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Scepticism and the Senses



Abstract: This paper is an attempt to identify and to suggest reasons to reject those assumptions about the nature and scope of perceptual knowledge that appear to make an unacceptable scepticism the only strictly defensible answer to the philosophical problem of knowledge of the world in general. The suggestion is that our knowing things about the world around us by perception can be satisfactorily explained only if we can be understood to sometimes perceive that such-and-such is so, where what we perceive to be so is the very state of the world that we thereby know to be so. This is not proposed as a better answer to the philosophical problem, but as a way of seeing how that problem as traditionally understood could not really present a threat to anyone who can think about the world at all.