Skepticism Phil

Topics: Mind, Skepticism, Reality Pages: 2 (522 words) Published: February 24, 2013
A skeptic is a person who is inclined to question and doubt; they deny that we have knowledge about a specific subject matter. There are different types of skeptics, one being the skeptic of the external world. A skeptic about the external world believes that we have no knowledge about the external world, and only know the internal world which is that of our minds, and consists of one’s thoughts and feelings. The external world is considered anything that exists independently outside of one’s mind. For example, if the world really is the way we think it is things such as cats and dogs would exist, but if the world was like the matrix they would not exist because the evil robots have killed them off. The skeptic of the external world insists that you can think you know that cats and dogs exist, but you cannot actually know if they are real. There are three levels of skeptical doubt: perceptual error, the dreaming argument, and evil demon. Perceptual error skepticism is things like illusions and hallucinations, and your senses deceiving you. One cannot know if their surroundings are just hallucinations. Evil demon skepticism questions the existence of an external world. One believes that an evil demon is just making them see and believe in the external world. Lastly, the dreaming argument says that one cannot know the external world based on one’s own perception.

In Descartes dreaming argument there are three premises. The first one is that while I am asleep and dreaming I often see things and feel familiar sensations that I normally feel when I am awake. The second is that there is no definitive proof to tell me if I am awake or dreaming, and the final premise says that I could be dreaming right now and not know it. What Descartes is saying is that we can only create our dreams based off of experiences we have in the real world. People are often convinced that their dreams are real because they seem so realistic. For example, I know that I am...
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