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Skepticism: The Central Issues

Skepticism: The Central Issues

Charles Landesman

ISBN: 978-0-631-21355-0

May 2002

224 pages

In Stock

$148.95

Description

This book presents and analyzes the most important arguments in the history of Western philosophy's skeptical tradition. It demonstrates that, although powerful, these arguments are quite limited and fail to prove their core assertion that knowledge is beyond our reach.

  • Argues that skepticism is mistaken and that knowledge is possible

  • Dissects the problems of realism and the philosophical doubts about the accuracy of the senses

  • Explores the ancient argument against a criterion of knowledge, Descartes' skeptical arguments, and skeptical arguments applied to inductive inference and self-knowledge

  • Uses Moore's proof of an external world and the reliabilist conception of knowledge to illustrate that the traditional skeptical arguments fail to meet their mark.
Preface.

1. Skepticism and the Retreat from Realism.

2. The Great Deception of Sense.

3. Justification, Truth, and Realism.

4. Global Skepticism, Pyrrhonism, and the Criterion Argument.

5. The Argument Against the Criterion.

6. Two Pyrrhonian Problems.

7. Descartes' Dream Argument.

8. Skepticism and Common Sense.

9. Moore's Proof of an External World.

10. Defending Moore's Proof.

11. The Problem of the Shaky Inference.

12. Inference and Interpretation.

13. Hume's Riddle of Induction.

14. Descartes' Cogito and the Problem of Self Knowledge.

15. The Problem of Knowledge.

Bibliography.

Index.

"This book is a beautifully written introduction to a number of important sceptical themes and issues. The clarity and economy of the writing is outstanding. Another virtue of the book is Landesman's easy command of a range of historical authors and positions... These features, along with welcome breadth of coverage, make the book an excellent choice for an introductory course in philosophy or epistemology" Mind

"A splendidly insightful and original examination of skepticism from the ancient skeptics through Descartes and Hume to Moore and Quine, closely argued, but in a clear and accessible manner, so that both layman and professional should enjoy and profit from this work. The best book I have read on skepticism." Louis Pojman, United States Military Academy

"Skepticism is the central issue in epistemology, but often it is discussed superficially as just a seminar-room puzzle. Landesman has the philosophical depth and solid historical grasp needed for a proper treatment of it." Panayot Butchvarov, University of Iowa

"Landesman has written a well-reasoned book that reveals both the power of the arguments for skepticism and the limitations of that position. At its core is an extended discussion of skepticism regarding the senses and the problem of the external world. This terrific book should be in all libraries supporting programs in philosophy." Choice

"This is an excellent introduction to an important topic. Its style makes it accessible to those unfamiliar with the subject, while its content should interest expert and novice alike." Practical Philosophy


  • Presents and analyzes the most important arguments in the history of Western philosophy's skeptical tradition

  • Argues that skepticism is mistaken and that knowledge is possible

  • Dissects the problems of realism and the philosophical doubts about the accuracy of the senses

  • Explores the ancient argument against a criterion of knowledge, Descartes' skeptical arguments, and skeptical arguments applied to inductive inference and self-knowledge

  • Uses Moore's proof of an external world and the reliabilist conception of knowledge to illustrate that the traditional skeptical arguments fail to meet their mark.