Questions tagged [skepticism]

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Is the (truth of) justification of political beliefs necessary given Pyrrhonism?

To explain real quick. Pyrrhonism is some sort of philosophical practice which does reject (or suspend judgment on) epistemic criteria. It is debatable if they can hold beliefs, but even if the could ...
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3 answers
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Does the imagination qualify as any form of evidence?

Suppose I believe in entities, aliens, God or higher intelligent being that are in communication with me. The catch is, there is no physical evidence for their existence. However, if such things ...
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Is relativism the opposite of skepticism, but practically the same?

Radical relativism denies absolute truth. But we can easily acquire the only possible truth (relative truth). According to Plato's Protagoras, you cannot fail to achieve it. For radical skeptics ...
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Gnosis vs. Episteme - Is there a change over time periods in Ancient Greek Philosophy?

"Episteme" is the word of choice in Plato, generally (although there are a few instances of "Gnosis" here and there) By contrast, "Gnosis" is far more frequent among ...
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Should doubt be epistemically justified?

If you doubt a claim X, should this very state of being in doubt be justified? How does one justify doubt in the first place? One can technically doubt anything except experience. But few would say ...
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Should a solipsist get life insurance?

What are the reasons for a convinced metaphysical solipsist to get life insurance?
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What does meaning-scepticism mean?

I found the term in The Limits of Realism (Tim Button) (2013) on page 2: We are, then, looking for an argument that forces realists to consider semantic questions. A natural place to look is in the ...
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1 answer
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Has the author undermined skepticism at all through his argument in "Certainty: A Refutation of Scepticism"?

The author provides an outline of his argument in p. 11-12: 1.3 Outline of My Argument I believe that these three forms of scepticism can be refuted by showing that the following four claims are true:...
3 votes
2 answers
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The Scientific Method(s), Skepticism and Faith: What other methods have been proposed as a means by which to arrive at truth?

The contemporary Youtube universe (according to the algorithm directing my stream) seems to separate our search for truth (and/or the attempt to avoid falsity) into the contrasting 'methods'/means of ...
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1 answer
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How should I define the problem of skepticism and the criteria for its solution?

I am writing an epistemology essay on whether a particular theory solves the 'problem of skepticism'. I am familiar with the skeptical paradox, but I am not sure exactly how to define what a solution ...
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Bayesian argument for combining extraordinary claims

This is an improved version of Backwards Bayesian argument for alien visitation? It is said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and therefore this criterion is applied to every ...
8 votes
5 answers
628 views

Epistemic value of multiple eyewitness accounts: single event vs. multiple events given a fixed number of eyewitnesses?

Intuitively speaking, multiple independent eyewitness accounts of a single event are more convincing than a single eyewitness account. For example, multiple independent eyewitness accounts of a loud ...
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8 votes
16 answers
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Can we doubt all knowledge?

Can we doubt all knowledge from all sources (perception, reports, and reason)? Regarding doubting reason, reason can't be proven, it is preceived and judged instantly by our logic, but what if our ...
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1 answer
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An Argument against Descartes's radical doubt

Reflecting on Descartes's evil genius, I came up with an argument to use against his radical skepticism, that is, when he doubts even the basic laws of logic and basic mathematics (3 + 2 = 5). The ...
7 votes
3 answers
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Do we cause words to mean things, or do words cause us to mean things?

This question occurred to me while reviewing a skeptical argument from Kripke regarding semantics: Suppose that I’ve never dealt with numbers larger than 57. (Given our finite nature and the ...
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1 answer
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How is it known that Aenesidemus the major sceptic philosopher was from Knossos?

Aenesidemus is considered one of the major skeptic ancient philosophers but according to wikipedia little is known about his life. How is it known that Aenesidemus the major sceptic philosopher was ...
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Backwards Bayesian argument for alien visitation?

Let A = the hypothesis that aliens are visiting Earth Let E = evidence that aliens are visiting Earth The posterior probability that aliens are visiting Earth, given some evidence, P(A|E), can be ...
3 votes
1 answer
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Is Dennett what Williamson calls a Judgement Skeptic?

Timothy Williamson in Evidence in Philosophy, chapter 7 section 3 of his book "Philosophy of Philosophy" (2007), conveys the notion of the Judgement Skeptic - e.g. (bold emphasis is mine) ...
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1 answer
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Second-order skepticism

Let "kS" = "It is known that S." Then kkS or k2S is a common hypothesis in epistemic logic (the full hypothesis can be stated as kS → k2S). So a second-order skeptic [SOS] at least ...
2 votes
6 answers
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How to be skeptical of transcendental arguments?

SEP and others have transcendental arguments as claims “namely that X is a necessary condition for the possibility of Y—where then, given that Y is the case, it logically follows that X must be the ...
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Is there a philosophical stance where they deny/doubt the existence of the living experience or even themselves?

Is there a philosophical stance in which they deny/doubt the existence of the living experience itself (as if they believe even they might not exist)? Do global skeptics, buddhists or anyone else fit ...
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5 answers
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Arguments against agnosticism/skepticism and for gnostic atheism?

In agnosticism/skepticism, we can't say we know there's no god, soul, afterlife, etc because "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", also known as "just because you haven't ...
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What is the philosophical position that a metaphysical debate is caused by different mental models?

I'm looking for authors, papers, and hopefully, the name of the philosophical position that I describe here. I've seen a couple of papers so I know that they exist, but I can't recall the authors or ...
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How did Descartes made a logical skeptic argument against logic, without falling into a paradox, in his Metaphysical Meditations? Is it actually valid

René Descartes seems to have made some arguments against logic and mathematics in his Metaphysical Meditations, however it seems that these arguments are still logical, and the problem is whether that ...
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1 answer
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What is the relationship between Anekantavada and Pyrrhonic skepticism?

Best skeptic arguments, five tropes of Agrippa are these: (wiki) Dissent – The uncertainty demonstrated by the differences of opinions among philosophers and people in general. Progress ad infinitum – ...
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The Problem of the Criterion in the history of philosophy

In his 1966 book Theory of Knowledge Roderick Chisolm provides two sets of questions: What do we know? or What is the extent of our knowledge? How do we know? or What is the criterion for deciding ...
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What do you call refusing to accept any proposition when there is any remote possibility it could be false?

What do you call the philosophical position of a person who radically denies any knowledge saying the contrary might be true. Example: Aspirin cures headaches. Response: There are people on which ...
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2 answers
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Does the brain in a vat problem shift the burden of proof?

When I've encountered arguments about the brain in a vat problem, they went something like We could be brains in a vat, with a simulated reality, how could we know we are not? But isn't this ...
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What should I learn beforehand to understand Jordan B Peterson's view on symbolism?

To begin to Understand Peterson's View on Symbolism and it's manifestation and representation, what prior works are recommended to read/review that either serve as the basis for his conjectures, or ...
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5 answers
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When can we have certainty in what we claim to know?

This is a question that my friends asked me a few times. I am confused, because I have been trying to answer this question myself, but I can't seem to come up with any valid answer. For example, what ...
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How do radical skeptics address the following knowledge "Something may be or may not be"?

How do radical skeptics address the following knowledge "Something may be or may not be"? The proposition "Something may be or may not be" covers all possibilities and therefore is ...
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Are there other reasons than "the world is an illusion" that the radical skeptics use to doubt almost everything?

Are there other reasons than "the world is an illusion or a simulation" that the radical skeptics use to doubt almost everything? I don't think there's a better reason than it, but maybe ...
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6 answers
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Is there any counterexample given against radical skepticism?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_skepticism I am thinking that simple statement such as "I am", "I think" are all beliefs that are also knowledge and conditional statements ...
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Question about Cogito, ergo sum

As far as I know Decartes tried to prove that he existed from the fact that he was thinking. And he thought this was only proof. My question is following: -- why is the argument brought up above, ...
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Question about the IEP’s (Michael Huemer’s) formulation of phenomenal conservatism

(I posted the identical question on the AskPhilosophy subreddit.) I first learned about phenomenal conservatism under a different name, “the principle of credulity”, from the philosopher of religion ...
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Is there any proof of assertion that "assertion can be proved"?

Here's some reason to doubt any proof: Dissent – The uncertainty demonstrated by the differences of opinions among philosophers and people in general. Progress ad infinitum – All proof rests on ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Is doubting inner world is like doubting external world? [closed]

Does scepticism of external world and sceptical on inner world of same level? Like someone doubting external world doesn't exists, it is illusion or process or emergence by inner world, only inner ...
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1 answer
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Is it self-defeating for commentators to tell people not to believe or trust the media?

For example: let's suppose that I am a conspiracy theorist and commentator, my job is to report what goes on in the world of politics, social media, and give my opinions. Is it self-defeating to tell ...
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Could a Pyrrhonic Skeptic Procedurally know?

is the concept of Procedural Knowledge, inconsistent with Pyrrhonic Skepticism? i ask this as, it does not seem that Procedural Knowledge coincides with the model of Knowledge espoused by Pyrrhonic ...
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Is Philosopical Skepticism self-defeating?

Whilst researching philosophical skepticism, I found this answer to the question here which states the following: [Jon Erison] Extreme skepticism is in fact self-defeating. According the the ...
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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: ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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Where does Moore admit that no one 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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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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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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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 ...
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