Scepticism and dreaming

Philosophia 28 (1-4):373-390 (2001)
In a recent, and influential, article, Crispin Wright maintains that a familiar form of scepticismwhich finds its core expression in Descartes’ dreaming argumentcan be defused (or, to use Wright’s own parlance, “imploded”), by showing how it employs self-defeating reasoning. I offer two fundamental reasons for rejecting Wright’s ‘implosion’ of scepticism. On the one hand, I argue that, even by Wright’s own lights, it is unclear whether there is a sceptical argument to implode in the first place. On the other, I claim that even on the supposition that Wright has indeed succeeded in setting-up such an argument, he nevertheless fails to follow-through with an adequate response. A diagnosis of the failure of Wright’s approach is then given in the context of the wider sceptical debate.
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