Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"1% Skepticism" in Nous; "Experimental Evidence for the Existence of an External World" in JAPA

About a week ago, two of my forthcoming essays appeared.

"1% Skepticism":

A 1% skeptic is someone who has about a 99% credence in non-skeptical realism and about a 1% credence that some radically skeptical scenario obtains. The first half of this essay defends the epistemic rationality of 1% skepticism, endorsing modest versions of dream skepticism, simulation skepticism, cosmological skepticism, and wildcard skepticism. The second half of the essay explores the practical behavioral consequences of 1% skepticism.

Official version in Nous.
Free manuscript version from my academic homepage.

"Experimental Evidence for the Existence of an External World" (with Alan T. Moore):

In this essay I attempt to refute radical solipsism by means of a series of empirical experiments. In the first experiment, I exhibit unreliable judgment about the primeness or divisibility of four-digit numbers, in contrast to a seeming Excel program. In the second experiment, I exhibit an imperfect memory for arbitrary-seeming three-digit number and letter combinations, in contrast to my seeming collaborator with seemingly hidden notes. In the third experiment, I seem to suffer repeated defeats at chess. In all three experiments, the most straightforward interpretation of the experiential evidence is that something exists in the universe that is superior in the relevant respects – theoretical reasoning (about primes), memorial retention (for digits and letters), or practical reasoning (at chess) – to my own solipsistically-conceived self.

Official version in JAPA.
Free manuscript version from my academic homepage.

Both essays began life as posts on The Splintered Mind, the Experimental Philosophy Blog and NewAPPS. Many thanks to those who read and commented!

By the way, the little picture of me in the upper right corner of this blog is cropped from a photo from the "External World" paper. Why do I look so contemplative? Because Alan is proving to me that the external world exists by beating me in speed chess!

(photo credit: Gerardo Sanchez)


Unknown said...

Interesting external world refutation presentation through binary oppositions-maybe...
...And having just reviewed solipsism...do we have in Philosophy of Psychology...methods that are holistic (holism) in effort...since words and thought together only support description of themselves and or the external world...what do one's sensations and feelings look like...

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

I'm not sure sensations and feelings *look* like anything at all!