Taking a Look at Skepticism

716 WordsFeb 20, 20183 Pages
Philosophy Paper Skepticism is an aspect of philosophy that has been studied throughout history. Within the realm of skepticism lies the difference between knowledge and mere true belief. Descartes and Moore are two philosophers who explore the existence of an external world in their writings. In Descartes’ “Meditations” and Moore’s “Proof of an External World,” we find opposing viewpoints on what we actually have knowledge on. A mere true belief is an opinion that happens to be true. It is simply a belief that is true by accident or luck. Someone can hold a true belief that is completely baseless or even completely by luck as it requires no experience, only that the belief is supported by reality. Knowledge requires truth and belief. One must believe the thing that they “know.” Someone with knowledge can give an account of why his or her true opinion is in fact true. In Descartes’ first meditation, he invokes the possibility that we might be tricked by a “malignant demon” in order to show that we have no knowledge of an external world. He states, “I will suppose then, not that Deity, who is sovereignly good and the fountain of truth, but that some malignant demon, who is at once exceedingly potent and deceitful, has employed all his artifice to deceive me; I will suppose that the sky, the air, the earth, colors, figures, sounds, and all external things, are nothing better than the illusions of dreams, by means of which this being has laid snares for my

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