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Sceptical Overkill: On Two Recent Arguments Against Scepticism

O'Hara, Kieron (1993) Sceptical Overkill: On Two Recent Arguments Against Scepticism Mind, 102, (2), pp. 315-27.

Record type: Article


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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Published date: 1993
Additional Information: Commentary On: Wright, C. 1991: "Scepticism and Dreaming: Imploding the Demon". Mind, 100
Keywords: scepticism malicious demon dreaming maundering
Organisations: Web & Internet Science


Local EPrints ID: 254162
ISSN: 0026-4423
PURE UUID: c6dd74ba-f3ad-418a-92d5-d4a3645436c1

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Date deposited: 04 Nov 2000
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 09:54

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Author: Kieron O'Hara

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