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Skepticism About the External World - Panayot Butchvarov

Skepticism About the External World

Hardcover Published: 1st January 1998
ISBN: 9780195117196
Number Of Pages: 192

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Do we know or even have evidence that external material objects exist? Drawing powerfully on techniques from both analytic and continental philosophy, Butchvarov offers a strikingly original approach to this perennial issue. He argues that only a direct realist view of perception--the view that in perception we are directly aware of material objects--has any hope of providing a compelling response to the skeptic.
The seemingly insuperable problem for direct realism has always been to explain hallucination, dreaming, and other situations where the object of awareness is not a really existing physical object. This has led many philosophers to adopt views in which perceptual consciousness involves a subjective state that is the direct object of awareness. Butchvarov argues persuasively that all such views are helpless in the face of the skeptic's arguments. His radical innovation is to insist that the direct object of perceptual and even dreaming and hallucinatory experience is usually a material object, but not necessarily one that actually exists. This leads to a sophisticated metaphysics in which reality is ultimately constructed by human decisions out of objects that are ontologically more basic but which cannot be said in themselves to be either real or unreal.
Butchvarov's ingenious approach to a longstanding philosophical issue, as well as the extensive range of his references to traditional and contemporary discussions of the topic, makes Skepticism about the External World a thrilling and essential book for philosophers and philosophically minded readers.

Acknowledgmentsp. v
Introductionp. 3
Direct Realismp. 12
The Adverbial Theoryp. 35
The Skeptic's Argumentp. 56
A First Answer To The Skepticp. 89
Our Concept Of Realityp. 111
The Untruth And The Truth Of Skepticismp. 133
Notesp. 159
Indexp. 179
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195117196
ISBN-10: 0195117190
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 1st January 1998
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 17.15  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.5