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Skepticism

Edited by John Greco (Saint Louis University)
Assistant editors: Everett C. Fulmer, Krista Hyde
About this topic
Summary Skepticism involves doubt, or at least a reluctance to commit. For example, some philosophers are moral skeptics, claiming that no one can know what is right or wrong. Skepticism about the "external world" is more general, denying that there is knowledge of the world “outside our minds.”  Even more generally, some skeptics claim that there is no knowledge at all.  Philosophers have long explored reasons for and against various skeptical positions and argued about the consequences of adopting various skeptical stances.   In the ancient world, skepticism was recommended as a way of life.  The general claim was that living with an attitude of skeptical doubt is superior (morally and/or practically) to living with an attitude of dogmatic certainty.  In the modern world (i.e., the 1600s through the 1800s), skepticism was more often treated as something to be avoided, and considerable philosophical energy was put into strategies for doing so.  In contemporary philosophy, skepticism is typically framed as a theoretical problem rather than a practical one. The concern is to closely consider the best arguments for skepticism and to explore how best to respond to them.  Attempts to answer skeptical arguments have inspired philosophers to adopt substantive positions in epistemology, but also in ontology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and moral philosophy.  
Key works The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism provides a comprehensive introduction to skeptical arguments and responses to skepticism.  Influential volumes include Popkin 1964Unger 1975Stroud 1984; and Williams 1991.   
Introductions Useful introductory articles include DeRose 1995; Greco 2007Pritchard 2002.
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Subcategories:See also:History/traditions: Skepticism
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  1. Ferenc András (2010). A Kommunikációs Tér Filozófiája. Gondolat.
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  2. Micah Baize (2012). The Skeptic's Predicament. Southwest Philosophy Review 27 (1):147-155.
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  3. Kelly Becker (2014). Scepticism and Reliable Belief. Philosophical Review 123 (2):241-244.
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  4. P. Beeley (1997). Scepticism and the Continuum. Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research 8.
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  5. Paul Benacerraf (1985). Skolem and the Skeptic. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 59:85-115.
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  6. Boran Berčić (2001). Skepticism. Theoria 44 (1-4):7-94.
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  7. Bhaswati Bhattacharya (1974). The Concept of Existence and Absolute Skepticism. Indian Philosophical Quarterly 1 (3):241-266.
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  8. Laurence BonJour (1987). Nozick, Externalism, and Skepticism. In Luper-Foy Steven (ed.), The Possibility of Knowledge: Nozick and His Critics. Rowman & Littlefield
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  9. Thomas Bonk (2003). Scepticism Under New Colors? Stroud's Criticism of Carnap. In Language, Truth and Knowledge. Kluwer 133--147.
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  10. Cristina Borgoni (2014). Debating Self-Knowledge, by Anthony Brueckner and Gary Ebbs. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):204-204.
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  11. Richard Bosley (1993). On Knowing That One Knows the Logic of Skepticism and Theory.
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  12. Aryeh Botwinick (1990). Skepticism. Temple University Press.
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  13. Jochen Briesen (2012). Skeptische Paradoxa –– Die philosophische Skepsis, kognitive Projekte und der epistemische Konsequentialismus. Mentis.
    Die These der philosophischen Skepsis besagt, dass Menschen über keinerlei Wissen bzw. Rechtfertigung verfügen. So unplausibel diese These klingen mag, so überraschend ist es, dass sie gleich durch eine Vielzahl an Argumenten verteidigt werden kann. Die besten dieser Argumente lassen sich in gewisser Hinsicht als Paradoxa verstehen: Aus äußerst plausiblen Prämissen werden in logisch einwandfreier Weise Konklusionen abgeleitet, die sehr unplausibel – ja, geradezu absurd sind. Befriedigende Lösungen skeptischer Paradoxa sind daher unerlässlich, um ein kohärentes Verständnis von Wissen und Rechtfertigung (...)
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  14. Brown, S. J. Case & S. J. Brown (1925). Sir William Bragg and Scepticism. Modern Schoolman 2 (2):23-26.
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  15. Patrick Burke (1996). Skepticism and the Question of Community. Research in Phenomenology 26 (1):98-115.
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  16. A. Burri (2001). Tolerant Anti-Scepticism. Philosophisches Jahrbuch 108 (1):79-96.
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  17. John Mcknight Brayton Bush (1970). Scepticism: A Critical Investigation. Dissertation, University of Washington
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  18. Scott Calef (2007). Distorted View : A Saucerful of Skepticism. In George A. Reisch (ed.), Pink Floyd and Philosophy: Careful with That Axiom, Eugene! Open Court
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  19. John Callanan (2004). Neil Gascoigne, Scepticism. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 24:104-106.
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  20. Charles Arthur Campbell (1931). Scepticism and Construction. London, G. Allen & Unwin, Ltd..
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  21. H. G. Campbell (1905). Ogers on Scepticism. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):80.
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  22. Pietro Capitani (2009). Erudizione E Scetticismo in François de la Mothe le Vayer. L.S. Olschki.
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  23. Quassim Cassam, Foreword to P.F. Strawson's Scepticism and Naturalism: Some Varieties.
    In that book I had two different, though not unrelated aims. The first chapter was concerned with traditional scepticisms about, e.g., the external world and induction. In common with Hume and Wittgenstein (and even Heidegger) I argued that the attempt to combat such doubts by rational argument was misguided: for we are dealing here with the presuppositions, the framework, of all human thought and enquiry. In the other chapters my target was different. It was that species of naturalism which tended (...)
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  24. Suresh Chandra (1975). Skepticism, Identity and Interrupted Existence. Indian Philosophical Quarterly 2 (2):113-142.
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  25. Erwin Chargaff (1986). Serious Questions: An Abc of Skeptical Reflections. Birkhäuser.
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  26. George Chatalian & Roderick M. Chisholm (1991). Epistemology and Skepticism: An Enquiry Into the Nature of Epistemology. Southern Illinois University.
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  27. Ross E. Cheit (1999). Junk Skepticism and Recovered Memory: A Reply to Piper. Ethics and Behavior 9 (4):295 – 318.
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  28. Riccardo Chiaradonna (2011). Quel savoir apres le scepticisme? Plotin et ses predecesseurs sur la connaissance de soi, Histoire des doctrines de lantiquite classique 37. International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 5 (1):165-171.
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  29. Michael Clark (1967). Review of E. Laszlo, Beyond Scepticism and Realism. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 17.
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  30. James Cleve (1977). Probability and Certainty: A Reexamination of the Lewis-Reichenbach Debate. Philosophical Studies 32 (4):323 - 334.
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  31. Tammy clewell (2004). Cavell and the Endless Mourning of Skepticism. Angelaki 9 (3):75 – 87.
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  32. Adrian Coates (1929). A Sceptical Examination of Contemporary British Philosophy. London, New York [Etc.]Brentano's Ltd..
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  33. Roben C. Coburn (1990). Evolution and Skepticism. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 71 (1):1-13.
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  34. Robert C. Coburn (1990). Evolution and Skepticism. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 71 (1):1.
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  35. Lorraine Code (2006). Skepticism and the Lure of Ambiguity. Hypatia 21 (3):222-228.
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  36. Stewart Cohen (1991). Skepticism, Relevance, and Relativity. In Brian P. McLaughlin (ed.), Dretske and His Critics. Basil Blackwell 17--37.
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  37. David John Cole (1979). Skepticism and Meaning. Dissertation, University of California, San Diego
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  38. Annalisa Coliva (2012). Scetticismo: Dubbio, Paradosso E Conoscenza. Laterza.
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  39. Juan Comesar'ia (2013). Reply to Pryor. In Matthias Steup & John Turri (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell 239.
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  40. James W. Cornman (1982). Skepticism, Justification, and Explanation. Philosophical Review 91 (4):612-615.
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  41. Daniel Cory (1954). God or the External World. Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):57-61.
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  42. S. C. Coval (1966). Scepticism and the First Person. London, Methuen.
    Originally published in 1966. This book considers the perceived asymmetries between the self and others, or between self and things. An indepth analysis of scepticism, dualism, belief, knowledge and semantics. A topic which is central to both epistemology but also the whole of contemporary philosophy.
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  43. Frederick Crews, José Guilherme Merquior, Rafe Champion, Leslie Graves & G. B. Madison (1990). Correspondence. Critical Review 4 (1-2):284-294.
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  44. Troy Cross (2007). Comments on Vogel. Philosophical Studies 134 (1):89 - 98.
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  45. Joseph Cruz (2010). 12 Is There a Reason for Skepticism? In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O.’Rourke & Harry S. Silverstein (eds.), Knowledge and Skepticism. MIT Press 287.
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  46. Fred D'Agostino & John Watkins (1987). Science and Scepticism. Philosophical Quarterly 37 (146):104.
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  47. J. Dancy (1986). Grayling, A. C., "The Refutation of Scepticism". [REVIEW] Mind 95:263.
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  48. F. Davies (1998). How Sceptical is Kripke's 'Sceptical Solution'. Philsophia 26 (1-2):119-40.
  49. Mario De Caro & Emidio Spinelli (eds.) (2007). Scetticismo: Una Vicenda Filosofica. Carocci.
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  50. Manuel de Pinedo & Hilan Bensusan (2009). The Sceptic as an Alarm Clock for Dreams in the Third Person. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 28 (1):68-74.
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