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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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Radical Scepticism and ‘Private’ Language

Radical Scepticism and ‘Private’ Language

(p.56) 3 Radical Scepticism and ‘Private’ Language
The Illusion of Doubt

Genia Schönbaumsfeld

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that if we accept the view that knowledge of the facts may never be possible, then we cannot immunize knowledge of the content of ‘appearances’ against radical sceptical doubt either, which leaves it impossible to explain, without appealing to incoherent notions such as the Myth of the Given and private ostensive definition, how our putative ‘external world’ propositions can have the conceptual content that they do at all. Given that we are able to formulate such propositions, however, it must be false that we can never have knowledge of how things are (only of how they appear).

Keywords:   knowledge of the content of appearances, private language, radical scepticism, Cartesian picture, New Evil Genius Thesis, rule-following, Myth of the Given, conceptual scheme, Wittgenstein

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