Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Skepticism: is an expression for the more or less well-formulated view that perceptual subjects cannot in principle have any security with regard to their knowledge about the external world. The doubts about the reliability of the sensory organs can be extended to doubts about the existence of an external world, if the possibility of a fundamental deception, for example by a permanent dream, is accepted. See also verification, evidence, perception, certainty, Moore's hands, solipsism.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Colin McGinn on Skepticism - Dictionary of Arguments

I 152
1. The general problem of skepticism: the reasons for our knowledge claims remain miserably behind the content of this claim. Problem of lacking. The input is not sufficient to justify the output.
2. Specific knowledge problems: are ahead of the skepticism : how do we get to the "a priori" knowledge?
I 174f
Skepticism: a) skepticism of the first person: limits to my knowledge coincide with the limits of my phenomenal experience.
b) skepticism of the third person: biological limit. How can we as a few pounds of meat, permeated by nerves, make an image of the outside world?
McGinnVsSkepticism: Takes advantage of the idea, there would be a metaphysical gap between subject and knowledge object.
  a) For position of the first-person between the states of consciousness and the conditions in the outside world
  b) For the position of the third person: the gap is seen as a part of the objective world which would face another part of the world, while both parts have their own characteristics.
I 176
We need to prove that despite these gaps knowledge is possible, and that the gaps of knowledge are not as detrimental as it seems.
I 177
Knowledge/Transcendental Naturalism/TN: claims that the gaps are ultimately gaps in our understanding ability. Its origin is of epistemological, not of ontological kind.
I 196
The skeptic misinterprets our principled disability on the level of meta-theory as a case of irrationality on the basis level.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

McGinn I
Colin McGinn
Problems in Philosophy. The Limits of Inquiry, Cambridge/MA 1993
German Edition:
Die Grenzen vernünftigen Fragens Stuttgart 1996

McGinn II
C. McGinn
The Mysteriouy Flame. Conscious Minds in a Material World, New York 1999
German Edition:
Wie kommt der Geist in die Materie? München 2001

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