Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Whose Dream Is It Anyway?

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of International Journal for the Study of Skepticism

I start with two basic lines of response to Cartesian skepticism about the ‘external world’: in the first, which is characteristic of Analytic philosophers to this day, the focus is on the meaning of ‘know’—what it ‘refers’ to, its ‘semantics’ and its ‘pragmatics’; in the second, which characterizes Continental responses to Descartes, the focus is on the philosophizing or meditating subject, and its relation to its body and world. I argue that the first approach is hopeless: if the Cartesian worry that I could be dreaming right now so much as makes sense, the proposal that—under some theory of knowledge (or of ‘knowledge’)—my belief that I am sitting in front of the computer right now may still be (or truly count as) a piece of knowledge, would rightfully seem to the skeptic to be playing with words and missing the point. I then argue that the practice of Ordinary Language Philosophy, which has mostly been linked to the first line of response to Cartesian skepticism, may be seen as actually belonging with the second line of response; and I show how a form of what may be called “Existentialist Ordinary Language Philosophy” can be used to reveal the nonsensicality of the Cartesian skeptical worry. My argument takes its cue from Thompson Clarke’s insight—an insight that Clarke himself has not pursued far or accurately enough—that our concept of Dream is not a concept of the “standard type.”

Affiliations: 1: Tufts University,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Austin J. L. ( 1979). “ "Other Minds".” In his Philosophical Papers , 76116. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Crossref]
2. Ballantyne N. ,and Evans I. . ( 2010). “ "Sosa’s Dream",” Philosophical Studies Vol 148: 249252. [Crossref]
3. Bauer N. ( ms). “ "What’s to Be Done with Austin?"”
4. Baz A. ( 2012). When Words are Called For . Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
5. Cavell S. ( 1979). The Claim of Reason . Oxford: Oxford University Press.
6. Clarke T. ( 1972). “ "The Legacy of Skepticism",” Journal of Philosophy Vol 64: 754769.
7. Dennett D. ( 1976). “ "Are Dreams Experiences?",” Philosophical Review Vol 85: 151171. [Crossref]
8. Descartes R. ( 1993). Meditations on First Philosophy . Trans. D. Cress. Indianapolis: Hackett.
9. Gustafsson M. ,and Sørli R. (eds.). ( 2011). The Philosophy of J. L. Austin . Oxford: Oxford University Press.
10. Heidegger M. ( 1967). What Is a Thing? Trans. W. Barton and W. Deutsch. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company.
11. Ichikawa J. ( 2008). “ "Scepticism and the Imagination Model of Dreaming",” Philosophical Quarterly Vol 58: 519527. [Crossref]
12. Kant I. ( 1998). Critique of Pure Reason . Ed. and trans. P. Guyer and A. Wood. New York: Cambridge University Press.
13. Kaplan M. ( 2000). “ "To What Must an Epistemology Be True?",” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Vol 61: 279304. [Crossref]
14. ——. ( 2011). “ "Tales of the Unknown".” In Gustafsson and Sørli( Vol 2011), 5177.
15. Leite A. ( 2011). “ "Austin, Dreams, and Scepticism".” In Gustafsson and Sørli(2011), 78113.
16. Lepock C. ( 2010). “ "Critical Notice of Ernest Sosa’s A Virtue Epistemology: Apt Belief and Reflective Knowledge, Vol. I ",” Canadian Journal of Philosophy Vol 40: 131150. [Crossref]
17. Malcolm N. ( 1959). Dreaming . London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
18. Sosa E. ( 2007). A Virtue Epistemology: Apt Belief and Reflective Knowledge . Oxford: Oxford University Press.
19. Stroud B. ( 1984). The Significance of Philosophical Skepticism . Oxford: Oxford University Press.
20. Valberg J. ( 2007). Dream, Death, and the Self . Princeton: Princeton University Press.
21. Wittgenstein L. ( 1969). On Certainty . Ed. and trans. G. E. M. Anscombe, D. Paul, G. H. von Wright. New York: Harper & Row.
22. Wright C. ( 1991). “ "Scepticism and Dreaming: Imploding the Demon",” Mind Vol 397: 87116.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation