Second-person scepticism

Philosophical Quarterly 47 (186):80–84 (1997)
In the last decade, some feminist epistemologists have suggested that the global scepticism which results from the Cartesian dream argument is the product of a self‐consciously masculine modern era, whose philosophy gave pride of place to the individual cognizer, disconnected from the object of knowledge, from other knowers, indeed from his own body. Lorraine Code claims that under a conception of a cognizer as an essentially social being, Cartesian scepticism would not arise. I argue that this is false: an argument parallel in structure, and as well supported as the first‐person Cartesian dream argument, could arise in an epistemology which recognizes the social nature of human life and knowledge. Against Code, it is not the first‐personhood of Cartesianism which generates scepticism. A second‐person scepticism could emerge in a socially conscious epistemology
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