The Pros And Cons Of Scepticism

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Scepticism is the philosophical idea that with everything you experience, you don’t know anything, even though you may disagree with this claim and use natural truths, like mathematics for example, as backup. As said by Francks (2008, pg. 27), ‘a ‘Sceptical’ position is any theory which holds that people don’t know stuff. The most extreme form of Scepticism is the suggestion that human beings don’t actually know anything at all – we think we do, but we don’t.’ Within this essay, I am going to go into detail about Scepticism and argue my line of thought as to what I believe, while also bringing in the work of Descartes’ Meditations, Bouwsma’s response to his work, Descartes’ Evil Genius and Daniel C. Dennett’s essay of Who Am I?
The main two
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When a BIV (Brain In Vat) says “There is a tree in front of me,” there is in fact no tree in front of him, only a simulated tree produced by the computer’s program. However, if there are no trees, there could be no causal connection between a BIV’s tokens of trees and actual trees. By (Causal Constraint), “tree” does not refer to tree. (Hickey, no…show more content…
First off, regarding Descartes’ argument within Meditations, he doesn’t come to an actual conclusion of what he believes about Scepticism even though he wasn’t a sceptic himself. His argument is largely circular and thus fails to come to an objective conclusion. Furthermore, if we were to agree with Descartes’ third stage of doubt, (Demon Doubt), and thus all be sceptics, in real life we wouldn’t be able to make decisions; we would constantly be questioning everything we experience, our surroundings and so on. An idea that could be accepted within Scepticism is that maybe we know certain things whilst being in Demon Doubt; Descartes’ famous dictum of ‘I think therefore I am’ (cogito ergo sum) could be applied to this. It is possible to think that we don’t know anything at all, but surely empirical evidence/sensory experience overrides this. Within Discourse on the Method, Descartes tried to get rid of everything he knew and thus doubted the truth of everything; but the fact that he could be so sure of himself and thus God meant that Scepticism was overridden by the logical, conscious self-awareness that he had. No matter how many challenges are raised, there is at least one fragment of genuine human knowledge that can be used against Scepticism and that is of our own existence. As

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