Selective scepticism over thought: am I ever justified in doubting that I think that thought but not this one?

Young, G. ORCID: 0000-0003-0628-0931, 2016. Selective scepticism over thought: am I ever justified in doubting that I think that thought but not this one? Cogent Arts & Humanities, 3. ISSN 2331-1983

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Abstract

In this paper, I subject a number of statements avowing selective doubt about an act of thinking to philosophical analysis (e.g., "A thought occurred just now but I do not believe that I was thinking it") to ascertain those circumstances under which they constitute a legitimate expression of scepticism. C an a case be made for epistemic discrepancy sufficient to justify the following claim : "I doubt that I think that thought but not this one"? In support of selective scepticism, I discuss the ontological and epistemic properties evident in an indirect form of Moore’s paradox which features beliefs about a thought and a thinker: notably, "I experienced a thought just now but I do not believe that I was thinking it". I argue that the conjunction above contains conjuncts which are ontologically equivalent but epistemically distinct. This difference explains not only why the statement is indirectly Moore paradoxical but how selective scepticism over thought might be justified. To further support my claim for the legitimacy of selective scepticism, I consider research on how a child acquire s beliefs about thinking , and speculate over the cause of a rare pathological condition known as thought insertion.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Cogent Arts & Humanities
Creators: Young, G.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2016
Volume: 3
ISSN: 2331-1983
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 21 Jan 2016 11:49
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:58
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/26832

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