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Abstract: It is a common tactic, going back to the beginnings of religion and philosophy, to presume that we are enveloped in a world of untruth and illusion, thereby fueling our movement toward truth. In more modern times, Descartes demonstrates this process clearly with his Meditations. This work extends the Cartesian skeptical position by challenging the concept of illusion itself, asking those who have ever called something ‘an illusion’ to question the meaning of these assertions. This broader skepticism partially annihilates itself without completely collapsing under the weight of self-contradiction.
Abstract: Of all the problems attending the sense-datum theory, arguably the deepest is that it draws a veil of appearances over the external world. Today, the sense-datum theory is widely regarded as an overreaction to the problem of hallucination. Instead of accounting for hallucination in terms of intentional relations to sense data, it is often thought that we should account for it in terms of intentional relations to properties. In this paper, however, I argue that in the versions that might address the problem of hallucination, this newer account is guilty of a vice similar to sense-datum theory’s: it draws a veil of abtracta over the concrete world.
Abstract: The tracking theory treats knowledge as counterfactual covariation of belief and truth through a sphere of possibilities. I argue that the tracking theory cannot respect perceptual knowledge, because perceptual belief covaries with truth through a discontinuous scatter of possibilities. Perceptual knowledge is subject to inner derailing: there is an inner hollow of perceptual incompetence through which the differences are too small to track. Perceptual knowledge is subject to outer derailing: there are outlying islands of perceptual competence that extend well past skeptical sinkholes