History: Skepticism

Edited by Everett Fulmer (Loyola University, New Orleans)
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  1. Skepticism in Classical Indian Philosophy.Matthew R. Dasti - forthcoming - In Diego Machuca & Baron Reed (eds.), Skepticism from Antiquity to the Present.
    There are some tantalizing suggestions that Pyrrhonian skepticism has its roots in ancient India. Of them, the most important is Diogenes Laertius’s report that Pyrrho accompanied Alexander to India, where he was deeply impressed by the character of the “naked sophists” he encountered (DL IX 61). Influenced by these gymnosophists, Pyrrho is said to have adopted the practices of suspending judgment on matters of belief and cultivating an indifferent composure amid the vicissitudes of ordinary life. Such conduct, and the attitudes (...)
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  2. From Proto-Sceptic to Sceptic in Sextus' Outlines of Pyrrhonism.Robb Dunphy - forthcoming - Apeiron: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science.
    This is an account of Sceptical investigation as it is presented by Sextus Empiricus. I focus attention on the motivation behind the Sceptic’s investigation, the goal of that investigation, and on the development Sextus describes from proto-Sceptical to Sceptical investigator. I suggest that recent accounts of the Sceptic’s investigative practice do not make sufficient sense of the fact that the Sceptic finds a relief from disturbance by way of suspending judgement, nor of the apparent continuity between proto-Sceptical and Sceptical investigation. (...)
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  3. Ancient Skepticism.Leo Groarke - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  4. Hegel and Scepticism.Jannis Kozatsas, George Faraklas, Klaus Vieweg & Stella Synegianni (eds.) - forthcoming - de Gruyter.
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  5. Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present.Diego Machuca and Baron Reed (ed.) - forthcoming - Bloomsbury Academic.
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  6. Scepticism and Anti-Scepticism in Medieval Jewish Philosophy and Thought, Edited by Racheli Haliva.Shalom Sadik - forthcoming - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism:1-7.
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  7. The Sceptical Tradition.Ancient Scepticism - forthcoming - Acta Philosophica Fennica.
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  8. Précis of The Illusion of Doubt.Genia Schönbaumsfeld - forthcoming - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism:1-6.
    The Illusion of Doubt shows that radical scepticism is an illusion generated by a Cartesian picture of our evidential situation—the view that my epistemic grounds in both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ cases must be the same. It is this picture which issues both a standing invitation to radical scepticism and ensures that there is no way of getting out of it while agreeing to the sceptic’s terms. The sceptical problem cannot, therefore, be answered ‘directly’. Rather, the assumptions that give (...)
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  9. Blackwell Companion to Locke.Matthew Stuart (ed.) - forthcoming - Blackwell.
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  10. Knowledge Without “Experience”.Michael Williams - forthcoming - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism:1-24.
    Genia Schönbaumsfeld argues that Cartesian skepticism is an illusion induced by the “Cartesian Picture” of perceptual knowledge, in which knowledge of the “external world” depends on an inference from how things subjectively seem to one to how they actually are. To show its incoherence, she draws on the work of John McDowell, which she sees as elaborating a central theme from Wittgenstein’s On Certainty. I argue that Cartesian skepticism is not an illusion, as Schönbaumsfeld understands ‘illusion’, and that McDowell’s account (...)
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  11. Ghazālī's Transformative Answer to Scepticism.Reza Hadisi - 2022 - Theoria 88 (1):109-142.
    In this paper, I offer a reconstruction of Ghazālī's encounter with scepticism in the Deliverance from Error. For Ghazālī, I argue, radical scepticism about the possibility of knowledge ensues from intellectualist assumptions about the nature of justification. On the reading that I will propose, Ghazālī holds that foundational knowledge can only be justified via actions that lead to transformative experiences.
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  12. A Touch of Doubt: On Haptic Skepticism.Rachel Aumiller - 2021 - Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter.
    A Touch of Doubt traces the theme of touch in the evolution of skepticism through Platonism, German idealism, Continental philosophy and psychoanalysis. Haptic Scepticism, the field of ethics emerging from this study, explores the grasp-ability of contradiction. Contradiction is a haptic marvel. We can cup it in our palms, press it against our lips, dip our toes into its coolness, and, if we are not careful, we may even burn ourselves on its surface.
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  13. Hegel and the Problem of Beginning.Robb Dunphy - 2021 - Hegel Bulletin 42 (3):344-367.
    In this article I develop an interpretation of the opening passages of Hegel's essay ‘With what must the beginning of science be made?’ I suggest firstly that Hegel is engaging there with a distinctive problem, the overcoming of which he understands to be necessary in order to guarantee the scientific character of the derivation of the fundamental categories of thought which he undertakes in the Science of Logic. I refer to this as ‘the problem of beginning’. I proceed to clarify (...)
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  14. Of Dreams, Demons, and Whirlpools: Doubt, Skepticism, and Suspension of Judgment in Descartes's Meditations.Jan Forsman - 2021 - Dissertation, Tampere University
    I offer a novel reading in this dissertation of René Descartes’s (1596–1650) skepticism in his work Meditations on First Philosophy (1641–1642). I specifically aim to answer the following problem: How is Descartes’s skepticism to be read in accordance with the rest of his philosophy? This problem can be divided into two more general questions in Descartes scholarship: How is skepticism utilized in the Meditations, and what are its intentions and relation to the preceding philosophical tradition? -/- I approach the topic (...)
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  15. Reason, Revelation, and Sceptical Argumentation in 12th‐ to 14th‐Century Byzantium.Jonathan Greig - 2021 - Theoria 87.
    In middle to late Byzantium, one finds dogmatic-style sceptical arguments employed against human reason in relation to divine revelation, where revelation becomes the sole criterion of certain truth in contrast to reason. This argumentative strategy originates in early Christian authors, especially Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–215 CE) and Gregory Nazianzen (c. 329–390 CE), who maintain that revelation is the only domain of knowledge where certainty is possible. Given this, one finds two striking variations of this sceptical approach: a “mild” variant (...)
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  16. The Conservatism of the Counterreformation in Montaigne’s “Apology for Raymond Sebond”.Kyle S. Hodge - 2021 - Journal of Early Modern Studies 10 (2):9-33.
    Montaigne’s “Apology” is a lengthy work the overarching theme of which is the relationship between epistemology, virtue, and vice. It is a commentary on the thesis that science or knowledge “is the mother of all virtue and that all vice is produced by ignorance.” Montaigne’s response is radical and unequivocal: there is no idea more harmful; its consequences are no less than the destruction of inward contentment and the undermining of societal peace and stability. Indeed, Montaigne sees the Protestant Reformation (...)
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  17. Hume's 'Two Definitions' of Causation and the Ontology of 'Double Existence' (Revised) with an Appendix 2021.Paul Russell - 2021 - In Recasting Hume and early Modern Philosophy: Selected Essays. New York, NY, USA: pp. 3-31.
    This essay provides an interpretation of Hume’s “two definitions” of causation. It argues that the two definitions of causation must be interpreted in terms of Hume’s fundamental ontological distinction between perceptions and (material) objects. Central to Hume’s position on this subject is the claim that, while there is a natural tendency to suppose that there exist (metaphysical) causal powers in objects themselves, this is a product of our failure to distinguish perceptions and objects. Properly understood, our idea of causation involves (...)
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  18. The Humors in Hume's Skepticism.Charles Goldhaber - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7:789–824.
    In the conclusion to the first book of the Treatise, Hume's skeptical reflections have plunged him into melancholy. He then proceeds through a complex series of stages, resulting in renewed interest in philosophy. Interpreters have struggled to explain the connection between the stages. I argue that Hume's repeated invocation of the four humors of ancient and medieval medicine explains the succession, and sheds a new light on the significance of skepticism. The humoral context not only reveals that Hume conceives of (...)
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  19. Hume's Scepticism: Pyrrhonian and Academic by Peter S. Fosl. [REVIEW]Charles Goldhaber - 2020 - Hume Studies 46 (1):171-174.
    Peter Fosl's new monograph offers a bold reading of Hume as a "radical," "coherent," and "hybrid" skeptic, who draws influence from both the Pyrrhonian and Academic skeptical traditions. I press some concerns about whether Fosl's reading of Hume can accommodate his scientific ambitions.
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  20. Beyond Quietism: Transformative Experience in Pyrrhonism and Wittgenstein.Rico Gutschmidt - 2020 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10 (2):105-128.
    Pyrrhonian skepticism is usually understood as a form of quietism, since it is supposed to bring us back to where we were in our everyday lives before we got disturbed by philosophical questions. Similarly, the ‘therapeutic’ and ‘resolute’ readings of Wittgenstein claim that Wittgenstein’s ‘philosophical practice’ results in the dissolution of the corresponding philosophical problems and brings us back to our everyday life. Accordingly, Wittgenstein is often linked to Pyrrhonism and classified as a quietist. Against this reading, I will employ (...)
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  21. The School of Doubt: Skepticism, History, and Politics in Cicero's Academica, Written by Orazio Cappello. [REVIEW]Peter Osorio - 2020 - Bryn Mawr Classical Review.
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  22. The Fourth Meditation and Cartesian Circles.C. P. Ragland & Everett Fulmer - 2020 - Philosophical Annals: Special Issue on Descartes' Epistemology 68 (2):119-138.
    We offer a novel interpretation of the argumentative role that Meditation IV plays within the whole of the Meditations. This new interpretation clarifies several otherwise head-scratching claims that Descartes makes about Meditation IV, and it fully exonerates the Fourth Meditation from either raising or exacerbating Descartes’ circularity problems.
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  23. The Young Spinoza on Scepticism, Truth, and Method.Valtteri Viljanen - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):130-142.
    This paper offers a new interpretation of the young Spinoza’s method of distinguishing the true ideas from the false, which shows that his answer to the sceptic is not a failure. This method combines analysis and synthesis as follows: if we can say of the object of an idea which simple things underlie it, how it can be constructed out of simple elements, and what properties it has after it has been produced, doubt concerning the object simply makes no sense. (...)
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  24. Can the Pyrrhonian Sceptic Suspend Belief Regarding Scientific Definitions?Benjamin Wilck - 2020 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 23 (1):253-288.
    In this article, I tackle a heretofore unnoticed difficulty with the application of Pyrrhonian scepticism to science. Sceptics can suspend belief regarding a dogmatic proposition only by setting up opposing arguments for and against that proposition. Since Sextus provides arguments exclusively against particular geometrical definitions in Adversus Mathematicos III, commentators have argued that Sextus’ method is not scepticism, but negative dogmatism. However, commentators have overlooked the fact that arguments in favour of particular geometrical definitions were absent in ancient geometry, and (...)
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  25. The School of Doubt: Skepticism, History and Politics in Cicero’s, Written by Orazio Cappello.Raphael Woolf - 2020 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10 (2):167-171.
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  26. New Issues in Epistemological Disjunctivism.Casey Doyle, Joseph Milburn & Duncan Pritchard (eds.) - 2019 - New York: Routledge.
    This is the first volume dedicated solely to the topic of epistemological disjunctivism. The original essays in this volume, written by leading and up-and-coming scholars on the topic, are divided into three thematic sections. The first set of chapters addresses the historical background of epistemological disjunctivism. It features essays on ancient epistemology, Immanuel Kant, J.L. Austin, Edmund Husserl, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The second section tackles a number contemporary issues related to epistemological disjunctivism, including its relationship with perceptual disjunctivism, radical skepticism, (...)
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  27. Can an Atheist Know That He Exists? Cogito, Mathematics, and God in Descartes’s Meditations.Jan Forsman - 2019 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 9 (2):91-115.
    Descartes’s meditator thinks that if she does not know the existence of God, she cannot be fully certain of anything. This statement seems to contradict the cogito, according to which the existence of I is indubitable and therefore certain. Cannot an atheist be certain that he exists? Atheistic knowledge has been discussed almost exclusively in relation to mathematics, and the more interesting question of the atheist’s certainty of his existence has not received the attention it deserves. By examining the question (...)
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  28. Ideas, Evidence, and Method: Hume’s Skepticism and Naturalism Concerning Knowledge and Causation, Written by Graciela De Pierris.Peter S. Fosl - 2019 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 9 (4):345-356.
  29. Hegel's Logic as Presuppositionless Science.Miles Hentrup - 2019 - Idealistic Studies 49 (2):145-165.
    In this article, I offer a critical interpretation of Hegel’s claims regarding the presuppositionless status of the Logic. Commentators have been divided as to whether the Logic actually achieves the status of presuppositionless science, disagreeing as to whether the Logic succeeds in making an unmediated beginning. I argue, however, that this understanding of presuppositionless science is misguided, as it reflects a spurious conception of immediacy that Hegel criticizes as false. Contextualizing Hegel’s remarks in light of his broader approach to the (...)
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  30. Gerhardt Stenger . Les Singularités de la Nature. Xxi + 383 Pp., Figs., Index. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2017. £105 . ISBN 9780729411523. [REVIEW]Mitia Rioux-Beaulne - 2019 - Isis 110 (4):832-833.
  31. The Role of Skepticism in Early Modern Philosophy: A Critique of Popkin's "Sceptical Crisis" and a Study of Descartes and Hume.Raman Sachdev - 2019 - Dissertation, University of South Florida
    The aim of this dissertation is to provide a critique of the idea that skepticism was the driving force in the development of early modern thought. Historian of philosophy Richard Popkin introduced this thesis in the 1950s and elaborated on it over the next five decades, and recent scholarship shows that it has become an increasingly accepted interpretation. I begin with a study of the relevant historical antecedents—the ancient skeptical traditions of which early modern thinkers were aware—Pyrrhonism and Academicism. Then (...)
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  32. Cicero’s Skepticism and His Recovery of Political Philosophy, Written by Walter Nicgorski. [REVIEW]Harald Thorsrud - 2019 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 9 (4):339-344.
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  33. Perceptual Errors in Late Medieval Philosophy.Juhana Toivanen & José Filipe Silva - 2019 - In Brian Glenney & José Filipe Silva (eds.), The Senses and the History of Philosophy. New York, NY, USA: pp. 106-130.
    Perception of the external world is an essential part of the animal (including human) life, both as a source of knowledge and as a way to survive. Medieval authors accepted this view, and despite general concerns about the reliability of the senses in the acquisition of certain and objective knowledge, they thought that for the most part our perceptual system gets things right when it comes to the perceptual features of things—but not always. Our article focuses on thirteenth- and fourteenth-century (...)
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  34. Against Those in the Disciplines, Written by Sextus Empiricus. [REVIEW]Máté Veres - 2019 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 9 (2):169-172.
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  35. The Basing Relation and the Impossibility of the Debasing Demon.Patrick Bondy & J. Adam Carter - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (3):203.
    Descartes’ demon is a deceiver: the demon makes things appear to you other than as they really are. However, as Descartes famously pointed out in the Second Meditation, not all knowledge is imperilled by this kind of deception. You still know you are a thinking thing. Perhaps, though, there is a more virulent demon in epistemic hell, one from which none of our knowledge is safe. Jonathan Schaffer thinks so. The “Debasing Demon” he imagines threatens knowledge not via the truth (...)
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  36. Object Reidentification and the Epistemic Role of Attention.Nilanjan Das - 2018 - Ratio 31 (4):402-414.
    Reidentification scepticism is the view that we cannot knowledgeably reidentify previously perceived objects. Amongst classical Indian philosophers, the Buddhists argued for reidentification scepticism. In this essay, I will discuss two responses to this Buddhist argument. The first response, defended by Vācaspati Miśra (9th century CE), is that our outer senses allow us to knowledgeably reidentify objects. I will claim that this proposal is problematic. The second response, due to Jayanta Bhaṭṭa (9th century CE), is that the manas or the inner (...)
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  37. Stroud, Hegel, Heidegger: A Transcendental Argument.Kim Davies - 2018 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism.
    _ Source: _Page Count 25 This is a pre-print. Please cite only the revised published version. This paper presents an original, ambitious, truth-directed transcendental argument for the existence of an ‘external world’. It begins with a double-headed starting-point: Stroud’s own remarks on the necessary conditions of language in general, and Hegel’s critique of the “fear of error.” The paper argues that the sceptical challenge requires a particular critical concept of thought as that which may diverge from reality, and that this (...)
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  38. Between Forteana and Skepticism. [REVIEW]M. R. X. Dentith - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (11):48-52.
    A review of Bernard Will's "Believing Weird Things".
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  39. Descartes and the Suspension of Judgment–Considerations of Cartesian Skepticism and Epoché.Jan Forsman - 2018 - In Konstantinos Boudouris (ed.), Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy. Greek Philosophical Society. pp. 15-20.
    In this paper I will argue how Descartes in the First and Second Meditation of the Meditations uses a very clear suspension of judgments or assent that in many ways resembles the epoché of the ancient skepticism, especially that of pyrrhonistic variant. First I show how the pyrrhonistic epoché works and what purpose it was used. After that I show how this Cartesian epoché both resembles and differs from the ancient epoché. My main argument is that Descartes, when using the (...)
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  40. Hume’s True Scepticism, Written by Donald C. Ainslie.Peter S. Fosl - 2018 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 8 (4):348-353.
  41. Russell’s Logical Construction of the World.Peter J. Graham - 2018 - In Diego Machua & Baron Reed (eds.), Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present. New York, USA: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 454-466.
  42. Self-Completing Skepticism: On Hegel's Sublation of Pyrrhonism.Miles Hentrup - 2018 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (1):105-123.
    In his 1802 article for the Critical Journal, “Relationship of Skepticism to Philosophy,” Hegel attempts to articulate a form of skepticism that is “at one with every true philosophy.” Focusing on the priority that Hegel gives to ancient skepticism over its modern counterpart, Michael Forster and other commentators suggest that it is Pyrrhonism that Hegel views as one with philosophy. Since Hegel calls attention to the persistence of dogmatism even in the work of Sextus Empiricus, however, I argue that it (...)
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  43. Academic Skepticism in Seventeenth-Century French Philosophy: The Charronian Legacy 1601–1662, Written by José R. Maia Neto. [REVIEW]Michael W. Hickson - 2018 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 8 (1):137-140.
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  44. Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present.Diego E. Machuca & Baron Reed (eds.) - 2018 - Bloomsbury Academic.
    Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present is an authoritative and up-to-date survey of the entire history of skepticism. Divided chronologically into ancient, medieval, renaissance, modern, and contemporary periods, and featuring 50 specially-commissioned chapters from leading philosophers, this comprehensive volume is the first of its kind.
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  45. Contre les moralistes, written by Sextus Empiricus.Stéphane Marchand - 2018 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 8 (4):343-347.
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  46. In Defense of the Epistemic Imperative.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (4):435-446.
    Sample (2015) argues that scientists ought not to believe that their theories are true because they cannot fulfill the epistemic obligation to take the diachronic perspective on their theories. I reply that Sample’s argument imposes an inordinately heavy epistemic obligation on scientists, and that it spells doom not only for scientific theories but also for observational beliefs and philosophical ideas that Samples endorses. I also delineate what I take to be a reasonable epistemic obligation for scientists. In sum, philosophers ought (...)
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  47. What is the Scandal of Philosophy?Roberto Horácio de Sá Pereira - 2018 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 8 (3):141-166.
    _ Source: _Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 141 - 166 The central question of this paper is: what has Kant’s Refutation of Idealism argument proven, if anything? What is the real scandal of philosophy and universal human reason? I argue that Kant’s Refutation argument can only be considered as sound if we assume that his target is what I call ‘metaphysical external-world skepticism’. What is in question is not the ‘existence’ of outside things, but their very ‘nature’, that is, the (...)
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  48. Las respuestas académicas a la objeción de apraxia.Christian F. Pineda-Pérez - 2018 - Praxis Filosófica 46:221-42.
    En este artículo reconstruyo y analizo las respuestas de los escépticos académicos a la objeción de apraxia. Esta objeción afirma que el escepticismo es una doctrina imposible de practicar puesto que sus tesis conducen a la apraxia, esta es, un estado de privación o imposibilidad de acción. Las respuestas a la objeción se dividen en dos clases. La primera prueba que el asentimiento no es una condición necesaria para realizar acciones, por lo que la recomendación escéptica de suspender global y (...)
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  49. A World Without a Past: New Challenges to Kant's Refutation of Idealism.Justin Remhof - 2018 - Southwest Philosophy Review 34 (1):171-180.
    In the Refutation of Idealism, Kant aims to defeat the Cartesian radical skeptical hypothesis that empirical reality might not exist and we cannot have knowledge of it. Kant intends to demonstrate that conscious experience presupposes direct experience of empirical reality. This paper presents new challenges to the conclusions Kant reaches in the Refutation. Kant’s argument turns on the claim that the past must exist, and my challenges concern the possibility that there is no past.
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  50. Hume’s Presence in the ‘Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion’, Written by Robert J. Fogelin.Mark G. Spencer - 2018 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 8 (3):245-249.
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