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The Illusion of Doubt$
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Genia Schönbaumsfeld

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198783947

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198783947.001.0001

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Dissolution, not Refutation

(p.1) Introduction
The Illusion of Doubt

Genia Schönbaumsfeld

Oxford University Press

The thesis that I’m going to defend in this book is that radical scepticism is an illusion. What is an illusion? An apparent claim (or set of claims) that one cannot ‘refute’—i.e. show to be false—as it never adds up to a genuine, substantial position in the first place: illusions exhibit merely the appearance of sense for as long as one happens to be in the grip of them. Consequently, if it is true that radical scepticism presents us only with the appearance of coherence, then the right approach to take in respect to it is ‘diagnostic’: to show that the notion is based on mistaken or incoherent assumptions, so that once we have applied sufficient argumentative pressure to them, the notion will collapse, or dissolve, all by itself....

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