Transformative Experience in Skepticism. The External Standpoint and the Finitude of the Human Condition

Philosophy 4 (95):395 - 417 (2020)

Authors
Rico Gutschmidt
Universität Konstanz
Abstract
According to its quietist readings, skepticism can be dissolved by demonstrating that the notion of ‘absolute objectivity’ is confused. The dissolution of this confusion is supposed to lead us to acquiesce in our finite and plain everyday life without being bothered anymore about the supposed need for objective knowledge. In contrast, I want to propose a transformative reading of skepticism according to which the philosophical practice of skepticism can be ‘epistemically transformative’. To this end, I will transpose L.A. Paul's notion of ‘epistemically transformative experience’ from decision theory to the realm of philosophical practice and argue that the modern skeptical problem of an external standpoint can evoke transformative experiences that lead to a new, albeit non-propositional, insight into the finitude of the human condition.
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