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The dreamer awakes : semantic and metaphysical presuppositions in skepticism about knowledge of the external world

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The dreamer awakes : semantic and metaphysical presuppositions in skepticism about knowledge of the external world

Coates, Edmund William (2000) The dreamer awakes : semantic and metaphysical presuppositions in skepticism about knowledge of the external world. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Barry Stroud sees global skepticism, in regard to our knowledge of the external world, as a threat to the claims of modern epistemology. An exchange between Susan Haack and Richard Rorty illustrates the situation of contemporary epistemology. For Michael Williams, the skeptic trades on presuppositions of traditional epistemology; we can avoid the skeptic by adopting contextualism. Williams is, in turn, countered by Ron Wilburn. Wilburn argues for a cross-contextual structure of second-order beliefs, a structure that would support the skeptic. An argument of G. E. Moore's leads to reflection on the contingency of the special authority we have over our beliefs about our experience. For Hilary Putnam, the skeptic trades on presuppositions in the theory of reference. Drawing an alternative account of reference from Ludwig Wittgenstein's work, Putnam refutes a standard skeptical thought-experiment. Putnam focuses on the contemporary version of this skeptical scenario, that describes a world made-up of brains in a vat. Jane McIntyre argues against Putnam's refutation. McIntyre's argument fails, as does Paul Coppock's attempt to counter Putnam's refutation by means of a parody. Still, Putnam's success is limited. He leaves the skeptic clear avenues to continue her attacks

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Coates, Edmund William
Pagination:v, 97 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Philosophy
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):Zeman, Vladimir
ID Code:1172
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:17
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:19
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