Scepticism: A Defense

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sceptical arguments have played a seminal role in the development of philosophical thought. The thesis considers traditional sceptical arguments and their application to a variety of issues. Four major topics--the external world, logic and mathematics, ethics, and the problem of other minds--are discussed in detail. Three other topics (induction, religious belief, and cultural relativism) are discussed to a lesser extent. In each case, the dissertation defends the sceptical conclusion that it is impossible to build a rational basis for belief, and examines this conclusion in light of traditional dogmatism and contemporary developments in analytic philosophy. Wittgenstein's works serve as a basis for the discussion of recent views.

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