Philosophy of Mind Seminar (Friday - Week 8, HT23)

Philosophy of mind

A standard form of sceptical scenario, in the tradition of Descartes’ Evil Demon, raises the prospect that our sensory experiences are deceptive. A different kind of sceptical scenario raises the prospect that our beliefs have been defectively based (Schaffer 2010). In this talk I will try to clear up various neglected and misunderstood points concerning this kind of debasing scepticism and also offer a new way to resist the debasing skeptic’s conclusion. Along the way I will point out some connections with various potentially controversial epistemological principles. I conclude by discussing various reasons why the standard deceiving form of scepticism seems more compelling than the debasing kind.

Philosophy of Mind Seminar convenors: Mike Martin, Matthew Parrott, Will Davies and Anil Gomes