Philosophy | Topics in Philosophy
P370 | 25149 | Ebbs

Topic: Skepticism and Meaning

This course uses skepticism as a tool for clarifying central
questions about knowledge, justification, meaning, and truth.  It
begins with a presentation and defense of Barry Stroud's recent
version of the old argument that we cannot have knowledge of the
external world because we cannot rule out the supposed possibility
that we are dreaming. The first part of the course examines both
ordinary epistemological procedures and philosophical theories of
justification, and argues that neither can by themselves refute or
undermine the skeptical challenge. The second part of the course
examines some recent philosophical accounts of meaning that may lead
us to question the coherence of supposed possibility that we are now
dreaming.  The course ends with an examination of the idea that
before we try to refute skeptical doubts, we should think carefully
about whether they are coherent.