Skeptical hypothesis  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

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."

See also

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