Scepticism: The external world and meaning

Philosophical Studies 60 (3):207 - 231 (1990)

Dorit Bar-On
University of Connecticut
In this paper, I compare and contrast two kinds of scepticism, Cartesian scepticism about the external world and Quinean scepticism about meaning. I expose Quine's metaphysical claim that there are no facts of the matter about meaning as a sceptical response to a sceptical problem regarding the possibility of our knowledge of meanings. I argue that this sceptical response is overkill; for the sceptical problem about our knowledge of meanings may receive a treatment similar to the naturalistic treatment Quine himself offered for the problem of our knowledge of the external world. Further, I suggest that a naturalistic treatment of Quinean meaning scepticism may fare better than Quine's own naturalistic treatment of external world scepticism.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00367470
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Anti-Realism and Speaker Knowledge.Dorit Bar-On - 1996 - Synthese 106 (2):139 - 166.
Semantic Eliminativism and the Theory-Theory of Linguistic Understanding.Dorit Bar-On - 2004 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (Supplement):159-199.

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