self-inconsistency ...
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0answers
30 views

Is voting on taxes ethical without being presented the “numbers”?

if I base my vote (on taxes) based on republican or democrat anecdote, as well as my own paycheck, is it the right thing for for me to do, to vote on taxes? I am trying to skeptically look at voting (...
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2answers
250 views

Does externalism solve the Münchhausen trilemma?

In traditional (access-)internalist epistemology, justification is a relation between beliefs, or sets of beliefs. My belief that it will rain today is justified by beliefs about the season, my ...
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2answers
153 views

How do we know we could be brains in vats? [closed]

So-called skeptics usually claim that we don't know some normal facts because they know some abnormal fact about some possibility that undermines knowledge. How do these people know their modal claims ...
1
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1answer
140 views

How does imprecise and ambiguous natural language relate to the equivocation fallacy and how can we know what words mean?

I am feeling really confused on how we colloquially use and redefine words and sometime use the equivocation fallacy. I have fallen into equivocation language traps before, and as I become more aware ...
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2answers
75 views

Bayes and unknown probabilites: is this reasoning from the failure of explanation a fallacy?

Bayesian probability is an interpretation of the concept of probability, in which, instead of frequency or propensity of some phenomenon, probability is interpreted as reasonable expectation ...
4
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3answers
300 views

Serious arguments against skepticism about the external world?

As we all know, Kant wrestled with Cartesian skepticism for a long time. And of course, Descartes himself did, but he appeals to a version of the ontological argument which is not very persuasive. ...
2
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3answers
91 views

Doubt about the possibility of knowing someone is actually saying the truth [closed]

Except for a few cases in which you can have proof someone is saying the truth, can you actually ever know if someone is being honest when they say things like "I love you", "this is nice" or "you ...
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2answers
196 views

Would answering belief challenges be the same as the scientific method?

Let's say I believe this statement: "all swans are white". Someone comes and asks me these Socratic questions: "is it true that all swans are white?", "is there an instance that a swan is not white?", ...
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0answers
88 views

How can the position of skepticism avoid becoming incoherent on the problem of the criterion?

Concerning the problem of the criterion, there has been said to be three traditional responses: methodism, particularism, or skepticism. Although other philosophers have proposed that there are more ...
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0answers
69 views

Name of fallacious reasoning about the reality of abstractions

There is a kind of reasoning that is often heard, where the irreality of some abstraction is inferred from the fact that entities that fall under it are not perfectly homogenous. (1) A lot of times ...
4
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1answer
107 views

An Argument that Knowledge is a Matter of Choice

I have met someone who argues as follows: What I know depends on what axioms I take. As these axioms are left unjustified, I have as much justification for them as for their negations, so I could ...
1
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1answer
201 views

Is it possible to track the truth?

Epistemology seems to show that knowledge is always fallible. How can that position be satisfying at all? It seems to me that we are eternally condemned to hope we are going in the right direction and ...
6
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1answer
152 views

How are the assumptions underlying logic chosen?

Logic works based on certain assumptions about its rules. How are these axiomatic assumptions selected in the first place, given that a system of logic does not exist prior to the point of selection? ...
2
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2answers
258 views

Are there any certainties besides “Cogito, ergo sum”?

Descartes said, "Cogito, ergo sum(I think, therefore I am)". I agree with him on the fact that this is the only thing that we can ever truly know for sure. Is there anyone who could tell me if there ...
2
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4answers
616 views

Is Solipsism self-defeating?

If only my mind existed it would have to create the concept of time but nothing can be created without time, therefore solipsism is self-defeating. Shouldn't this automatically rule out solipsism?
1
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1answer
219 views

Is this a good argument against Simulation and Brain in a Vat hypotheses?

I was wondering about these skeptical hypotheses regarding the reality we experience. More specifically I wanted to address the Simulation and Brain in a Vat arguments because to me they seem kind of ...
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3answers
108 views

How do moral skeptics respond to the concept of permissible heinous acts

The Problem Let's say I am debating my friend Jake who believes that morality exists. But I am a hard determinist who believes that all actions are predetermined by some act or event beforehand. Jake ...
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4answers
765 views

Is “Why is the sky blue?” a philosophical question or scientific?

Why is "Why is the sky blue?" such a common question made by children? And why has that question about the question never been asked before? Is it that the question is just a cultural artifact, that ...
3
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1answer
96 views

What is the name of the school of thought that holds “humans did it”?

My world view is that there is no way to peek behind the curtains of the universe to reveal its truths-- whether spiritual, religious, or even scientific. I don't think the word to describe this is ...
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8answers
3k views

How can a non-religious person justify or rationalize hope or optimism in an absurd world?

I don't mean to make this post too personal, but I've been in the midst of the first kind of existential funk in my life. A bunch of negative things have happened around me recently, and as a pretty ...
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0answers
62 views

Does Sosa's modal definition of knowledge beg the question?

In his 1999 paper "How to Defeat Opposition to Moore", Ernest Sosa argues that sceptical, Nozickian tracking, relevant-alternative, and contextualist accounts of the sceptical paradox rely on the ...
2
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1answer
97 views

Cartesian Skepticism within a Coherentist Epistemology

I recently decided that it is high time I reacquaint myself with the early moderns, and I thought there could be no better place to start with than Descartes' Mediations on First Philosophy. Reading ...
2
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1answer
71 views

Does Hume's skepticism about induction extend to his treatise?

Can we extend Hume's skeptical conclusions to the treatise itself? How far reaching is Hume's skepticism, and if it is all-encompassing, then what is (as he sees) the purpose of his work?
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1answer
135 views

How does Rawls defend himself from skepticism?

How does Rawls defend himself from skepticism? I know most philosophers try to defend their philosophical ideologies against skepticism by presenting requirements for what philosophical ethical ...
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1answer
118 views

Who was the Philosopher who said to jump into the fire if you think it is not real?

Just as the title says. There was a philosopher who said that you should jump into a fire if you think it might not exist and see how it goes. I cannot find it on google, maybe I am typing in the ...
3
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4answers
637 views

Slippery slope fallacy, clarification on its correct use

I was having a discussion with some friends about Charlottesville, (BTW We're from and live in Ireland) My friend was supporting the idea of physically assaulting Neo Nazi's. My argument was number ...
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2answers
108 views

What skeptical arguments do not use induction?

What skeptical arguments do not use induction? I haven't yet found anything which says these do not exist, so doubt that they don't. But I'm still intrigued, as SEP says that [a] way to motivate ...
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1answer
799 views

How is Hume's criticism of causality tied to his epistemological presuppositions? What responses can be offered by challenging them?

Hume once criticized the principle of causality, claiming that the causal connection between two objects was a projection of the mind. To what extent is Hume's criticism of causality linked to his ...
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2answers
172 views

Argument Evaluation for Rejecting the Skeptic

I have an argument outline for rejecting hard-skepticism, though I'm not quite sure if it fully works and I was wondering if it's actually interesting, or just rubbish. Firstly, I'll lay out the 3 ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Is Universal Skepticism self-defeating? [duplicate]

Universal Skepticism seems to boldly claim certainty in the knowledge that knowledge is impossible. The obvious contradiction here is that if they really believe their own theory, it should force ...
1
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1answer
108 views

Are universal skepticism and foundationalism at odds?

As I understand it, universal skepticism says that everything is uncertain. For example, you can't even say that you are sure that 1=1 because it depends upon your notion of equality. There are no ...
0
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3answers
222 views

Can we prove that we can't prove reality? [closed]

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