Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title:||Deflationary Approaches to Scepticism|
|Abstract:||This dissertation examines a traditional philosophical problem within a novel framework. The so-called "problem of the external world" is a problem about how knowledge, and even reasonable belief, about the world are possible, and it is best characterized as the challenge to show how and why scepticism about the external world -the absurd view that such knowledge is impossible -is incorrect. My framework for the examination of this problem involves two major elements. The first element involves a general characterization of the nature of "perennial" philosophical problems, like the problem of the external world, that attempts to isolate the specific features that render them problematic, which, in turn, isolates what is required for their solutions. Applying this characterization to the problem of the external world, the second element of the framework involves distinguishing between two approaches for the solving of the problem, which I label "constructive" and "deflationary," and establishing why the latter approach is preferable. I further distinguish between two general types of deflationary approaches -"therapeutic diagnosis," and "theoretical diagnosis''' -and examine in detail what I take to be the major representatives of each strategy. In the process I offer novel critical interpretations of the work of G.E. Moore and Ludwig Wittgenstein, as well as some of the first detailed critical discussions of recent responses to scepticism by Hilary Putnam and Michael Williams. My general aim is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of both deflationary approaches as responses to scepticism. I argue that all of these attempts to solve the problem are unsatisfactory, and that the challenge to show why scepticism about the external world is incorrect has not yet been met. However, and this is perhaps the most important contribution of the dissertation, I hope to have shown where we should and should not look to meet the challenge.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
Files in This Item:
|Buchanan Reid.pdf||7.41 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
Items in MacSphere are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.