Example Of Skepticism Essay

1329 Words6 Pages
In epistemology, the study of knowledge in itself, there is always a skeptical hypothesis. A skeptical hypothesis, in epistemology, is a counter-argument to any given theory of knowledge. A skeptical hypothesis will always argue that people cannot truly know what they think they know. Most philosophers will use the Brain in a Vat theory to illustrate skeptical hypothesis however, a more modern reference may be more easily understood. The example that I use is in the film The Matrix in which the entirety of humanity has been put in to pods by AIs with spikes in their brains that links them to the matrix, an artificial world. In the matrix the people live out their lives completely unaware of being in a pod. In this scenario all of their experiences they have gained are not true examples of knowledge but are faked experiences. According to the skeptic, a person cannot know at this moment, reading this essay, that you are not in the matrix. A more logical way to illustrate this is:

"Let “P” stand for any belief or claim about the external world, say, that snow is white." 1
1. If I know that P, then I know that I am not in the matrix.
2. I do not know that I am not in the matrix.
3. Thus, I do not know that P. The skeptic has an advantage in pressing such claims because an epistemologist has to somehow prove that what a person knows is truth. The skeptic, however, only has to prove that a person's knowledge may be false. There are many people who are uncomfortable with the idea of not knowing of
…show more content…
Assume we are in the matrix.
2. If we are in the matrix., then the “matrix” does not refer to the matrix, and “pods” does not refer to pods (via causal connections)
3. If being “in the matrix.” does not refer being in the matrix., then “we are in the matrix.” is false
4. Thus, if we in the matrix, then the sentence “We are in the matrix” is false (1,2,3) 4 With that being said is Putnam's theory using semantic externalism a good argument to counter skeptical
Open Document