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Lecture 5

PHL105Y5 Lecture 5: 1 Descates skeptical argts

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL105Y5
Professor
Bernard Katz
Semester
Fall

Description
Skepticism with respect to sense experience: P1: Sense experience is always reliable; that is, things are just the way they appear to the senses. Descartes’ argument against P1: 1) If sense experience is always reliable, then an object always has those characteristics it appears to have. 2) Sometimes an object does not have characteristics which it appears to have. Therefore, 3) Sense experience is not always reliable. (MT, 1 and 2) The Dream Argument: P2: Perceptions made under favourable conditions by a normal observer are reliable. Descartes’ argument against P2 Stage I: 1) It is possible for a dream to be coherent, complete, and sy stematic in every respect. 2) If it is possible for a dream to be coherent, complete, and systematic in every respect, then there is no way for you to tell (at any given moment) that you are not dreaming. 3) If there is no way for you to tell (at any given moment) that you are not dreaming, then your veridical* sensory experiences are indistinguishable from those that are non‐veridical. Therefore, 4) If it is possible for a dream to be coherent, complete, and systematic in every respect, then your veridical sensory experiences are i inhaislifrom those that are non‐veridical. (HS, 2 and 3) Therefore, 5) Your veridical sensory experiences are indistinguishable from those that are non‐veridical. (MP, 1 and 4) *veridical = truthful, coinciding with reality Stage II: 5) Your veridical sensory experiences are indistinguishable from those that are non‐veridical. 6) If your veridical sensory experiences are indistin f groisthabse that are non‐veridical, then you have grounds for doubting any perceptual belief. 7) If you have grounds for doubting any perceptual belief, then you never know that any perceptual belief is true. Therefore, 8) If your veridical sensory experiences are indistin f groisthabse that are non‐veridical, then you never know that any perceptual belief is true. (HS, 6 and 7) Therefore, 9) You never know that any perceptual belief is true. (MP, 1 and 8) The Deceptive Deity Argument: P3: It is reasonable to believe that there is a physical world and that physical objects have characteristics that correspond in certain respects to the character
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