Stephen Maitzen
Acadia University
Some of the most enduring skeptical arguments invoke stories of deception -- the evil demon, convincing dreams, an envatted brain, the Matrix -- in order to show that we have no first-order knowledge of the external world. I confront such arguments with a dilemma: either (1) they establish no more than the logical possibility of error, in which case they fail to threaten fallible knowledge, the only kind of knowledge of the external world most of us think we have anyway; or (2) they defeat themselves because they must grant us empirical knowledge or justified beliefs of the very kind they must also entirely deny us. Either way they pose no significant threat.
Keywords Knowledge   Skepticism   Deception   Error   Dreaming   Hallucination   Fallibilism   Possibility   Descartes, R.   Moore, G.E.
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References found in this work BETA

Solving the Skeptical Problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.
The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Clarendon Press.
Theories and Things.W. V. QUINE (ed.) - 1981 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

1% Skepticism.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):271-290.
How Not to Argue From Science to Skepticism.Stephen Maitzen - 2014 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 4 (1):21-35.

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