Faurg Account Options Sign in. Science Logic and Mathematics. Duncan Pritchard — — Synthese 3: This book raises questions about te nature of philosophy by examining the source and significance of one central philosophical problem: Thinkers since Descartes and Hume have proposed ways by which to ground what we think we know in an objective reality. The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism He sticks with this example as a reference point throughout the book because it poses the problem of skepticism in its entirety, and this simplicity makes it easy to follow the subsequent discussion. I love Barry Stroud! Engagement and Metaphysical Dissatisfaction Barry Stroud.
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Stroud discusses and criticizes the views of such philosophers as Descartes, Kant, J. Austin, G. Moore, R. Carnap, W. Quine, and others. Excerpt I think that when we first encounter the sceptical reasoning outlined in the previous chapter we find it immediately gripping.
It appeals to something deep in our nature and seems to raise a real problem about the human condition. It is natural to feel that either we must accept the literal truth of the conclusion that we can know nothing about the world around us, or else we must somehow show that it is not true. Accepting it and holding to it consistently seem disastrous, and yet rejecting it seems impossible. Both responses depend on a firm understanding of what it says and means; without that there would be nothing determinate to accept as true or to reject as false.
That proper understanding of the sceptical conclusion is what I want to concentrate on. In suggesting that we try to determine exactly what the sceptical reasoning manages to establish I do not mean to deny that it does raise deep problems about the human condition and can reveal something of great significance about human knowledge. It is obvious that we do not always insist that people know they are not dreaming before we allow that they know something in everyday life, or even in science or a court of law, where the standards are presumably Full access to this book and over 94, more Over 14 million journal, magazine, and newspaper articles Access to powerful writing and research tools Book details PSPRIMARY SOURCE A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic.
Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism
Reflecting on the nature of his sensory experiences, Descartes finds himself unable to rule out the possibility that he is dreaming and, on that account, driven to the devastating conclusion that he knows nothing at all about the world around him. Stroud argues that if Descartes is right to insist that in order to know something about the world around him he must know that he is not dreaming, then he is also right that he has no such knowledge, because the condition for knowledge that Descartes accepts can never be fulfilled: fulfilling it would require knowledge which itself would be possible only if the condition were fulfilled. The more promising strategy in the face of the sceptical argument, therefore, is to examine more carefully the requirement that we must know that we are not dreaming if we are to know anything about the world around us. But if that requirement is a fact of our ordinary conception of knowledge, as it seems to be, we must accept it, because there is no notion of knowledge other than the ordinary one that is embodied in the procedures and practices of everyday and scientific life; and unless we find a way of rejecting the problem altogether, we will have to accept with it the conclusion that no one knows anything about world around us.
Start your review of The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism Write a review Oct 24, Tyler rated it really liked it Recommends it for: All Readers of Philosophy Shelves: philosophy Strouds book takes up skepticism not in the sense of ontological doubt, but in the sense of asking how we can ever actually come to know reality. I wasnt sure that I liked it at first, but it turns out to be an excellent critique that has the unusual quality of getting appreciably better as it goes along. The author starts with the example from the First Meditation in which Descartes asks how we can know were not dreaming. He sticks with this example as a reference point throughout the book because it poses the problem of skepticism in its entirety, and this simplicity makes it easy to follow the subsequent discussion. Thinkers since Descartes and Hume have proposed ways by which to ground what we think we know in an objective reality. Stroud critiques these thinkers one by one, taking up Moore, Kant, Carnap and Quine. As a realist myself I began to see what the missing ingredient might be in each attempt to ground knowledge in reality, so the steady, in-depth critique the author provides helped me refine or revise my own thinking on the matter.