Underdetermination Skepticism and Skeptical Dogmatism

in International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
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The Mundane World Hypothesis (mwh) says that we have material bodies, we have brains located inside our bodies, we have sense organs which process visual information, the direct cause of our perceptual judgments is typically macroscopic material objects, and we live in a material world. Skeptics using underdetermination arguments argue mwh has no more epistemic merit than some skeptical competitor, e.g., that we are in the Matrix. Since such competitor hypotheses are equipollent, we are not justified in believing mwh. This paper takes the underdetermination skeptic’s premises to a more radical conclusion: skeptical dogmatism, which is the view that mwh is probably false based on the idea that there are many equipollent competitors to mwh.

Underdetermination Skepticism and Skeptical Dogmatism

in International Journal for the Study of Skepticism



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I have in mind passages in Kant (1969) like those that can be found at Bxxvi A251–2 and B306. Nothing in my argument turns on whether this is the correct understanding of Kant or not I’m simply referring to a common understanding of Kant. If this is the wrong understanding of things in themselves then imagine this is a conception of things in themselves put forward by the imaginary (and more positive) philosopher Kan.


 See Pritchard (2005a) for an overview of these forms of externalism.

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