Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Skepticism: is an expression for the more or less well-formulated view that perceptual subjects cannot in principle have any security with regard to their knowledge about the external world. The doubts about the reliability of the sensory organs can be extended to doubts about the existence of an external world, if the possibility of a fundamental deception, for example by a permanent dream, is accepted. See also verification, evidence, perception, certainty, Moore's hands, solipsism.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

J.L. Austin on Skepticism - Dictionary of Arguments

Stroud I 41
AustinVsSkepticism: Descartes merely undertook a re-definition of "knowledge". - E.g. someone asserted there were no doctors in New York - in that, he performs a re-definition of "doctor": as someone who could cure within 2 minutes. StroudVsAustin: Descartes goes deeper. SomeVsDescartes: knowledge does not require what Descartes asserts: not dreaming and knowing that. - Knowledge/Stroud: if VsDescartes is right, then knowledge did not have to a) be entirely under logical consequence or b) penetrate all the logical consequences of our knowledge. (StroudVsVs)
Stroud I 45
AustinVsSkepticism: "Enough is enough": it is not necessary to prove everything at all times in order to be able to claim knowledge. - The skeptic only asserts a lack of information. - StroudVsAustin - Austin: a "real" goldfinch is no more than a goldfinch. - Stroud: it would be absurd to argue philosophically against our usual knowledge, but that is not true of Descartes. - Dream/Austin: There are recognized procedures for distinguishing it from wakefulness - otherwise we could not use the words.
I 47
Austin: it can be qualitatively distinguished whether you are actually being presented to the Pope, or just dreaming about it.
Stroud I 48
Strong Thesis/Skepticism/Terminology/Descartes: We cannot know that we are not dreaming. - Austin's central thesis: the questioning of knowledge is hardly ever permitted in everyday life (if we are dreaming) - there must be specific reasons. - Austin thesis: you cannot always fool everyone. - Then Weaker Thesis/Austin: there must be a reason to doubt that we are awake - stronger: we always have to doubt it.
I 57
Austin: E.g. what is considered inappropriate? -> Distinction truth/assertibility (because of the different conditions).
Stroud I 64/65
Skepticism/Descartes/Stroud: (deeper than the one disputed by Austin) - can neither accepted be in everyday life nor in science. - Emphasis on theory and practice. - Stroud: standards of justification vary from case to case - in the speech act there is no general instruction regarding what we need to consider.
Stroud I 74
Def "Paradigm-Case Argument"/Knowledge/Truth/Oxford/Terminology/Austin/Stroud: in the mid-50s it was thought the skeptic would have come to the conclusion that in certain situations both S and non-S apply. - StroudVsAustin: in order to question the concept of "knowledge" we have ask how and why it was used. - Airplane-E.g. "He does not know" is definitely correct before the aircraft is on the ground) - But that is not the distinction between knowledge and ignorance. - Therefore, we cannot draw a skeptical conclusion from our language use.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Austin I
John L. Austin
"Truth" in: Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume 24 (1950): 111 - 128
Wahrheitstheorien, Gunnar Skirbekk, Frankfurt/M. 1977

Austin II
John L. Austin
"A Plea for Excuses: The Presidential Address" in: Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Volume 57, Issue 1, 1 June 1957, Pages 1 - 3
German Edition:
Ein Plädoyer für Entschuldigungen
Linguistik und Philosophie, Grewendorf/Meggle, Frankfurt/M. 1974/1995

Stroud I
B. Stroud
The Significance of philosophical scepticism Oxford 1984

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-01-18
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