Humanities Event

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Friday, April 27, 2018 3:00 PM
Harvard Book Store and Mass Humanities welcome ELI HIRSCH, Charles Goldman Professor of Philosophy at Brandeis University, for a discussion of his latest book, "Radical Skepticism and the Shadow of Doubt: A Philosophical Dialogue." The book brings something new to epistemology both in content and style. At the outset, we are asked to imagine a person named Vatol who grows up in a world containing numerous people who are brains-in-vats and who hallucinate their entire lives. Would Vatol have reason to doubt whether he himself is in contact with reality? If he does have reason to doubt, would he doubt, or is it impossible for a person to have such doubts? And how do we ourselves compare to Vatol? After reflection, can we plausibly claim that Vatol has reason to doubt, but we don't?