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

G. E. M. Anscombe on Skepticism - Dictionary of Arguments

Frank I 79
I/Descartes/Anscombe: pro: the conception of "I" cannot be a "self" and it must guarantee that the speaker is necessarily present.
This shows how powerful the approach of Descartes is.
The conception is the "thinking of thoughts".

I/Anscombe: Error immunity:
1. The speaker must exist,
2. The referent must exist,
3. The referent exists as the one who is meant.

I/Body/AnscomeVsDescartes: E.g. I am tied up in a large water tank and cannot move. I think, "I will not let this happen to me again."
Thus it becomes clear that a body cannot be a referent of "I", but a Cartesian res cogitans.
Problem: the Cartesian ego fulfills the criteria of the guaranteed reference,...
Fra I 80
...but does not solve the problem of Locke: who guarantees that the referential object is in different "I" thoughts the same?
AnscombeVsDescartes: he cannot even be sure that "I" does not refer to several thinkers at the same time!
I/Skepticism/Anscombe: Solution: "I" refers to nothing! So it is error immune.
This follows from the failure of logic in determining the meaning and the failure of Descartes' in determining the referent.
Question: Why did not someone come up with this solution earlier? Because of the "grammatical illusion of a subject". The questions about meaning and referent of the "I" are meaningless, however!

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.

Anscombe I
G.E. M. Anscombe
"The First Person", in: G. E. M. Anscombe The Collected Philosophical Papers, Vol. II: "Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Mind", Oxford 1981, pp. 21-36
Analytische Theorien des Selbstbewusstseins, Manfred Frank, Frankfurt/M. 1994

Fra I
M. Frank (Hrsg.)
Analytische Theorien des Selbstbewusstseins Frankfurt 1994

Fra I
M. Frank (Hrsg.)
Analytische Theorien des Selbstbewusstseins Frankfurt 1994

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