Paper Topics on
Knowledge and Skepticism
You may choose one of the following
questions as your paper topic on Knowledge and Skepticism. Papers are
expected to be 3-5
pages in length. The second paper is due Monday June 13, but feel free to
in your paper earlier if you like. Also, I strongly encourage rough drafts, so
please come see me (at least!) a few days before you turn your paper to
talk about it.
1. Explain Descartes' project in his first and second meditations in Meditations of First Philosophy.
What is he trying to do? How does he go about trying to do it? Make
sure to explain (i) his methods of doubt and (ii) how he applies the
method (i.e., the three skeptical scenarios he considers in Med 1).
What does Descartes think he has accomplished by the middle of the
second Meditation? Do you agree? Why or why not? Critically discuss.
2. Carefully explain the Problem of Induction (as presented by Hume in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding).
Why should someone find the problem worrisome? What are some ways one
might go about trying to answer the problem? Critically discuss.
3.What is skepticism? Why should someone find it worrisome? In class,
we discussed three ways to answer the skeptic (Descartes' way,
Contextualism, and G. E. Moore's way). Which one do you think is most
promising as a response to the skeptic? Why? How might the skeptic
Page Last Updated: June 4, 2005