The Illusion of Doubt

Hardcover | December 3, 2016

byGenia Schonbaumsfeld

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The Illusion of Doubt shows that radical scepticism is an illusion generated by a Cartesian picture of our evidential situation - the view that my epistemic grounds in both the "good" and the "bad" cases must be the same, and consists in information about an inner mental realm of experiencefrom which I must try to work my way out to what goes on "out there" in the external world. It is this picture which issues both a standing invitation to radical scepticism and ensures that there is no way of getting out of it while agreeing to the sceptic's terms. What we therefore need to do isnot try to answer the sceptical problem "directly", but rather to undermine the assumptions that it depends on. These are among the most ingrained in contemporary epistemology. They include the notion that radical scepticism can be motivated by the "closure" principle for knowledge, that the "Indistinguishability Argument" renders the Cartesian conception compulsory, that the "new evil genius thesis" iscoherent, and the demand for a "global validation" of our epistemic practices makes sense. Once these dogmas are undermined, the path is clear for a "realism without empiricism" that allows us to re-establish unmediated contact with the objects and persons in our environment which an illusion ofdoubt had threatened to put forever beyond our cognitive grasp.

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The Illusion of Doubt shows that radical scepticism is an illusion generated by a Cartesian picture of our evidential situation - the view that my epistemic grounds in both the "good" and the "bad" cases must be the same, and consists in information about an inner mental realm of experiencefrom which I must try to work my way out to wh...

Genia Schonbaumsfeld studied Philosophy at Oxford, Cambridge and Vienna. She is a Reader in Philosophy at the University of Southampton, and her research interests include Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard, Epistemology and the Philosophy of Religion. She is the author of A Confusion of the Spheres: Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein on Philosophy a...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 8.5 × 5.31 × 0.98 inPublished:December 3, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198783949

ISBN - 13:9780198783947

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Dissolution, not Refutation1. The 'Default View' of Perceptual Reasons and 'Closure-Based' Sceptical Arguments2. Forms of 'Envatment': 'Local' and 'Global'3. Radical Scepticism and Private Language4. The Incoherence of Global Validation5. Realism without EmpiricismConclusion: The End of a Scandal