A Very Short Proof That Skepticism-Resistant Knowledge Exists.

By Robert Hanna

“Young Woman With Book,” by Aleksandr Deineka (1934)

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You can also download and read or share the complete longer essay from which the short essay directly below has been extracted, “Caveat Lector: Six Investigations in The Philosophy of Reading,” HERE.

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1. You, the reader of this very sentence, can’t either coherently or self-consistently deny that it’s self-evidently true that you’re reading this very sentence.

2. Therefore, as soon as you’ve read sentence 1, then you have skepticism-resistant knowledge of it.

3. Therefore, skepticism-resistant knowledge exists. QED[i]

NOTE

[i] For the purposes of this very short essay, let’s suppose that the real person represented in Deineka’s painting, just like you, is also reading the three-step proof written on this very page. Then at least two people in this thoroughly nonideal natural and social world have nevertheless actually achieved skepticism-resistant knowledge. Indeed, any rational human reader of this three-step proof will thereby achieve skepticism-resistant knowledge. Elsewhere I’ve called such skepticism-resistant knowledge, whether a posteriori or a priori, high bar knowledge (Hanna, 2015: esp. ch. 1 and chs. 6–8).

REFERENCE

(Hanna, 2015). Hanna, R. Cognition, Content, and the A Priori: A Study in the Philosophy of Mind and Knowledge. THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, Vol. 5. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. Also available online in preview HERE.

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Mr Nemo

Mr Nemo

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Formerly Captain Nemo. A not-so-very-angry, but still unemployed, full-time philosopher-nobody.