This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Arguments Against Philosophical Skepticism Essay

2420 words - 10 pages

‘Skepticism’ refers the theory that we do not possess any knowledge; skepticism denies any existence of justified belief. This paper discusses the varieties of philosophical skepticism and explains the various skeptical arguments and responses to philosophical skepticism, along with both Hume, and Descartes take on skepticism. This paper will also describe the various arguments against skepticism along with their justification. While the arguments for skepticism and its various forms seem valid and theoretically proven to be justified, my stance is against skepticism. I believe that skepticism may exist in various forms; however, I believe that the true nature of skepticism’s in Hume’s theory is not entirely justifiable and I personally do not believe in that form of skepticism. I argue that while skepticism has seemingly proven reasoning’s the proof of the external world and its knowledge is more justified. I believe there is no positive reason for taking skepticism into account, making skeptical hypothesis inaccurate.
Skepticism questions the notion whether certain knowledge is possible; it is the opposition of philosophical dogmatism, which holds the assertion and authority of a set of statements to be true. Descartes states the following on skepticism:
To have knowledge, we need to be able to tell the difference between hallucination (deception) and a perception (where there us no relevant difference, no epistemological distinction can be made). It is impossible to distinguish between a hallucination (or deception) and a normal perception. Therefore we do not know whether any of our perceptual beliefs are true. (Pojman, 200)

Skepticism refers to two positions, knowledge and justification. There are two different classes of knowledge skepticism, which both originate in ancient Greek philosophy, and both hold the notion that there is no such thing as knowledge. The first is academic skepticism, which maintains that the only thing we can know is that we know nothing, which was first formulated by Arcesilaus. Academic skepticism argues that at best we have only probable truth and belief vs. the second class of skepticism, Pyrrhonian skepticism, first formulated after Pyrrho of Elis holds that we cannot even know that we can’t have knowledge, such as a purge that eliminates everything including itself, both classes denying the possibility of possessing knowledge.
The second position of skepticism, justification denies the existence of justified belief. With skepticism there is another distinction, which challenges the epistemological validity of justification; global and local skepticism. Global skepticism maintains universal doubt; it denies that there is an external world, it denies the existence of other minds, metaphysical truths, or that we are able to possess knowledge, or no belief is justified. Superglobal skepticism denies the possibility of even knowing simple mathematical truths, and simple logic. Local skeptic differs from global as...

Find Another Essay On Arguments against Philosophical Skepticism

Analyzing the Philosophies of Roderick Chisholm

964 words - 4 pages Philosophy Paper 2 (Chisholm) Chisholm begins the paper by addressing the importance of skepticism by stating “'The problem of the criterion' seems to me to be one of the most difficult of all the problems of philosophy” (Chisholm, 77). He attempts to split viewpoints of the criterion into three parts, methodism, particularism, and skepticism. Chisholm's arguments against skepticism and defense of particularism are faulty because of the

Skepticism and the Philosophy of Language in Early Modern Thought

3259 words - 13 pages discussion about the nature of knowledge and the sciences. Richard Popkin in his History of Skepticism from Erasmus to Spinoza (1979) has shown that skeptical arguments were influential in the attack against traditional scholastic conceptions of science, opening the way to the development of the new scientific method. The dispute between those who embraced skepticism and those who tried to refute or surpass it was central to the philosophical

Doubting Thomas

692 words - 3 pages Doubting Thomas According to Webster, "Skepticism" is the philosophical doctrine that the attainment of absolute knowledge is impossible. It comes from the Greek word skeptesthai meaning "to examine," and the practice was brought about during the elementary stages of philosophy by Pyrrho sometime between 360-270 b.c. Some other well-known skeptics are Xenophanes, Gorgias, and Sextus Empiricus. Skepticism is very common in today's

Refuting Objections to Direct Realism

1305 words - 6 pages have explained the differences between direct and indirect realism and refuted two of the main arguments indirect realists hold for direct realism. I can therefore conclude that direct realism is a more plausible theory of perception than indirect realism. Bibliography • Chisholm, Roderick M. “Perceiving: A Philosophical Study.” Cornell: Cornell University Press, 1957 • Huemer, Michael. “Skepticism and the Veil of Perception.” Lanham: Rowman


1170 words - 5 pages Skepticism Skepticism is the Western philosophical tradition that maintains that human beings can never arrive at any kind of certain knowledge. Originating in Greece in the middle of the fourth century BC, skepticism and its derivatives are based on the following principles: There is no such thing as certainty in human knowledge. All human knowledge is only probably true, that is, true most of the time, or not true. Several non

The Philosophy of Language

2361 words - 10 pages to solve the problem of skepticism, as well as other epistemological issues. Epistemic standards must be met in order for a statement to be true. The fundamental approach to contextualism, a heavily debated position, is the expressed knowledge in a sentence. Many philosophers have presented valid arguments both for and against contextualism. One such philosopher promoting contextualism, Ludwig Wittgenstein, also a linguistic analyst

Philosophy of the Matrix

1399 words - 6 pages The movie The Matrix raises many philosophical questions and often parallels previous and sometimes ancient theories regarding reality, skepticism, and perceptions of the mind-body problem. In this essay I will be evaluating how the movie The Matrix embodies theories and ideas involving skepticism and the mind-body problem. I will be explaining in detail why the movie, Plato, and Descartes have different views other than the normal way of

Descartes - Ontological Argument

1044 words - 4 pages Humans in their nature, hypothesize and at the same time are skeptical of everything they believe. Every human belief has the predisposition of being doubted at some point in time. Even God, in all His wisdom has been doubted. Humans are a marvelous creation, but have many imperfections. If God is so powerful, why are we flawed? Is God flawed as well? This is one of the skeptical arguments against the existence of God. Rene Descartes pushes

Skepticism in the Modern World

860 words - 4 pages Philosophical skepticism, according to Scottish philosopher David Hume, is asking whether human beings can perceive the world around us with any degree of accuracy. Practicing this school of thought means that a person initially never believes anything to be true, but at the same time, does not say everything is necessarily false; instead, he maintains a position of doubt. The final source of truth for a skeptic is experience. In terms

The Infinite Regress Argument

1295 words - 6 pages global skepticism and its argument against the existence of knowledge has been supported by the regress problem and infinite regress argument. The questioning of knowledge and its existence has led to many responses in order to counteract the skeptics’ ideas. Flaws have been observed in the perspective of the skeptics and responses have arisen from these inconsistencies. However, difficulties have been seen in the views of infinitism, coherentism

Descartes: A Paradigm Shift in Philosophical Thinking

1529 words - 6 pages basis, preferring more to undermine the religious notions to damage the argument itself. Applying scrutiny to Descartes’ arguments can be difficult, primarily due to the a priori nature of them. Like the situation he describes with beliefs though, if you undermine a portion of the earlier premises you can logically deny portions of Descartes arguments. Perhaps one of the more plausible arguments against Descartes’ experiment would be questioning

Similar Essays

David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

1737 words - 7 pages David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion provide conflicting arguments about the nature of the universe, what humans can know about it, and how their knowledge can affect their religious beliefs. The most compelling situation relates to philosophical skepticism and religion; the empiricist character, Cleanthes, strongly defends his position that skepticism is beneficial to religious belief. Under fire from an agnostic skeptic and a

Nietzsche’s Perspectivism And Philosophical Skepticism: A Comparison

4430 words - 18 pages Morality (174-81). The idea of perspectivism can be contrasted again by looking at relativism which states that all views are equal and there is no absolute truth. Skepticism on the other hand could be closer in relation. Skepticism in philosophical thought is grounded on the idea that there is no certainty. This does not make the statement that there is no truth, but rather when it comes to human knowledge certain truth is not probable. Using

Skepticism Refuted Essay

982 words - 4 pages prove the skeptic wrong but overall can actually use the skeptics broad generalizations against them in the sense that there explanations no longer seem plausible.Skepticism appears to be a very complex and contradictory subject from a philosophical point of view. The whole basis of skepticism seems to rely heavily on the fact that it cannot be proven wrong based on the beliefs of skepticism itself. However, it is this fact which provides critics

Philosophy Of Knowledge; David Hume's "The Origin Of Our Ideas And Skepticism About Causal Reasoning" And "An Argument Against Skepticism," By John Hospers

529 words - 2 pages David Hume's "The Origin of Our Ideas and Skepticism about Causal Reasoning" states his beliefs about knowledge and his idea that we can only have relative certainty of truth. Skeptics concur that there is not enough evidence to predict the future or prove truth. In "An Argument Against Skepticism," John Hospers argues that we can have absolute certainty because there is enough evidence from the past and from our own experiences to prove an