More on the Problem of the External World

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  • Topic: Skepticism, Philosophical skepticism, Sextus Empiricus
  • Pages : 2 (887 words )
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  • Published : October 31, 2011
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More on the problem of the external world
In his paper about the problem of the external world Stroud’s conclusion is that we can’t prove we are not dreaming. He takes as he calls it, a ‘sceptical’ standpoint by saying that there is not solution to the problem of the external world. There are two main objections to Stroud’s position towards the skeptics like Descartes. First, saying there is not solution to the problem of the external world is just as skeptic and it does not take us anywhere. Second, being skeptical about the world around us is irrelevant for knowledge.

It is understood that from the beginning of his paper Stroud states that his propose is not to solve the problem of the external world, but to understand it since for him there is not solution to such a dilemma. On the other hand, by accepting his so called ‘Scepticism about the external world’ is a skeptical position that takes us nowhere because believing that we cannot know anything about the world around us implies that we already know something, namely that if we don’t know then we know that we don’t know. In Hank Hanegraaff’s words, “Even those who deny reality look both ways before they cross the street." <http://www.oppapers.com/essays/Arguments-Against-Skepticism/108446>. There is a lot yet to be known but we already know that, and all we knew before knowing something we did not. Maybe there is not a problem of the external world in the first place, and considering that we don’t know about it as a possibility makes no sense. If we knew we are a brain in a vat but we couldn’t prove it then it wouldn’t matter with respect to what we consider knowledge because proving we are brains in a vat would be impossible since we would fall in an infinite regress. Therefore from my must humble point of view the reason why there is not solution to the problem of the external world if taken from Stroud’s perspective is because there is not a problem in the first place. As Moore places it, it...
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