Skeptical hypothesis  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A skeptical hypothesis is a hypothetical situation which can be used in an argument for skepticism about a particular claim or class of claims. Usually the hypothesis posits the existence of a deceptive power that deceives our senses and undermines the justification of knowledge otherwise accepted as justified. Skeptical hypotheses have received much attention in modern Western philosophy. Some of the prominent skeptical hypotheses in Western philosophy include: evil demon and the five minute hypothesis, a possible more modern one epiphenomenalism. With the spread of materialism as a school of thought, numerous ideas it encompasses, which explain the mind, can be as skeptical these include The Multiple Drafts Model and Eliminative Materialism

Origins of skeptical hypotheses

The first skeptical hypothesis in modern Western philosophy appears in René Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy. At the end of the first Meditation Descartes writes: "I will suppose... that some evil demon of the utmost power and cunning has employed all his energies to deceive me."

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Skeptical hypothesis" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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