Skepticism about the External World

John Greco

in The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780195183214
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Skepticism about the External World


This article examines the notion of skepticism about the external world. It attempts to provide an understanding of what the skeptic means by the external world when he denies knowledge of the external world. It considers several popular but misguided replies to skepticism about the external world and reconstructs several lines of skeptical argument. It discusses the so-called semantic contextualism as a more promising approach to external-world skepticism and argues that even if contextualism is correct about the semantics of “knows” and related language, it fails to give us the sort of explanation we want in a satisfying response to skepticism.

Keywords: skepticism; external world; skeptical argument; semantic contextualism; knowledge

Article.  9807 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Epistemology

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