“Probabilistic Proof of an External World”
By Nicholas Di Bella (Stanford, Philosophy)
Date: Thursday 15th February, 2018
Abstract:I provide a novel internal critique of skepticism about the external world. Appealing to premises that an external-world skeptic could accept, I argue that the skeptic should (by her own lights) be extraordinarily confident that an external world exists. These premises include commitments to various forms of a priori reasoning–including commitments to classical logic, set theory, and probabilistic reasoning–as well as radical empiricism about evidence. As I argue, these premises entail that the skeptic should, by her own lights, be at least 99.99999% confident–just shy of certain–that an external world exists.