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Title: The possibility of empirical knowledge
Author: Fenton, Michael P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2690 4390
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis offers a reassessment of the philosophical problem of scepticism about knowledge of the external world. It distinguishes between different forms of this sceptical problem and considers two kinds of response: a strategy developed by Tim Williamson, and a disjunctivist approach. Chapters one and two offer an introduction to the problem of scepticism: the sceptical arguments of Descartes and Hume are compared, and Williamson’s approach to scepticism is introduced. Chapter three considers three different ways of responding to Humean scepticism. This chapter offers an interpretation of Stroud’s objection to externalism and considers whether disjunctivist accounts are vulnerable to a similar objection. Chapter four compares Williamson’s approach with one form of disjunctivist account. Central to this discussion is a distinction between responses to scepticism which question whether there is guaranteed epistemic access to one’s own mental states, and a disjunctivist account which proposes that the subject’s perspective on their conscious states is not grounded on a mode of knowing something independent of it. Chapter five considers a further debate about disjunctivism and scepticism. Wright’s objections to disjunctivist accounts are considered, and McDowell’s version of disjunctivism is compared with a Moorean response to scepticism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick (UoW)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BD Speculative Philosophy