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Title: Scepticism and human nature
Author: Dennis, Peter
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2013
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Cartesian sceptical scenarios are traditionally understood as posing problems in epistemology. For example, if I cannot know I am not a brain in a vat, all empirical knowledge comes under threat. In this study, I argue that the problematic nature of Cartesian sceptical scenarios cannot be understood in epistemological terms alone; whereas both ancient and Cartesian sceptical arguments pose a global threat to empirical knowledge, the latter also pose a threat to the idea of engagement with the world. I explain this idea in terms of agency, self-constitution, social relations, and ethical life (chapter 1). In chapter 2, I argue that contemporary epistemology is by and large ill-equipped to deal with this threat, and that as a consequence it has not been given systematic treatment by contemporary philosophy. Finally, I adumbrate an alternative response, drawing on disjunctivist ideas in the philosophy of perception (chapter 3).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available