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Scepticism and Perceptual Justification$
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Dylan Dodd and Elia Zardini

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199658343

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658343.001.0001

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What Is My Evidence that Here Is a Hand?*

What Is My Evidence that Here Is a Hand?*

Chapter:
(p.298) 14 What Is My Evidence that Here Is a Hand?*
Source:
Scepticism and Perceptual Justification
Author(s):

Roger White

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658343.003.0014

According to a picture we associate with Descartes, what I ‘have to go on’ in judging whether there is a hand before me is the same whether I’m seeing my hand or just enjoying a demon-induced hallucination. There is a ‘highest common factor’ between the experiences, namely that it appears to me that here’s a hand, which is my ultimate evidential base. The Cartesian picture is thought to be especially conducive to scepticism. Some philosophers think that (a) it should be abandoned, and (b) once it is, any interesting case for scepticism is nipped in the bud. They might be right about (a), but I’m not about to give it up without protest. I’ll try to bring out just how difficult it is to abandon Cartesianism in a satisfying way. As for (b), I’ll argue that at least one challenging form of the sceptical worry does not hinge on Cartesianism.

Keywords:   belief, disjunctivism, evidence, experience, inference, justification, knowledge, scepticism, perception, rationality

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