The circularity dilemma. If we attempt to
The second argument Huemer raises based on the skeptic, is the problem of the criterion. This premise raises some points based on circular reasoning, but it is solely associated with a central claim that we can only trust certain judgments created by a particular method (e.g.
reasoning) f we know autonomously that the mechanism is reliable. However, the mechanism itself to test its reliability would trigger a circularity dilemma. If we attempt to use another method, we can have the ability to ask why that second method was reliable. Since we do not have endless possibilities of methods to construct judgments, and since none of the mechanisms can free themselves, it seems we cannot explain why any of the methods are reliable. And so, if none of the mechanisms forming the judgments are not reliable, then we should not trust any judgments produced by those methods. So the skeptic would ask two challenge questions: how can one justify the particular method that an individual utilizes in generating basic beliefs about the contingent state of affairs and how can one justify the reasoning methods that one uses to determine if it is deductive or inductive? These are the questions the skeptic would ask regarding the problem of criterion and the effects of the method used to test the reliability of perception. The third premise by Huemer investigates the authenticity of our faculties in relationship to our perspective of the external world. Mike Huemer observes that our insight into the external world gives off an impression that we are reliant on our senses.
A skeptic would espouse Huemer’s point and then will try to show that there is no way in trusting our sense organs to flawlessly depict our world to us as it is. First, the skeptic argues that what we gain from our sense organs are not explicit impressions of the external word, but simply sense data. For example, you do not actually see a piece of paper in front of you, but a mental image of the paper itself.
Huemer also notes that you cannot have knowledge of an external world unless direct realism or indirect realism is true. Direct realism is the idea that are sense organs can grant us explicit access to external objects and indirect realism is the concept that uses the senses to detect objects internally, opposite of what exists in nature (Brown, 349). However, both concepts are false. Thus, in Huemer’s case the third argument is the strongest argument because it provides us insights into the differentiation of what we actually see and our experience through mental images.