David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Grazer Philosophische Studien 64 (1):57-81 (2002)
Skeptical dream-arguments are intended as general challenges to our epistemic claims concerning the world. They argue that we can never rule out the possibility of merely dreaming what we believe to perceive. In my paper I will scrutinize whether any kind of such argument is sound. On my view, many versions of this argument are defective. They are either too weak to challenge all kinds of our epistemic claims or they rely on implausibly strong epistemic principles. More plausible versions of the argument can be rebutted by the results of recent empirical dream research. As I will argue, there is an introspective criterion for currently being awake. Nevertheless there is one version of the dream-argument, which I will call quasi-dream-argument, that survives all criticism and brings out the structure of a compelling skeptical argument very clearly.
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