Download Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism (Clarendon Library of Logic by Peter Unger PDF

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By Peter Unger

In those difficult pages, Unger argues for the intense skeptical view that, not just can not anything ever be identified, yet not anyone can ever have any cause in any respect for whatever. A outcome of this is often that we can't ever have any feelings approximately whatever: not anyone can ever feel free or unhappy approximately something. ultimately, during this relief to absurdity of just about all our intended proposal, he argues that not anyone can ever think, or maybe say, that whatever is the case.

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Extra resources for Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism (Clarendon Library of Logic & Philosophy)

Example text

He might know, for example, that his now experiencing blue is the causal result of his having experienced red at that earlier time. Anyone with a marked sceptical bent, however, would not wish to allow such knowledge for long. Can sceptics appeal to a compelling argument of our classical form? 11 In the relevant passages, Russell concerns himself with memory and, more generally, the past. But application of the same general idea to the future is quite clear and obvious. Thus this Russellian way of thinking works for any time, with the outstanding exception of the present moment.

We just replace ‘knows’ by ‘is reasonable in believing’, and then make whatever further changes are required as a consequence of that. The reasoning behind the new premisses will be the same as that for the premisses with knowing, and the resultant argument will be at least very nearly as compelling. Of course, the limitations of the argument will remain, as given before in section 7, but they are so slight that they hardly detract at all from our sceptical conclusion about reasonable believing.

For the same supposition may be made about any moment; what is now the present, and now, and now. Those are essentially Russell's ideas on these matters, or at least a version of them filtered through a sceptic about knowledge. Russell's hypothesis about the world presents a vivid contrast case to our ‘common sense’ beliefs about, or presumed knowledge of, any past times. As regards any future time, we may contrast our common sense views with the following case: The entire world (of concrete entities at least) might cease to exist as of the very next moment.

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