Sceptical Overkill: On Two Recent Arguments Against Scepticism.
Mind, 102, (2), .
This paper is a discussion of a recent attempt by Crispin Wright to force at least some varieties of external world scepticism to succumb to a "head-on, rational response", contrary to well-known expressions of pessimism by, for example, Sir Peter Strawson and Barry Stroud. The varieties of scepticism in question are those that involve positing a "purportedly undetectable but cognitively disabling state", such as the state imposed by Descartes' malicious demon, in which a sufferer is unable to tell whether or not his or her experiences are caused by items in his or her perceptible environment, as opposed to some disassociated cause; the argument is completed by noticing that, if such a state were possible, then no-one could have complete confidence that he or she were not in such a state. This paper argues that this lack of confidence also fatally undermines Wright's argument.
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