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THE LINGUISTIC APPROACH
1. Wittgenstein
2. Williams…read more

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WITTGENSTEIN
· Picture theory: language is essentially just picturing the logical structures of the
world.
· For example "the cat is on the mat" makes the relationship between cat and mat
creating an image of reality through the use of language.
· Language is a tool and we must use it properly
· This anti realist account renders the sceptics argument as invalid as the sceptic is
unintelligible in their approach to the world.
· The sceptic undermines his own use of words- one cannot doubt the cat on the mat
coherently as you would have to doubt the concept of cat and mat. If I do not know
of the concepts cat and mat, I cannot doubt them.…read more

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WILLIAMS ON LANGUAGE
· The sceptic fails to appreciate the etiquette within language games.
1. Intelligibility constraint- unless we see the and problems the same as each other,
then whatever we say to each other would be unintelligible.
2. Methodological constraint - certain scepticism that attempts to cast doubt on things
can only make sense in certain frameworks. If it does not fit within that framework it
is reduced to be meaningless.
3. Dialectical constraint - a sceptical argument must be proven to be useful over time
in order to be meaningful.
4. Economic constraint - challenges should only be taken seriously based on what we
stand to gain from them. Scepticism isn't meaningful if we stand to gain nothing
from it and thus needn't be taken seriously.
5. Situational constraint - the situation we're in dictates whether our doubts and
challenges make sense…read more

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This linguistic approach states that language provides a range of different ways to
model reality and deem a model true if it is useful- thus it avoids the gap between
appearance and reality by moving away from fixed language about the world and
reality. Our model doesn't have to map out the external world to be useful
· This theory is based on the sceptic confusing how language works. The linguistic
approach resolves the issue of language and thus the sceptics argument becomes
unintelligible and useless.
· The linguistic approach shifts the focus of philosophy from gaining objective
knowledge to the use of language
· Since the approach is anti realist, it appears to play into the sceptics hand- the
linguist rejects our ability to gain objective knowledge.
· However the linguist could counter that the and how language works. This theory
shows that the sceptics approach is ultimately wrong.…read more

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THE SCEPTIC IS SELF DEFEATING
· If the sceptic claims we cannot know anything, they cannot know that! If they can
rely on their doubt, it allows us to rely on our judgement
· The sceptic relies on language to express doubt and engage others in their doubt; if
the sceptic doubts the external reality they're also doubting language. It is
impossible for the sceptic to express their doubt without language as language is
based on conceptions of reality. The sceptic cannot express their doubt to other
individuals- which they do
· The fact that the sceptic still attempts to express their doubt to others makes their
position self defeating.…read more

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