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Grant number: FB-57694-14

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Jonathan Maxwell Vogel
Amherst College (Amherst, MA 01002-2372)

Skepticism and Knowledge of the External World

One of the oldest and deepest problems in philosophy is skepticism: To know anything about the world, you need to know that your experience isn't delusory. But how could you ever know that? I am writing a book which takes up this challenge. First, I analyze carefully what the problem is, and determine what needs to be done to solve it. The difficulty is real, but it isn't intractable. Second, I examine responses to skepticism proposed by other philosophers. These don't succeed, but seeing why sheds much light on the nature of knowledge itself. Finally, I develop a line of thought that establishes how knowledge of the world is possible, after all. Working through these issues requires attention to a number of related topics in epistemology and other branches of philosophy. My goal is to make progress in resolving problems that are central to philosophy and of interest to thoughtful people generally.

Project fields:

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 12/31/2014