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The Inner and the Outer: Kant's ‘Refutation’ Reconstructed

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In Skeptical idealism says that possibly nothing exists outside my own conscious mental states. Purported refutations of skeptical idealism – whether Descartes's, Locke's, Reid's, Kant's, Moore's, Putnam's, or Burge's – are philosophically scandalous: they have convinced no one. I argue (1) that what is wrong with the failed refutations is that they have attempted to prove the wrong thing – i.e., that necessarily I have veridical perceptions of distal material objects in space, and (2) that a charitable reconstruction of Kant's ‘Refutation of Idealism’ in fact provides a sound refutation of skeptical idealism.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Colorado at Boulder, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2000

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