The Exploration of the Possibility of Global Scepticism

The Exploration of the Possibility of Global Scepticism

Length: 752 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Exploration of the Possibility of Global Scepticism


Global scepticism puts all of our attempts at seeking true knowledge
into doubt; it makes all traditional ways of finding out about the
world unreliable. One of the most famous sceptics is the philosopher
Rene Descartes. In his first meditation, Descartes regards the 'many
false things' that he had once believed as a child and acknowledges
that all his beliefs were built on things that can be doubted.
Descartes believed that he would have to start again on more solid
foundations than those more doubtful ones his knowledge was previously
built on. It is through Descartes' acceptance that all his current
knowledge is doubtful that makes him a sceptic, however even Descartes
hold the view that he will still be able to rebuild his knowledge once
he gains more solid foundations. Descartes put forward three waves of
doubt, the argument from illusion, the evil demon argument and the
argument from dreaming. Descartes believed that each of these 'waves
of doubt' forced him to question all the beliefs that he held.

Descartes believes, in his argument from illusion, that our senses
sometimes deceive us; for instance, when I look at a drinking straw in
a glass it appears bent, yet when I remove the straw from the glass it
is straight. Descartes argues that if our senses have been proven to
mislead us in the past, then we cannot be certain that they are not
deceiving us now. This argument challenges our everyday beliefs;
everything around us could simply be a result of our senses deceiving
us. Other philosophers criticising Descartes have argued that there
are degrees of certainty. There are many things which can be doubted,
but there are also things which cannot be seriously doubted, like the
fact that I am currently in England. These degrees of certainty allow
us to function normally, and discard any irrational doubt (i.e. if I
get out of my bed this morning, will the floor still hold my weight or
will I go through the ceiling?).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Exploration of the Possibility of Global Scepticism." 123HelpMe.com. 01 Apr 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=139520>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Global Trade and Addiction during the Age of Exploration Essay

- Maritime advances of the 1500s made Western Europe’s ambitions for global trade feasible and thus gave birth to Europe’s Age of Exploration. Through the combined use of caravels, compasses, and astrolabes, Europeans stumbled upon commodities in foreign lands known as “drug foods”. Consequently, this introduction would have a lasting impact on the Europeans, they became drug addicts. Furthermore, this addiction, the demand for these drugs, became permanently embedded into European culture. To please an everlasting demand, Europeans had to decide on how to frugally acquire these commodities....   [tags: Global Trade, Addiction, Age of Exploration, food,]

Research Papers
749 words (2.1 pages)

Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

- ... Pathfinders tells a story of the explorers of the globe with much different, less noble motivations. Fernández-Armesto begins his exposition of global exploration's history with a description of the miniscule and forgettable existence of human beings against such a vast backdrop as the universe. "Enmeshed in our own history," we fail to see how small we really are in the larger picture of time and space. Human's tendency is to centralize and aggrandize their own existence, in exploration, history and imagery....   [tags: human exploration, history, conquistadors]

Research Papers
1062 words (3 pages)

The Production Possibility Frontier ( Ppf ) Essay

- THE PRODUCTION POSSIBILITY FRONTIER. The production possibility frontier (PPF) is a curve depicting all maximum output possibilities for two goods, given a set of inputs consisting of resources and other factors. When predicting the production possibility frontiers for Brazil and United States the following factors such as labor, capital and technology, among others, will affect the resources available, which will dictate where the production possibility frontier lies. The production possibility frontier is also known as the production possibility curve or the transformation curve would be as follows....   [tags: Economics, Production-possibility frontier]

Research Papers
1019 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Space Exploration: The Key to the Future of Mankind

- While the origins of our planet stretch back some 4.6 billion years, the existence of modern man can be correlated to a single minute in the entire span of our geological calendar. Mankind has progressed from the primitive innovations of building fire and wielding stone-age tools to the achievements of industrialization and globalization. In our increasing world of interconnectivity, population explosion, and technological and scientific discoveries, how do we manage the accompanying challenges that threaten our existence....   [tags: Space Exploration Essays]

Research Papers
2028 words (5.8 pages)

Space Exploration : A Huge Part Of Our Universe Essay

- Space is a huge part of our universe that everyone fails to consider home. Home in a sense: that messy part of someone’s room that you’re afraid to venture. The distinct possibility of ET arriving on our footstep seems thrilling, yet daunting. However, the price of space exploration is up for debate. Supporters of exploration admit the possibilities of its findings. Meanwhile, opponents press for government money to be solely directed towards our planet. Space has the potential to have unforeseen benefits or dangers....   [tags: Space exploration, NASA, Universe, Time]

Research Papers
1043 words (3 pages)

The Possibility of China and India Become a New Global Power Essay

- ‘On the basis of the actual and predicted development of China and India, critically discuss their chances to emerge as a new global power’ The simultaneous rising in China and India as a great power now aroused extensive attention. It has been regard as a fundamental change in geo-economics and geopolitics in the 21st century. Given the rising of international status and potential leading role of China and India in international affairs seemingly indicates an irreversible trend for emerging countries gradually replacing established powers, for instance, Western Europe and Russia....   [tags: development, strategy, affairs, economic]

Research Papers
2321 words (6.6 pages)

Essay about Space Exploration As A Waste Of Money

- Faced with the potential opportunity to continue my research into space exploration, it is time for me to prove myself worthy of this grant in order to pursue answers to my very real questions. As a superior researcher, I find that I am most deserving of the chance to be funded to travel back in time and see firsthand what the reaction of the public was to the early space missions, among other possible uses of the trip. Your funding of this mission could be critical in finding out why a large percentage of the population sees space exploration as a “waste of money.” Upon learning why this may be, the information could allow me to help create a more effective space program that has the full s...   [tags: Space exploration, NASA]

Research Papers
1562 words (4.5 pages)

International Space Exploration Coordination Group 17 Essay

- “The ISS partnership demonstrates the functional dimension of international cooperation in space as it enables partners with different levels of investments to gain access to this unique laboratory, not affordable for any partner alone, and thereby share into the benefits” (International Space Exploration Coordination Group 17). The International Space Station (ISS) is the bridge between the past, present, and future when it comes to space. Built in 1998, it was the first orbiting station to be owned by multiple nations....   [tags: International Space Station, Space exploration]

Research Papers
1721 words (4.9 pages)

The Benefits of Space Exploration Essay

- Aside from all the negative remarks made about space exploration there is lots of innovation stemming from it. Exploration of space has directly and indirectly helped create new technologies and advancements that have directly benefitted our lives. The challenge of space exploration drives a continuing effort to design ever more capable, reliable, and efficient systems requiring the utmost ingenuity. Space exploration missions use the unique capabilities of humans and robots to achieve ambitious exploration goals....   [tags: Space Exploration Essays]

Research Papers
1806 words (5.2 pages)

The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism Essay

- The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism In answer to the question 'What can we know?' anyone who gives a pessimistic answer is labelled a sceptic. Scepticism is associated with incredulity. A sceptic is someone who questions things (particularly received opinions) and also practices suspension of judgement. This questioning outlook has been labelled by some as practical scepticism. However, philosophical scepticism involves more than this. Its essential element is a general view about human knowledge....   [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Papers]

Research Papers
1825 words (5.2 pages)

Descartes 'evil demon' argument suggests that there is an evil demon
which controls all of our thoughts and actions. This is very similar
to the 'brain in vat' theory; the idea that we are simply brains in a
vat of nutrients, wired up to a computer, controlled by an evil
scientist, which sends the brain sensory experiences. It is very
difficult to argue against this theory as it is hard to prove that we
are not simply brains rather than living, breathing human beings,
however some philosophers have argued against this 'brain in vat'
theory. If I am really just a brain in a vat, why would the evil
scientist want me to question my existence, surely if the evil
scientist was in complete control of all of my thoughts then I would
not have doubt that the experiences I have a real. Perhaps I am a
brain in a vat and the fact that I am questioning my existence means
that the evil scientist is beginning to lose control over me, in which
case my existence is not completely controlled by the computer. If the
evil scientist is completely deceiving me then why m allowed to
express doubt, similarly, how does Descartes have any concept of
deception if he is being controlled by an evil demon? Even if the
theory is correct and we are just brains in vats, the evil scientist
must exist in some kind of a world which is similar to the one created
by the computer as the computer images we see must have been based on
something real, and surely things which are logical in the world
created by the computers must be logical in the world that the evil
scientist exists in (two plus two will always equal four). This means
that although you cannot be sure that we exist in the ways we have
believed ourselves to exist in, we still do exist in some form, in a
world, even if it is just as a brain in a vat, this means that through
the 'brain in vat' theory, it has still not been proven that global
scepticism is possible.

Descartes third wave argument from dreaming; if I dream one night, how
can I be sure that my life is not just a whole dream, and that I have
never woken up? Is it ever possible to tell the difference between
dreaming and reality? It has been argued that during reality, our
existence has a certain structure, sequence and order unlike our
dreams, and that we can look back on our dreams as memories, and
analyse them, however, in the past I have dreamt that I have woken up,
only to find that I am still dreaming. It is this kind of lucid
dreaming that Norman Malcolm identifies as a problem.

Does this mean that it is possible to be globally sceptic? It is true
that all claims can be asked for justification, and the justifications
can themselves be questioned, and the answers to those questions can
again be questioned and it the cycle of justification can go on
forever if we are willing to enter into a never-ending regress of
justifications. If we constantly challenged everything however we
would appear impractical and mad to everyone else, and we would not be
able to function probably due to our seemingly irrational doubts about
ourselves and the world. If then we ignored these sceptical doubts, in
order to maintain the legitimacy of our beliefs, then would we not
simply be accepting the fact that scepticism is impossible to answer.
There are many philosophers (i.e. Barry Stroud) who believe that
scepticism is unavoidable. Personally I believe that scepticism is
unavoidable, but only to a degree, you cannot doubt everything (i.e.
be a global sceptic) because then you would not be able to live at
all, you would be too afraid that anything you might do would end in
your death, therefore global scepticism is not possible.
Return to 123HelpMe.com