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...

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